Friday, January 11, 2013

Let's all go to the Mardi Gras

Oh wait!  We can't all go to New Orleans and pick up a King Cake.  We'll have to make them instead!

I promised King Cake today and I shall not fail!  My dough is rising, so let's get started with the basic recipe.  I will post the actual cake construction next (probably tomorrow).  I'll be taking pictures of the process, but have a Girl Scout event this evening and won't be able to post the final product until later.

But we'll eat it tonight, don't worry.  I could not, in good conscience, let a Friday go by without a taste of buttery, sugary goodness.

We'll start with the basic dough ingredients:

Yeast, water, scalded milk, salt, egg, sugar, flour and butter.  Mmmmm, butter.

There is some debate in the culinary world about the necessity of scalding milk in this age of pasteurization.  I will only say that I've been making King Cakes for nearly a decade and this is my favorite recipe because the dough is more pastry-like and less bread-like.  If scalding the milk helps, I will gladly spend five minutes doing so each Friday morning.  I followed the directions in this Allrecipes video.   

Does this magazine arrive unordered at anyone else's home?  Just wondering.

About two years ago, this quarterly magazine of King Arthur Flour recipes starting arriving in my mailbox.  I didn't order it and don't pay for it - which I actually reported to the company but they continue to send it anyway?  Well, who am I to ignore baking recipes?  I browsed this Spring 2012 issue and found the following recipe:

Karelian Cheese-Filled Buns

I can't pronounce it, but the recipe description says the dough is much like a traditional cheese danish.  That's the texture I remember experiencing with traditional bakery King Cakes back home.  I decided to give this dough a try and we really loved the outcome.  And since it's super easy - yippee for the bakers!

The 411:

King Cake (or Karelian) Dough

2 tsp instant yeast (I use Red Star)
1/4 c warm water
1 cup scaled milk, cooled to about 110F
1 tsp salt (I like Kosher)
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 sugar (be good, don't skimp)
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 cup butter, soft or melted

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, milk, salt, egg, sugar, and 2 cups of flour.  Mix with the paddle attachment to combine.  (Truth?  I am too lazy to clean the paddle AND the dough hook, so I use a whisk to combine these, then just use the dough hook.)  Add the butter and two more cups of flour, one at a time.  Mix on low speed until a stiff dough forms.  Knead with the dough hook about 5 minutes, adding a little flour if necessary to clean sides of bowl.  Turn the dough onto the counter and knead by hand for about 1 minute so that you can claim "labor intensive" process.  Place your beautiful dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with plastic and let rise until doubled - about an hour.  I let mine rise on the dryer while it's running.  Apparently, it makes the laundry room humid and the dough loves that.

Deflate the dough, turn it over, return to the bowl, cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Sweet, pliable goodness!

Visit me tomorrow for the next installment: Rolling/ Filling/ Shaping


  1. Oh yum! You had me when you said the dough was like a traditional cheese danish.

  2. AuntSue
    Sounds really yummy. I will be baking this.
    I discovered your blog on Chocolate on My Cranium. You are wonderful and your family is delightful.Many Drops of Awesome for you and your family.
    But everytime I try to subscribe, I get a page full of words and symbols!! So frustrating.


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