The Day of Kings (el Dia de Reyes), or Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6 to commemorate the day the magi arrived bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. The Day of the Kings is observed by Latin cultures with the making and eating of a rosca de reyes, a sweet yeast bread similar to Louisiana's King cake, with a hidden tiny plastic baby (or a dried bean), representing the baby Jesus, inside. If you get the slice with the "baby", you will have good luck all year. The Solo filling is generally found in the supermarket near the pie fillings. From the Texas Monthly magazine. Prep time includes rising time.
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter or 1 cup Crisco, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups flour (may need up to 8 cups)
- 1 (12 ounce) cansolo almond filling (Substitute Danish - Almond Filling, marzipan or the jam of your choice if you can't find the Solo Almond Filli)
- 2 dried beans (for the babies)
- colored sugar sprinkle (optional) or candied fruit (optional)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- Combine yeast and water in a small bowl, stirring until dissolved, and set aside until yeast is proofed.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, sugar, and butter, stirring until dissolved.
- Add the salt, eggs, and yeast mixture and blend thoroughly.
- Beat in 3 cups of flour to make a smooth batter Add additional flour to make a soft dough (dough will be very sticky).
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead approximately 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
- Dough may be made with a standing mixer and dough hook.
- Round into a ball and place in a warm buttered bowl, turning to lightly coat top with some of the butter.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
- Punch down the dough and divide in half.
- To prepare rings, divide dough in half and flatten into a long oval.
- Spread 1/2 can of Solo almond filling on each oval, place one bean into each oval, and roll each piece into a rope.
- Join ends together leaving large oval hole in the middle.
- Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- While the bread is rising, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake rings for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.
- Remove and let loaves cool on wire racks.
- Icing: Mix all the icing ingredients together until fluffy and well blended.
- To serve, frost cooled loaves with icing.
- Decorate with different colored sugars or candied fruit.