With Easter just a few days away, I thought I'd repost my original recipe for Rosca de Pascua, the traditional ring-shaped bread-like cake served in Argentina at this time of year. Easter marks the end of the Lenten season-- the beginning of which we marked by celebrating the Tres Reyes and eating its signature cake--the Rosca de Reyes--the Rosca de Pascua's cousin.
Next year I'd like to make Rosca de Pascua and finally get around to baking it with the hard-boiled eggs nestled in the top of the ring. After baking, the real eggs are removed and replaced with life-sized chocolate eggs.
But not this year--my suitcase is laid out on the bedroom floor, steadily being filled with things I'll need to take on my trip to Argentina. This Easter, we'll be eating Rosca de Pascua at my in-laws' house in Mendoza! I can't wait to see what homemade treats my suegra Florencia is cooking up for us.
I'm excited to see how they interpret the holiday in Argentina--what delicious, traditional foods are served, and whether they, like us, dye eggs, hunt for them, and eat truckloads of chocolate. I'm bringing along some chocolate bunnies from home for the kiddos just in case!
And of course I'll be sharing all my adventures in Argentina with you along the way--stay tuned!
Facebook:Rebecca Caro or the From Argentina With Love group page, and twitter @RebeccaCaro.
Rosca de Pascua
Easter Bread Ring
For the Bread:
3 tablespoons yeast
3/4 cup warm water
pinch of sugar
1 lemon, zested
1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten, to paint the top of the bread
For the pastry cream:
2 egg yolks
1 cup warm water
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons corn starch
a dash of vanilla
In the bowl of a stand mixer, swish around some warm water to warm the bowl. Dump the water, then add in the 3/4 cup water, the yeast and the sugar and dissolve. Let sit for about 15 minutes, until the yeast is risen and bubbling. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the lemon zest, butter, vanilla, 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk, egg, and beat together. Add to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 5 minutes. Add in the flour a cup at a time, mixing to incorporate, until you have added all 4 cups. You will be left with a sticky, dense dough. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, set in a warm place covered with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour.
After the hour is up, punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl. Put it on a floured and oiled counter top and roll in to a long, even cylinder. I found it easier to do two smaller cylinders and connect them at either end to make the ring, but you can do it either way. You can use a buttered and floured ring pan, a bundt pan, or (as we did) a rimmed round pizza pan with an empty 28 oz. can in the center. (Empty the contents of the can first, clean out, remove both ends and the label. Butter and flour the part of the can that will touch the dough) Lay the cylinders of dough out on the pan to form a ring. Cover with a towel, set in a warm place, and let rise 2 hours more.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start the pastry cream--heat the egg yolks, water, sweetened condensed milk and corn starch in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. As the mixture gets hotter and comes to a boiling point, stir more rapidly. As it starts to thicken, remove it from heat. The consistency should be like a pudding, not thick enough to stand on its own. Stir in the vanilla.
Spoon the pastry cream onto the top of the ring of bread. It will ooze over the edges, that's ok. Paint the remaining space of the bread with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the bread is a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Decorate with confectioner's sugar and sliced Maraschino cherries.