Twelfth Night Bread

Twelfth Night (Epiphanie) concludes the Christmas holidays and is traditionally celebrated with a big party closing the season.  At the feasts, people often eat a special bread or cake with a bean, coin, or figurine baked in it. The person getting the piece with the good luck token becomes the Twelfth Night King or Queen. In the Nrth of France, the tradtionis to make a “galette des rois” made of puff pastry and marzipan whereas in the south of France we make the “royaume” which a sort of orange blossom perfumed brioche.

Ingredients (for 2 small or 1 large loaf)

ingrédients pour réaliser le royaume

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 bags bread dry yeast
  • 140ml mixed lukewarm milk and water (half/half)
  • 75g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 2 eggs
  • 15ml rhum or brandy
  • 15ml orange blossom essence
  • 1 egg yolk
  • If you like: 100 to 200g candied fruit

To glaze:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom essence

To decorate:

  • A mixture of candied and glacé fruit slices
  • Caster sugar

Recipe

  1. Put the flour in a bowl, make an indent in the middle and add the other ingredients. Ideally, you should use a food processor or a bread machine. Important: when you mix the ingredients, do not put the yeast and salt in contact because salt “kills” yeast. Try yo put salt on the side of the bowl.
  2. Work the dough about 10-15 minutes to make it become very elastic.
  3. Leave to rise, covered, in a warm place, for one to two hours.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on your table, put the dough on it and knock it back during 2 or 3 minutes to release all the air.
  5. If you like candied fruit, had them now. Work the dough thouroughly to fully blend the fruit with the dough.
  6. Form two balls. With one of your fingers, make a hole in the middle of each dough ball and slowly stretch the dough to form the bread.
  7. Leave to rise covered with oiled plastic film, in a warm place, for about 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven (180°C).
  9. When the breads have risen,glaze them with the egg yolk. Put in the oven.
  10. After 20 minutes, take the breads out of the oven. Leave them to cool.
  11. When they are cool, mix the egg white with 2 tbsp orange blossom essence. Glaze the breads with it and then decorate with some candied and glacé fruit. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
  12. Do not foget to put a lucky charm in the bread before eating it….

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