Tuesday, March 8, 2011

King Cake For Mardi Gras!

This is the larger of 2 cakes that I baked last night from 2 pounds of dough I'd made in the afternoon. This one went to work with me. The smaller one is at home. 

The dough is brioche, the filling cinnamon sugar and the glaze made from confectioner's sugar, vanilla and milk.  Without the colored sugar, it's a great treat anytime of the year!

The dough came from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes , which I love so much that I bought it, and which I highly recommend you get a hold of at your library--odds are you'll buy it after that.

You can see step by step pictures for how to do this HERE at their website. They use a different filling and did colored piping on the top--nice, but I'm no pastry chef.

No matter. The girls wowed this and the one I brought into work this morning is disappearing quickly!

King Cake/Brioche With Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
I did half oil, half butter. Tastes fine that way.
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.
Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.
Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.
Then place in your fridge and use for up to 3 days.
They may say longer, but I think this will take on that winey taste fermentation produces. Not nice in a sweet bread

1/ 4 of this dough will produce a small loaf--about the size of a dinner plate. The remaining 3/4 can be made into more loaves, or 1 big loaf if you're taking this to a party.

Cut off your dough piece and dust it with flour.
Place on a rolling surface, also dusted with flour.
You may need to knead in a little extra flour--I found this dough much stickier than the challah doughs I have worked with. I also found that the dough had some lumps where flour had not blended smoothly, so I kneaded it for a minute or two in my stand mixer. Making breads always depends on many factors and you have to go by your fingers!

Roll the dough out into a long 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Brush with a little melted butter or canola oil.

Sprinkle thickly with cinnamon sugar ( 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon shaken together, or you can buy it commercially).

Roll the dough up jelly roll style into a long roll. Fold it over in half, then half again.

Knead for a minute to blend the cinnamon sugar into the dough.

Shape the dough into a log. Then stretch it out gently into a long rope. Use your hands to pat and pull it. The dough will yield. If you are having trouble, let it sit for 5 minutes and then try some more.

Press the ends of the dough together so that it forms a ring.

Bake at 350 degrees. The small loaf will take 20-25 minutes, the big loaf takes 30-35.

Let cool completely. Then glaze with:

2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk--this is approximate. Use enough to form a smooth but not overly liquid glaze

If you are making this for Mardi Gras, you can sprinkle it with powdered colored sugar, or use icing pens.


  1. Lucky co-workers! Off to check the online library to see who has the book...

  2. Check their website as well. They give some of the recipes, especially if you search back a year or two, and if you have questions, make a comment, they will answer you almost immediately.
    Nice folks.

  3. I will bookmark their site! I have the book and have been flipping through tonight - I can't even wait to try lots of these. When I was a kid, my sister was already out of college and living back home, and she used to bake a lot of different breads. I had forgotten about Limpa all these years!



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