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Couronne De L'Épiphanie (Spanish Epiphany Bread)

To end our Feast of Befana I made a Couronne De L'Épiphanie (Spanish Epiphany Bread).

To make the bread...

3 C white whole wheat flour
1/3 C olive oil
1/3 C organic raw sugar
2 t active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
2 eggs
1 T rhubarb liqueur (the traditional recipe calls for brandy)
1 T rosewater (the traditional recipe calls for orange flower water)
pinch of salt
1 egg white, beaten
powdered sugar
sliced almonds

Place warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Add in all of the other ingredients, mixing till the dough comes together. Knead until the dough becomes even smoother and more elastic. Grease the bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in volume. Place the dough on a floured surface, knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Roll the dough into a long sausage-shape. Place on a baking sheet, forming the dough into a circle; join the two ends by pinching the dough together. Let rest another 90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in volume; brush the crown with the beaten egg white, decorate with the almonds and slices of candied citrus peel, pressing them down so that they stick to the dough. Preheat oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is cooked and golden. Place on a rack and let cool.

When I was ready to serve, I tucked a glass pig into the ring. The piggy prize: a chocolate-covered marzipan pig all the way from Denmark from Zia Rikke. Mange tak.

Jake found the pig, but since marzipan is not his favorite, we all got a piece. Buona Befana!


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