The Red Robing class baked Three Kings Bread this week. This bread is traditionally made in some cultures around the time of a holiday called Epiphany. The bread is made in a ring to symbolize the crowns that the kings wore. We decorated the bread with candied fruit we called the "jewels" on the crowns.
1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup dried candied pineapple, cut into strips, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup candied orange peel, cut into strips, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup candied lemon peel, cut into strips, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries, plus more whole for garnish
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, divided
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water; stir to blend. Let stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
In a small pot, warm the milk over medium heat. Add the sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
In a large bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 eggs, yeast mixture, milk mixture, and candied fruits, mixing very well until the dough gathers into a ball, if the dough is too wet, add additional flour, a little at a time, if needed to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it's smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Put the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface. Using your palms, roll the dough into a long rope. Shape the coil into a ring, sealing the ends together onto the prepared baking pan.
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash, and brush the top of the bread.
Decoratively garnish the top of the bread with more candied fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden.
Cool on a wire rack before slicing.