The vegan version of Dreikönigsbrot
Dreikönigsbrot is a European treat you can expect to see in every baker and grocery store bakery on or a bit before January 6th of every year. In English we’ve named the day “Epiphany Day” which marked the first visit of the three kings to baby Jesus, and was also the day Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Known and celebrated as the oldest christian holiday, since the 2nd century, it’s a day of celebration around the world.
Today, many religious folk jump into icy waters, some assemble at elaborate parades, and other’s just get the day off. In Mexico it’s noted they celebrate with a bread that has a small hidden, plastic figurine. One that is said to resemble Jesus, inserted in the rolls.
The king and the crown
In Switzerland, the tradition is very similar. We buy this bread shaped in a round circle, with 5 individual rolls. But there’s one lucky roll that will also have the plastic ‘king’ figurine in it. Along with the bread comes a golden crown made from cardboard. He who picks the lucky piece of bread with the figurine is lucky and gets to wear the crown for the day.
Always a special morning in our house too. The kids would race to the breakfast table every January 6th in pursuit of good luck. Good luck, and the time-honored tradition of wearing the golden crown for the day. Sadly, there can only be 1 king or queen for the day. But with a good attitude, everyone is happy after eating the delicious bread.
It all sounds like a lovely story with a happy ending…but first, I had to find the happy ending here. This bread was no where to be found in vegan form, and I felt this was simply too lovely a tradition to abort. As it’s a bread which is light, airy and made with butter, milk and eggs.
Motivated in believing anything is possible, I found this recipe with one search. Maybe this was my divine day, as while pursuing a vegan recipe for this bread, I not only found the recipe, but I found a whole new community of Swiss vegans! Though I don’t have the plastic figurine nor the golden crown, it didn’t matter…this was going to be my day of manifestation. A deliciously wonderful recipe! I in fact, outdid myself with this bread. As it turns out, I saved our Epiphany day and with the help of Vegan Gesellschaft/Schweiz Dreikönigskuchen, and in addition, I found a great resource!
- 500 grams flour
- 20 grams fresh yeast
- 300 ml oat milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 50 grams syrup or agave
- 80 grams plant butter
- 80 grams raisins
- 1-2 pinches cacao nibs or slivered almonds just as a topper
- in a sauce pan, warm the milk, syrup and butter
- prep your yeast with a small amount of warm water, until it's a smooth paste
- add dry ingredients, together with the wet and yeast and raisins.
- the dough will be gooey, just place a warm towel over and let it rise, about 2 hours.
- once dough has risen, on a floured surface, divide the dough into equal balls.
- form balls, placing them in sequence in a circle pattern right next to one another
- warm a small amount of additional syrup on the stove with a bit of water (small equal amounts, enough to brush on the dough). Brush on the dough
- brush evenly over each roll
- traditionally, this recipes calles for slivered almonds, but I used cacao nibs to top off the rolls
- bake in a hot oven @ 200 Celsius, for about 30 minutes, or until golden and baked (not a heavy bake, more a light bake)
- break a part and eat!