At Christmas we can enjoy a wide variety of sweets, in fact, it could be considered the sweetest time of the year for just that reason. But if there is a sweet star on these dates, it is undoubtedly our beloved Roscón de Reyes.

A scented sweet bread of which we can find an infinite number of recipes and variants to carry it out, although they all have several things in common; orange blossom water, citrus zest and its peculiar decoration with almonds, pearl sugar and/or candied fruits.

It is true that today there are very different and daring roscones, inspired by many other preparations. But for those who have classic and traditional tastes, today we can enjoy the original recipe, to give it a name.

Origin of the Roscón de Reyes

This type of sweet bread dates back to Roman times and, it seems, was present in the "Roman Saturnalia". These were important Roman festivities also known as "Slave Festivals". During this celebration, the slaves received extra rations, free time and other benefits.

The name of this celebration comes in honor of Saturn, god of agriculture, and it was also a tribute to the triumph of a victorious general. They were held from December 17-23 to celebrate the end of the dark season of the year, decorating houses with plants and candles, and giving away clay figurines. As of December 25, the arrival of the sun was celebrated.

Probably, the Saturnalia, were the festivities for the completion of field work, celebrated after the conclusion of the winter sowing, thus having time to rest from the daily effort. Later the Church made those dates coincide with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth with the aim of ending the old celebrations.

For these festivities, bagels of dates, figs and honey were made and distributed equally between slaves and commoners. In the S. III, it became customary to introduce a dry bean and the lucky one to find it was named "King of Kings" for a short period of time.

The recipe that we will see how to prepare today is based on the traditional way of making it, even with its majestic filling of whipped cream (which is not mandatory, of course). To break the classic and usual aesthetics a bit, when decorating it, I have decided to use some fruits such as currants, which will provide a slight acid and fresh touch, and caramelized freeze-dried raspberry.

The freshness and acidity, typical of these fruits, combine very well with the sweet and fruity flavor of the roscón. In addition, it allows us to give it an elegant and striking decoration that helps us to break the usual aesthetics a bit.

Ingredients (for one large or two medium roscón)

for the preference

  • 150 g of strong wheat flour (W=300)
  • 100 g whole milk at room temperature
  • 3 g dry yeast or 9 g fresh yeast

For the mass

  • 550 g of wheat flour strength (W=300)
  • 140 g whole milk at room temperature
  • 3 g dry yeast or 9 g fresh yeast
  • 2 eggs L (110 g)
  • zest of two oranges and one lemon
  • 130 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 35 g of orange blossom essence (not concentrated, in this case, less quantity)
  • 15 g of aged rum
  • 1 vanilla pod (the seeds)
  • 200g of sugar
  • 10g of salt

To decorate

  • 1 beaten egg
  • Chopped or sliced ​​almond
  • pearl sugar
  • candied orange
  • fresh currants
  • Caramelized freeze-dried raspberry (optional)
  • Caramelized cocoa nibs (optional)
  • Icing sugar for dusting

To fill (amount for 1 medium roscón)

  • 600 g of liquid cream to mount
  • 120g of sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean (optional)


We prepare the preferment

  1. In a bowl, add the milk at room temperature along with the yeast and flour.
  2. Mix well with the help of a spoon until homogeneous. Once we have the ingredients more or less amalgamated, we move to a clean work surface and knead until we obtain a more or less smooth and homogeneous finishing mass. No need to knead for a long time.
  3. Shape into a ball, place in a bowl, cover with film and let rise until doubled in size. It will take us about 2-3 hours at about 21ºC.

Prepare the dough for the roscón de Reyes

  1. Once we have the preferment ready and fermented, we proceed to prepare the dough for the roscón.
  2. Wash the lemon and oranges well with water. Dry with kitchen paper and, with the help of a grater, grate without reaching the white part (this would give us a slight bitter taste). We booked.
  3. In a KitchenAid bowl, add the flour together with the chopped preferment, the yeast, the milk, the eggs, the orange blossom and the liquor. Mix with the help of the hook until a more or less homogeneous mass is achieved.
  4. Add the sugar, we will do it in 3 batches. We add a first part, while kneading, and wait for it to fully integrate. We repeat this same process with the rest of the sugar.
  5. Add the salt along with the zest and vanilla seeds, knead again to distribute evenly over the entire surface.
  6. Once we have developed the gluten (remember to check it by performing the membrane test*), we add the butter. We will do it little by little and waiting for it to be fully integrated into the dough until we add the next batch. We must be patient.
  7. Once the butter has fully integrated, we will obtain a smooth, smooth and shiny dough.
  8. Grease a container with oil and introduce the dough, previously rounded, inside. We cover with its lid or with plastic film and let rise for 4-5 hours at about 21º-22ºC .
  9. The fermentation time is indicative, always remember that it should double its volume.
  10. If we want to divide the process into 2 days to make it more bearable, once the dough has grown by ⅓ of its volume, we store it in the refrigerator until the next day.

*NOTE: For this, we will take a portion of dough after making a brief rest once the kneading is finished, or stretching it a little, and we will slide it between the fingertips. If we can see a fine veil, the gluten is ready. If the dough breaks or tears unevenly, we will need to knead a little more to finish developing the gluten. If, when stretching the dough, a break is created in the veil, creating a perfect circle, this also specifies that the gluten is well developed.

We divide and preform the roscón

  1. If we decide to delay the dough in the cold, we temper the dough for 2 hours before proceeding to preform and form the roscones.
  2. In case of carrying out two roscones, we overturn the dough on a work surface lightly dusted with flour and divide it into two equal pieces. In case of carrying out only one roscón, we preform without dividing the dough.
  3. Turn the dough over onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and degas very gently. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and preform. To preform a mass, we take the ends of the piece and bring them to the center. We turn the piece over and round.
  4. Cover with film and let rest for 20 minutes .

We form the roscones

  1. Prepare two perforated baking trays and line them with a silpat, mat or parchment paper.
  2. We lightly grease our hands with oil and form the roscón.
  3. We introduce our fingers in the center of the piece to create a hole. We take the dough, lift it in the air and turn to enlarge it. We must be careful when handling it and try to maintain the same thickness throughout the piece.
  4. We will leave a wide hole in the central part, since after rising and baking it will be reduced a lot.
  5. We introduce the surprise wrapped in film (if you choose to do so) at the bottom of the roscón and seal with the dough. We proceed in the same way with the broad bean.
  6. We cover with film and let rise for 5-6 hours at 21º-22ºC , it should double in size and even a tad more.

De Buyer Baking Mat

We bake the Roscón de Reyes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC with heat up and down .
  2. We beat the egg and brush the surface of the roscón, very gently, with the help of a T&G pastry brush .
  3. Sprinkle the surface with chopped almonds and pearl sugar.
  4. Place in the oven in the central part and bake for 14-15 minutes if we divide the dough into two roscones or 23-24 minutes if we bake a single piece , a larger roscón.
  5. To check that it is done, click a digital thermometer on the roscón, it should mark 96º-97ºC .
  6. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool completely.

T&G Pastry Brush and De Buyer Baking Mat

Whip the cream to fill the roscón de Reyes

  • The cream must be at least 24 hours in the cold.
  • The bowl where we mount the cream must be cold.
  1. Pour the cream into the cold bowl along with the vanilla seeds.
  2. We start riding with the rods at speed 1.
  3. We will increase the speed gradually but without ever reaching the maximum. The ideal is a high average speed.
  4. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar. We will do it little by little while the rods continue to mount the cream until we obtain a cream with a lot of body. Be careful not to over beat it or we will make butter (if this happens to us, there is no solution)
  5. Introduce the whipped cream into the Buyer gun with a star-shaped nozzle and fill the roscón.
  6. We turn the wheel of the gun, placed just at the base of the handle that we tighten, so that it allows us to carry out the longer bowling.

Fill and finish decorating

  1. With the help of a serrated knife, we cut the roscón in half lengthwise.
  2. We pour the whipped cream with the Buyer gun all over the surface of the roscón. We will have to refill the gun twice because the amount of cream is greater than its capacity.
  3. Place the other half of the roscón over the cream.
  4. Decorate the surface with fresh currants, candied orange quarters, freeze-dried raspberries and caramelized cocoa nibs and, finally, dust very lightly with icing sugar.
  5. We serve.

Buyer's Gun

***** GRADES *****

  • It is important to keep in mind that not all flours behave in the same way . In case of using a flour with more or less strength, the formula will change. If we use a W=200 strength flour, we will have to adjust the amount of liquids so that the result is good. Reduce them a bit. In case of using a higher strength flour, we may have to increase that amount a bit.
  • Whole wheat flours behave differently , both when it comes to handling the dough, quantity of ingredients, kneading and fermentation. In addition, the final result will not be as tender and fluffy as if we do it with white flour.
  • Each gram of dry yeast is equivalent to 3 grams of fresh yeast.
  • We must knead well to develop the gluten and achieve a good structure in our crumb.
  • It is very important to respect all the resting and rising times to obtain a good result.
  • If when forming the roscón, the dough contracts trying to return to its initial state , it is because the dough is tense. Cover with film and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before proceeding to form the roscón again.
  • Respecting the fermentation times are very important to obtain a good final result , as well as good aroma, flavor and fluffiness. If our roscones mess up during cooking, it is because we lacked final fermentation time.
  • The decoration is totally optional, we can decorate it as we like.
  • Buyer's gun allows us to pour the cream very cleanly and being able to control the pressure very well. This favors that the quantity poured is always the same. In addition, we do not waste any of the whipped cream thanks to the piston that goes down each time we press. In my case I have used a star-shaped mouthpiece, but you can use another model from all the available mouthpieces they have.
  • If we do not have pearl sugar , we can moisten a little sugar with orange blossom water and place it on it just before cooking the piece.
  • The roscón holds in perfect condition for 3 days wrapped in film. If we fill it, we can keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days very well wrapped in film to prevent the cold from drying out the crumb.

We hope you have a wonderful and magical Twelfth Night! Do not forget to leave their Majesties of the East a good plate with cookies or sweets and milk, although they will surely pamper you much more if you leave them a few pieces of Roscón de Reyes made by yourself.

Recipe Author: Eva from Bake Street

Leave a comment