Desserts and sweets

Bolo Rei. The Portuguese roscón

Bolo Rei. The Portuguese roscón


  • Half
  • 90 minutes
  • For 10 people
  • 0.7 € / person
  • 332kcal per 100g.

How to make a Rei bololo or Portuguese roscón.

The Bolo Rei is a Christmas dessert , one of the traditional Portuguese Christmas preparations that is very reminiscent, especially in appearance, of our Roscón de Reyes .

It is customary, as in Spain, to consume the Bolo Rei on January 6, when it is not lacking in any Portuguese house, accompanied by a bowl of good coffee, chocolate or milk.

The elaboration of the Bolo Rei is very reminiscent of the Roscón de Reyes, but the Bolo Rei differs from the latter in that the dough is enriched with raisins and assorted nuts and flavored with Port wine (not orange blossom water or citrus zest) ).

This makes the Bolo Rei have a touch of flavor and texture different from that of our classic roscón, but equally spectacular.

It is a luxurious brioche- style cake to start the Three Kings’ Day in the company of the family and to share the previous afternoon after the ride. The Bolo Rei is not filled with cream, truffle or similar creams, which makes it the perfect candidate for dipping in milk or coffee.

It has all the ballots to become your favorite Christmas bun , you just have to try to do it once and you will fall into their networks.

Preparation of the Bolo Rei preferment

  1. The first thing to do is prepare the sponge, which is nothing more than a pre-ferment used in bakery that aims to enhance the organoleptic qualities of bread or, as in this case, pastries. 
  2. With preference a tastier and more aromatic result is obtained and, since it does not cost anything to prepare, we have encouraged ourselves to do so.
  3. To make the sponge we mix the milk, which has to be warm (we can heat it for a few seconds in the microwave), with the sugar, the dry baker’s yeast and the flour.
  4. The result is a very dry dough that you have to work a couple of minutes to amalgamate.
  5. Then we shape it into a ball and put it in a bowl covered with warm water. Let it sit in a warm place until the ball rises to the surface.

Kneading and resting the bolus rei

  1. While the sponge rests, we macerate the sultana raisins in the Port wine in a bowl or glass. If we put it in the microwave for a few seconds, the maceration will be faster.
  2. When the sponge is ready we remove it from the water, draining well, and proceed with the preparation of the dough.
  3. We mix the warm milk with the yeast to dissolve it a little, stirring and leaving it to rest for a few minutes.
  4. In a deep container we sift the flour. Add the egg, sugar, a pinch of salt, the butter in pieces (at room temperature), mix the milk with the yeast and the wine to marinate the sultana grapes.
  5. Mix before adding the well-drained sponge. Knead on a clean work surface until smooth.

Rest and shape of the bolus rei

  1. We chop the dried fruits that we are going to use and incorporate them into the dough together with the sultanas macerated in Porto. Knead again so that they are well integrated into the dough.
  2. Grease a large bowl with a pinch of oil and place the dough in it.
  3. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about six hours. We can place it near a radiator.
  4. When the dough has doubled its volume it will have an elastic texture and we can give it a donut shape.

Baking and presentation of the bolus rei

  1. We place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. We butter the outside of a ramekin, a flannel, a plating ring or any other oven-resistant object and place it in the center. With this, if the dough rises with the next leaven, we will prevent the hole from closing.
  3. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours or until its volume doubles.
  4. Once ready, brush the surface and sides with beaten egg, place the cut fruit pieces and the rolled almond on top and cover with sugar moistened with a little water.
  5. We cook in the central position of the oven, previously heated to 180ºC (up and down, traditional heat), for about 20 minutes.
  6. We remove and let cool on a metal rack before cutting and serving.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for the bolo rei . Do not miss any detail so that it is delicious.

Tips for a Bolo Rei with a yummy

  • The dry fruits that the dough carries can be adapted to the taste of each one or to those that we have available at home. If you like to find stumbles, then don’t bite them too much.
  • As soon as the bolus rei is golden, remove from the oven and let it finish cooking with the rest until cool. This makes it juicier.
  • Although it lasts very well from one day to the next (if we keep it in an airtight container) it is better to eat it at the moment.
  • Leftovers (if any) can be frozen. We cut the bolus rei into portions and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Then, when you feel like a bolo rei, we just have to take out a portion and that’s it.
  • We place the bolus rei in the central position of the oven so that heat reaches it from above and below in equal amounts.

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