Gingerbread house part 2 should have already been posted here! but unfortunately  my laptop computer with all the gingerbread photos has chosen to crash! until I have it back, the gingerbread post is on hold.

Yesterday I made a bread called ‘Bolo-Rei’ to celebrate the feast of the Three Kings (the Epiphany). Its a tradition to eat Bolo-Rei (which means Kings cake)  in Portugal to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.

Luckily the bread turned out beautifully, and I plan to make it every year.

What you need:

  • 100g glace citrus peel, chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 100ml port
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 100ml water (luke warm)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon & 1 orange, zested.
  • 3 eggs, beaten

and for the topping:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 10 glace cherries
  • 25g glace citrus peel
  • extra sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • apricot jam

Step 1: Put the glace peel, raisins, pine nuts and port into a bowl, mix lightly and leave to soak overnight.

Step 2: Sprinkle the yeast over the luke-warm water in a small bowl. Leave it without mixing for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. 

Step 3: Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted water then using a wooden spoon mix in a little of the flour until the yeasted water becomes a soft paste. 

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave until the soft paste becomes frothy and slightly risen. It should take about 20 minutes.

Step 4: In a new bowl – Beat the softened butter (you can soften it for ~10 seconds in the microwave) with the sugar and lemon and orange zest until it is light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg is added.

Mix the egg/butter mixture into the soft paste, slowly incorporating  the flour until you have a soft dough.

Step 5: Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and place your dough on it.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until it is soft and smooth and fairly elastic.

Push the dough down into a circle, and sprinkle on the port-soaked peel, raisins and pine nuts. Fold the dough in half, and knead for another 2-3 minutes.  You may want to knead the fruits into the dough in two separate lots.  

Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover it with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 2 hours, or until it has roughly doubled in size.  If your kitchen is cold and the dough isn’t rising as quickly as it should, place a warmish hot water bottle (covered by a tea towel) underneath your bowl.

Step 6: Once your dough is risen, knock it back by punching it, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.   

Take the dough out of the bowl and press down into a circle, about 2.5cm thick.  Taking your hand press the heel end of it into the centre, pushing down until you have made a hole in the middle of the dough.  Take your fingers and push the dough inside and out until it is in a nice ring shape.  


Place the dough onto a buttered baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in thickness, which should take about 1 hour.

Step 7: To make the egg glaze, combine 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water, mix until it is well combined and brush the glaze over the dough. This will make it have a lovely golden colour when it it baked.

Decorate the dough with the cherries, peel and some sugar.

Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 45 minutes, or until it is golden.

Step 8: Warm some apricot jam up in either your microwave or a saucepan, and brush over the top and sides of the bread.

Leave your Bolo-Rei to cool on a rack or eat it hot! 🙂

This recipe was originally found in ‘bread’a wonderful book!  however the version written here is my own interpretation of their recipe.