First of all, happy “late” New Year! I hope this year brings you all what you desire, but above all health to enjoy it with your loved ones! I’ve been meaning to write, but somehow I’ve just managed to accumulate photos for posts that I haven’t had time to put together, but hope that will sometime see the light. This roscón was meant to come earlier, way before the “día de Reyes”, that is, yesterday! But, though I’ve been making roscón a few times for about a month or so, I’m glad I’ve been forced to delay publishing as the last trial was my best version yet, so very close to my “ideal” roscón. A little more orange blossom, a touch of glucose to keep it moister as long as it lasts! and less yeast for a slower and longer fermentation for that better keeping quality made this latter one very special indeed.
Still, every time I make roscón at this time of the year, I wonder why I do not make it more often all year around, even if in a more practical individual bun version like “suizos” here in spain, or in the shape of Gregoire Michaud’s cuchaulles, which I’ve fallen in love with! Whichever shape, the tender and aromatic dough is a delicacy I don’t get tired of…I could have slice after slice of a whole 500g roscón! So, if you haven’t tried it yet, and you like the subtle aroma of orange blossom (when used with caution!) along with citrus rinds…give it a try for any time of the year! as a roscón shape to share with family or friends or in a more covenient bun shape to eat at home or take to work!
I know there are hundreds of great recipes out there, this is just my favourite recipe so far! If you get to try it, I hope you like it as much as we do!
Roscón de Reyes
(enough for a 500g medium roscón..I’d make double, enough for 2!!)
For the preferment:
50g strong flourFor the dough:
0,5g dry yeast (or 1,5g of fresh)
200g of strong flourFor decoration:
5g of dry yeast (or 15g fresh)
1 L egg*
15g dark rhum
15g orange blossom water
grated rind of half an orange
grated rind of half a lemon
50g granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
45g unsalted butter
1 beaten egg, for egg wash
5-6 confit orange half slices
15g of raw sliced almonds (I use whole ones I laminate)*If you use a small egg, you may just need to add a bit more milk for the same texture or leave it for a more manageable, less hydrated, dough.
20g granulated sugar
a few drops of lemon juice
Before begining, just a note to say that though there are various orange blossom waters out there, those that are natural, not with flavouring are significantly better, a much more delicate aroma. Here in Spain, this is the one I have found to be best, so far:
First of all, for the decoration, if you plan to make the orange slices yourself, you can confit half an orange, cut into very thin slices as explained here.
When ready, just remove excess syrup and place on parchment paper until ready to use, or keep in the fridge in a sealed bag or tupper until that time.
For the preferment, mix the flour, the yeast and room temperature water and knead lightly into a homogeneous mass. If it feels dry, add a bit more water. Then, leave to rise covered for about 1 hour until almost doubled in size.
When risen, weigh the rest of the flour into a bowl and distribute the preferment cut up into smaller pieces along with the yeast, the sugar, the orange and lemon rind (or add them to the liquids if you prefer), the glucose and the pinch of salt.
Then, add the wet ingredients, the egg and the mix or rhum, milk and orange blossom water and mix to get a rough dough with no dry lumps of flour.
Rest for 5-10 minutes and begin kneading. It is a fairly wet dough, so take a look at this technique for kneading hydrated dought by Bertinet, or this other video. After some kneading it will come together into a smooth dough as the gluten develops.
When it does, begin to add the cool butter cut into small dices or chunks. It will look as if the dough separates completely as the butter begins to integrate but it will eventually come together leaving a silky smooth barely sticky dough.
Place in a lightly greased bowl (plastic works best as the dough sticks less to it than to glass or metal) cover and leave to rise until almost doubled. Mine took over 2 hours (I question the reliability of the dry yeast I bought last, also it is fairly cool in my kitchen, around 18ºC! so check after 1hour).
Press out all air, shape into a smooth ball again and rest for a few minutes, so the dough relaxes a bit before shaping.
Press into the center of the ball to make a hole, lift the dough and turn around to make the hole larger by the effect of gravity of by lightly stretching a little. You should make the hole large enough so that it doesn’t close up after fermentation.
There are two ways to do that, one is to stretch it out a lot, so that as it doubles it still stays fairly large, even if it may not be perfectly round. The other is to stretch it a bit more that a large metal presentation ring (about 15cm for this roscón size), place the greased ring (on the outer side) so that as the dough ferments and grows, it doesn’t stick. Still then, aim to make the initial hole fairly large or else as it still grows in the oven, it will end up too small (some people bake it with the metal ring, but I prefer not as the center stays very pale).
Press the skin around the entire roscón, as if sliding it underneath, to give it some tension and make the surface really smooth.
I like to brush it lightly with the egg wash before fermenting it, to give it a second layer after fermentation, which gives a shinier coating after baking
I left it to ferment for about 4 hours (again, at around 18ºC!) just watch that it does not overferment, by pressing lightly into it (if it sticks, wet your finger a bit) it should not leave an indentation, but very slowly come back to half way its original position.
Brush again with some egg wash and we’re ready to decorate.
I like to laminate the almonds, either raw or peeled with a mandoline. But obviously it may be more practical to buy them laminated.
To prepare the sugar “escarchado” simply wet it VERY lightly with a few drops of lemon or water to give it some texture. You may add it before baking or after, if your oven tends to caramelise it, as it will stick anyway as it dries up.
Decorate as you like and bake in a 180ºC (if fan assisted) or 200ºC (if not) preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, until evenly golden brown.
Place on a cooling rack, and enjoy when it has cooled down! It’s best with some how thick chocolate, my favourite recipe here (it was my first recipe too!)!
Nothing like bought chocolate! up to the last drop!
Here’s the cut!
One of them has kept soft and moist for the two days it lasted! The other didn’t make it that far!