This bread is more like a cake and is traditionally cooked on the 12th day of Christmas (6th January). Since I was up to “L” in my list of countries and it was Christmas time, I decided to bake the bread for Christmas day.
This cake is like many other “three kings” cakes where there is a small prize inserted into the cake so it can be found by a surprised eater who is then crowned king or queen for the day. In our house, it was my daughter who happened to be served that piece. Wink wink.
- Recipe chosen for dreikönigskuchen
- Cooking method: Oven
- Faithfulness to recipe: Mostly. I used rosehip jam instead of apricot jam as I found we had run out at the last minute. I also didn’t bother with the demerara sugar.
- Met expectations? Yes. It was quite easy to prepare, rose within the expected times and was a lovely sweet bread for Christmas day.
- Would cook again? Yes,
- The taste test rated on a score of 5: 4.5. My husband wanted to rate it a 5, but remembering those croissants, I couldn’t.
- 4- 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm milk, preferably whole
- 1 egg
- 113 g butter, softened (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 tsp orange thinly stripped zest
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon thinly stripped zest
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 almondEgg wash:
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp waterCoating:
- 1/8 cup apricot jam
- 1 Tbsp hot water
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- Leave the almond, egg wash and coating aside for later.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer like I did), beat together all ingredients except for the almond, egg wash, and coating.
- Once a soft, smooth ball forms, set it aside to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take about 2-3 hours. Be sure to cover it and place in a warm spot >20C.
- After the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces, one a little larger than the rest.
- Roll each piece into a ball and arrange the 7 smaller balls around the slightly larger one on a sheet pan, forming a flower. Let rise another 3o minutes, then brush with the egg wash.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C. Prepare the glaze by mixing the apricot jam with a tablespoon of hot water.
- Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
- Once cooked, take them out of the oven and brush with several coats of apricot glaze and sprinkle with the coarse sugar, as desired.
- For fun: next, add a real crown. You can make one out of a brown paper bag or, if you may happen to have a toy one hanging around like we did.
- Once the bread is cool enough to handle, poke an almond into the bottom of one of the rolls.
- Serve and allow the person who finds the almond to be the appointed king or queen for the rest of the day.
There are also some more pictures with the recipe.