"Bolo Rei" (literally, King Cake) is a traditional Portuguese cake, which is usually eaten around Christmas until the "Dia de Reis" (literally, Day of Kings, as a reference to the three wise men) on January 6th.
Within the Bolo Rei, mixed with the white, soft dough, are; raisins, various nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.), and crystallized fruit. Also included is the characteristic "fava", tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo rei next year. Included is also a porcelain trinket and whoever finds it will earn the crown and be King (or Queen) for one day.
- 100g candied citrus peel, chopped
- 50g raisins
- 50g pine nuts
- 10ml Port wine
- 2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 100ml water (luke warm)
- 1250g flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 dried fava bean and small trinket
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- 10 candied cherries
- 2 segments candied orange peel
- 2 segments candied lemon peel
- 2 segments candied lime peel
- Lump sugar, crushed, for garnish
- Apricot jam, for glaze
To prepare bread:
- Soak citrus peel, raisins and pine nuts in Port overnight or until plump.
- Sprinkle yeast into water in bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.
- Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in center and pour in dissolved yeast.
- Use wooden spoon to draw enough flour into dissolved yeast to form soft paste.
- Cover bowl with dish towel and let stand until "sponge" is frothy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes.
- In separate bowl, beat butter with sugar and lemon and orange zests until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition.
- Add mixture to flour mixture and mix in flour from sides to form soft dough.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface.
- Knead until soft, smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Knead in dried fruit and pine nuts until evenly distributed.
- Place dough into clean bowl and cover with dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Punch down, then let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into ring and place on buttered baking sheet.
- Wrap dried fava bean and trinket separately in wax paper. Insert tiny packages into bottom of shaped dough in different places.
- Cover with dish towel and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
To prepare topping:
- Brush dough with egg glaze and decorate with candied fruit and crushed sugar.
- Bake at 180°C - 200°C. 45 minutes until golden.
- Warm apricot jam in saucepan over low heat until melted, then brush top and sides of bread with jam.
- Cool on wire rack.