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Catholic Recipe: Kings’ Bread Ring


  • 2 packages active dry, or cake, yeast
  • 2 tablespoons luke-warm water
  • 2/3 cup boiling hot milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups finely chopped candied fruits and citron
  • confectioners' sugar
  • milk
  • assorted fruits
  • Details

  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Mexico

Also Called: Rosca de Reyes

In various sections of Europe and Latin America a bread ring in honor of the three holy Kings is baked on the eve of the feast and eaten as coffee-bread or dessert on Epiphany Day. Its form represents the ancient Roman wreath (corona), a symbol of royalty.


Dissolve yeast in water. Blend hot milk, sugar, salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add softened yeast, eggs, shortening, 2 cups flour; blend well. Add remaining flour, fruits; mix to stiff dough. Divide dough into 2 sections; form 2 ropes about 20 inches long. Shape ropes into circles and conceal a tiny china doll in dough. Place on baking sheet; brush with melted shortening. Set aside to rise 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375°. Blend confectioners' sugar and milk to fondant consistency; spread on loaves. Decorate with fruits. Cool before slicing. Yield, 2 loaves

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965
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