Across the globe, many people celebrate the New Year with a Rosca de Reyes, also known as a King’s Cake. This classic sweet pastry or bread is a crowd pleaser and colorfully decorated with candied fruits.Traditionally served on Three Kings Day in commemoration of the three Wise Men.
1.Sprinkle yeast over warm water in small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of the butter to warm milk in medium bowl; stir until melted. Set aside.
2.Meanwhile, mix 2 cups of the flour, remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 4 of the eggs, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and salt in large mixer bowl with dough hook attachment 1 minute on low speed or until well blended. Add yeast mixture, milk and butter mixture, and orange extract; beat 2 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups of the remaining flour, beating for 2 minutes. (Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.) Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Dough should not feel dry but soft and slightly tacky.)
3.Place dough in buttered or oiled bowl. Roll dough in bowl and turn greased side up. Cover bowl with buttered or oiled plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm, draft -free place, such as inside of microwave oven or turned off oven. Let dough stand 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.
4.Meanwhile, beat remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and confectioners' sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and egg yolk; beat to form a smooth paste. Divide in 6 equal pieces. Wrap with plastic wrap. Set aside.
5.When dough has almost doubled in size, punch down to remove air. With floured hands, remove from bowl onto floured surface. Knead a few times then shape into a ball. Roll dough into a 40–inch long by 2-inch wide log. Place on large parchment-lined baking sheet. (Optional: at this time you can also mix in/fill dough with candied fruit). Bring ends of dough together to form a large oval ring. With wet hands, press to seal ends. Cover with clean kitchen towel. Place baking sheet in slightly warm, draft-free place. Let dough stand 1 to 2 hours longer or until almost doubled in size.
6.Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat remaining egg until well blended. Brush dough ring with beaten egg.Roll pieces of confectioners’ sugar mixture into 3-inch long by 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Arrange strips decoratively on dough ring. Garnish with candied fruit pieces and sliced almonds as desired.
7.Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and dough sounds hollow when tapped. Cool completely on wire rack.Yield: 1 Large Cake/Loaf, 24 servings.
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