Friday, December 9, 2011

Roscón de Reyes

Well, there are still no updates on my medical issues.  Everything is about the same.  I still have horrible low back pain, abdominal discomfort, and now my dizziness is back.  We still don't have a diagnosis, but will hopefully move closer to that when I finally get an appointment with a G.I. specialist next week.

In the mean time, I'm trying to keep up with everything as best I can.  I still have a ton of school work to do, meetings to attend, Zumba® to teach, and friends to see.  Being a social butterfly is pretty difficult during finals, and almost impossible when you are this sick.  I am attempting to push the impossible by hosting a potluck dinner tonight with my friends from VWM Fall 2010 (my study abroad program in Madrid).

We normally try to make Spanish dishes, or as close as we can come to them, anyway.  Last time, I made Tarta de Santiago.  This time, I thought it would be fun to do some holiday-themed dishes.  I decided to mix holiday and Spain, and make the Spanish Roscón de Reyes, a sweet yeast bread normally eaten on January 6th, Día de los Reyes (Kings' Day).

Roscón de Reyes
Recipe adapted from here.

1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 Tbs orange zest
2 1/2 tsp. (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, (room temperature)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Olive oil (for greasing pan)
1/2 cup candied fruit (I used colored pineapple)

Heat milk to lukewarm and add the yeast.  Let stand for 5 minutes until bubbly.  Do not use hot milk, it will kill the yeast.
Grind together sugar and orange zest in food processor until uniform.
Stir together butter, orange sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and salt with a wooden spoon.
Mixture will not be uniform when you are done.
Add a cup and a half of flour and stir with spoon.  Add another cup and a half and then mix by hand.  Add up to 1 additional cup of flour, just until dough is no longer sticky.  Cover and place bowl in warm spot and let rise 1-2 hours.
Punch down dough and place it on a floured surface.  Roll it into a long log.
Place the log on a greased baking sheet (I recommend a pizza pan) and join the ends to form a ring.
If you like, you can hide a small trinket inside.
Place into oven on its lowest setting with a bowl of water.  Let rise another hour until doubled in size.
Brush with beaten egg and then decorate with fruit.
Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
I apologize that the pictures and the final product aren't prettier.  I wasn't feeling well and I was rushing to throw it together.  The dough rose a little too much on the small cookie sheet, and it became one big lump instead of a ring (it's suppose to be like a king's crown).
Throw powdered sugar around it as desired.  None of the true Spanish Roscones were ever meticulously decorated.  The sugar and fruit were always thrown rather haphazardly on top, so I tried to stay loyal to Spanish tradition.
Then the idea is to cut it up and everyone takes a piece.  Everyone breaks it open to see if they have the prize.  If they do, they get to wear a crown!  We might implement this at our potluck tonight...

I'm not really a happy camper given all my medical issues right now, and since baking is how I cope, you can probably expect a lot of posts from me in the next few days...

Here's wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy finals week!
Love and cookies,

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