Tuesday, February 16, 2010

King Cake

Especially for Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras:
If you've never baked yeast bread before, you may want to find another more detailed recipe with more detailed instructions. The recipe below is somewhat abbreviated:

Makes 2 King Cakes:
Dissolve 4-1/2 tsps. dry yeast in 2/3 c. warm water mixed with 1 T. sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, add 1/4 c. melted butter & 1 C. warm milk.

In a large bowl, combine both liquids. Add:
1/2 C. white sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
5-1/2 cups white flour (a little at a time, making a pliable dough)

Mix well, knead for 5 minutes until smooth & elastic. Turn dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel & let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Make filling: In a bowl, combine & mix well, set aside:
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter

When dough is ready, divide in half. Roll onto a floured board into 2 rectangles, approx. 8" X 20". Spread half the filling onto one end (the long way) and roll up - jelly roll style - tightly. Form into a ring, sealing the ends firmly. At this time, you CAN (not mandatory) 'HIDE' a little, tiny BOY figurine under/inside the dough, concealing it completely.

Place the dough rings on 2 parchment covered baking pans. Cover lightly & let rise for 45 minutes.

Put sheets in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until tops are golden. Rotate sheets once halfway thru baking time.

Remove from oven. Let cool an hour and then brush with icing (1 C. powdered sugar mixed with 1 Tblsp. water), and then sprinkle with colored sugar (authentic colors: purple, yellow, green).

Whoever gets the piece with the baby inside, gets good luck along with it!

For more information about King Cakes: