January 6th, 2013

Three Kings Bread


On of attractions in cologne is the shrine of the holy three kings in the cologne cathedral. The story how this relic was brought is not a nice one. They were part of the loot that Barbarossa take from Milan. The shrine attracted since then pilgrims to cologne and due to many people that came to see it, the decision to build the cathedral was made.

But something like the three kings bread (german: Dreikönigskuchen) is not know here. When I saw the bread that Claudia baked, I had to know more about this swiss tradition. And so I started reading and learned that it is an old tradition that was resurrect in Swiss during the fifties.

The Bread is made of the sweet dough, and shaped as a flower. A small figure, a bean or an almond is hidden in the bread and who finds this will be the king for one day. That is a niece tradition.

For my Three kings bread I choose a sweet dough like for a challah, containing some orange juice which adds a niece flavour to the dough. The vitamin C in the orange juice helps to strengthen the gluten network and so the bread could rise very nicely. For a more complex taste I added some Lievito madre, too. The bread tasted very good, sweet and fluffy, perfect for our breakfast on Sunday.

Three Kings Bread


  • 500 g flour Typ 550
  • 150g Lievito madre
  • 100 g Milk
  • 80g fresh orange juice
  • grated orange peel (of 1/4 Orange)
  • 10 g fresh yeast
  • 10 g Salt
  • 120 g Egg (two Eggs Size L)
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g Butter
  • 1 almond


  • 1 Egg
  • 30g sliced almonds

Dissolve the yeast in milk, then knead in the kitchen machine with orange juice, egg, salt,  flour and Lievito madre for 5 min at slow speed and 8 min at high speed. Because sugar inhibits the gluten development, the sugar is added just now. Add the sugar in four increments and knead in between always for 1 min. At last add the butter all at once and knead until the butter is completely incooperated.

Ferment for one hour.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces of 100g and form them into balls. The remaining dough (about 300g) is shaped into a ball, too. Hide the almond in one of the balls. Place now the big ball in the middle of a paper lined baking tray and arrange the small balls around it as petals of the flower.

Proof for 1 hours.

After proofing brush again with egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake at 175°C for about 35 – 40 min with steam.

I sent this entry to Yeastspotting, Susans weekly showcase of yeast baked good.

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4 thoughts on Three Kings Bread

  1. Reka January 10th, 2013

    Hallo Schatz,

    du weist, dass ich nichts Essbares wegwerfen kann. Könnte ich nicht alle geteilten Vorteige zuende gären lassen und dann die Portionen eingefrieren. Dann hätte ich, ohne lange Wartezeiten einen fertigen Lievito madre. Was bewirkt denn das Vitamin C und last not least : Wo ist unsere Kostprobe. 🙂

    Deine hungrige Mutter.

    1. Stefanie January 11th, 2013

      @Mama: Zu Frage 1: Das kann man machen, ich würde den Lievito madre nach dem Auftauen aber mindestens 1 Tag lang füttern, da nicht alle Mikororganismen das Einfrieren überleben werden.
      Zu Frage 2: Vitamin C stärkt das Glutengerüst, die Chemie dahinter muss ich aber auch nochmal nachlesen.
      Zu Frage 3: Eingefroren 🙂 Ihr müsst also nur vorbeikommen 😀

  2. sin-die-weck-weg December 30th, 2015

    Hallo Stefanie,
    heute habe ich diesen Teig in einer veganen Variante (ohne Ei, mit Sojamilch, Magarine) als Grundteig für Heferosen. Neben anderem Verhalten beim Kneten (was aber auch mit meiner neuen Küchenmaschine zu tun haben kann – habe ich genauer auf meinem Blog beschrieben) ist der Teig ewig nicht braun geworden! Obwohl doch Zucker drin ist… Verstehe ich überhaupt nicht, hast du eine Idee, wieso?


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