Chapter Nine: September

30 grams fresh yeast
1 1/4 kilos flour
8 eggs
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. orange blossom water
1 1/2 cups milk
300 grams sugar
300 grams butter
250 grams candied fruit
1 porcelain doll

Break up the yeast in 1/4 kilo of flour using your hands or a fork and adding 1/2 cup of warm milk a little at a time. When the ingredients are well blended, knead briefly, form into a ball and let rest. Let it grow to double its size.

Use a kilo of flour to form a well on the table. Place all of the ingredients in the center of this well and begin kneading starting in the center and gradually adding a little of the flour from the well until all the flour has been incorporated.

When the leavened dough has risen to twice its size, combine it with this other dough, blending them perfectly until the dough comes off your hands easily.

Use a scraper to remove any dough that has stuck to the table. Place the dough in a deep container that has been greased. Cover with a napkin and wait for it to rise to double its size. It takes approximately 2 hours for this. It has to rise three times before it goes in the oven.

When the dough has doubled in size for the 2nd time, remove it from the container, place it on the table, and form it into a strip. If you wish, you may place some candied fruit down the middle. If not, place the porcelain doll at random anywhere. Roll up the strip, joining one edge to the other. Place the bread seam down on a greased and floured baking sheet. Form a ring with the dough, leaving enough space between the edge of the sheet and the dough since it has to rise in size one more time.

After the bread has doubled in size the third time, decorate it with candied fruit, glaze it with a beaten egg and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake in oven for 20 minutes and let it cool.

Three Kings' Day Bread