Desserts and sweets

Focaccia della Befana

Focaccia della Befana


  • Half
  • 60 minutes
  • For 10 people
  • 0.5 € / person
  • 302kcal per 100g.

How to make Italian focaccia della Befana or roscón de Reyes.

As in Spain, Roscón de Reyes is eaten on January 6 , in Italy you can enjoy the Focaccia della Befana .

The traditional Italian sweet with which it closes at Christmas , originating in the Piedmont region. It is a tender and soft bun similar to brioche , perfect for breakfast if we accompany it with coffee, hot chocolate , a glass of milk or a cup of tea, that is never missing.

La Focaccia della Befana has a striking and beautiful form of flower petals 16 . Inside a coin hides and, according to legend, whoever finds it will be lucky throughout the year. Here is another similarity with our Roscón.

La Befana is a very popular character in Italy. This is the good witch who brings gifts to Italian children on behalf of the Magi. She looks like a classic witch, with her conical cap, broom, and warts on her nose.

According to the legend, when the Three Kings were looking for the Portal of Bethlehem, they asked Befana where she was and she could not tell them and threw them out in a bad way. Repenting, Befana started looking for the baby Jesus to bring him gifts, but since she couldn’t find him, she decided to give gifts to all the little children.

Today the Witch Befana visits Italian homes every January 6, distributing gifts just as the Three Kings do in Spain. We encourage you to prepare this famous focaccia, whether on its traditional date or not, because it is delicious.

Preparation of the Focaccia della Befana dough

  1. In a large bowl, put the flour and add the brown sugar and the dry baker’s yeast. We mix.
  2. We heat the milk with the butter, until the latter is completely melted.
  3. We can do it in the microwave, heating the milk for 30 seconds and adding the butter afterwards so that it melts with the heat of it.
  4. We make a hole in the center of the flour, brown sugar and dry baker’s yeast mixture and pour the liquid ingredients inside.
  5. Stir with a spoon or fork while adding a little of the flour on the sides.
  6. Then we add the eggs and continue mixing and incorporating more and more flour.
  7. When the mixture is impossible to handle in the bowl, we put it on the counter and knead until all the ingredients are incorporated and we have a homogeneous, smooth and soft dough.
  8. We ball and put it back in the bowl, which we have thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Raised and shape the Focaccia della Befana

  1. Let it rise, covered with a clean kitchen cloth, for about 4 hours or until it has doubled in volume.
  2. We degas the dough by pressing it with our fist and knead for a minute, maximum.
  3. We place the dough on a silicone mat or vegetable paper and, with the help of a roller, we stretch it in a circle.
  4. We cut the disc into 16 equal parts, leaving the center free, and hide the coin in the dough (optional), in the widest part.
  5. We turn each piece twice on itself and cover again with a clean kitchen cloth. Let it rest for about half an hour.

Baking and final presentation of sweet focaccia

  1. Brush with a little milk at room temperature, sprinkle with pearl sugar and transfer to a baking tray.
  2. We introduce in the oven, preheated to 180º C with heat up and down and the bun in the center of the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  3. We remove the tray from the oven and let it warm on a rack.
  4. We serve warm or wait for it to cool completely, although in the first way it is much more delicious.

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

Tips for a perfect Focaccia della Befana

  • This is a very manageable and grateful dough. It always works well, but it is important that all the ingredients are at room temperature so that there are no mistakes.
  • As we always warn, the raising time is indicative. It will depend on the ambient temperature. Ideally, the place where the dough rests is around 25-26º C and there are no currents.
  • In winter, when the houses are cold, try turning the oven on to a minimum, turning off and putting the dough inside.
  • Focaccia della befana can be frozen either whole or portioned in “petals”. Well wrapped in plastic wrap it will last a couple of months.
  • As with the Roscón de Reyes and its surprise, inserting a coin into the dough is optional.

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