The Fouace, Fougasse or Fouée is a Western France specialty shaped into crown. Very popular in Spain and Mexico known as Rosca de Reyes. Their origins date back to the Middle Ages, but their popularity swelled in the 16th Century. It is basically a low-fat brioche dough, sweeter, and traditionally flavored with orange blossom water and citrus zests and topped with caster or pearl sugar. During the holiday season they are stuffed and garnished with candied cédrat lemon, orange peel, Angelica sticks. For this recipe, use candied lemon, mandarin oranges…Granulated or pearl sugar. Small trinket / fève, originally hidden in the cake, (optional).
In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix ingredients on low to combine. Set speed to medium high, and mix for 6 min more. Cover mixer bowl with a wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Leave to ferment for 3 hours.
When starter is ready, add remaining ingredients (except butter) and mix on low to for 3 min. Set speed to medium-high and continue mixing for 8 min. Add butter and mix for 10 min more or until smooth and dough comes off the bowl. The internal temperature of the dough should reach 75/80ºF (24/26ºC). Cover dough and chill overnight. Flour work surface and divide dough into 1.8lb./800g portions. Flatten and fold corners toward the center with max pressure to form a tight and thick disk; flip and shape into a tight round. Cover and let rest the balls for 20 min. Flour each round, flatten a bit and make a hole in the center with your elbow – gently stretch out and let rest again. Repeat with the other rounds going back and forth observing resting time in between to prevent from tearing. The hole should measure 5”/13cm diameter. Place each crown on a baking tray lined with silicon mat or parchment paper and flatten with the palm of your hand. Freeze the 2 other crowns to stop proofing.
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for about 2 hours. Egg wash and decorate with sugar and candied fruits.
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Bake king cake for 30 min (one at the time). After baking, decorate with more candied fruits. Enjoy!