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King Cake

King Cake

Ingredients

Pastry:
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees, slightly warmer than body temperature)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup melted butter
1 plastic baby, or other treasure to hide
Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or to taste
Colored sugar in gold, green, and purple

Cooking Instructions

In a small saucepan, scald the milk (heat to 180 degrees). Add the butter, and let melt. Allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees before using. Note: Scalding the milk to 180 degrees will help break down the milk protein and help the bread rise higher. However, it is important to let the scalded milk cool down (to 110 degrees) before adding it to the yeast. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast on contact.

While the milk is cooling, in a large mixing bowl add the yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Whisk to combine. Let stand 10 minutes until yeast begins to foam.

Add the cooled milk and eggs. Whisk to combine. Add remaining sugar and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Sift salt and flour together, and add a cup at a time into milk mixture until dough begins to pull together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a warm, damp towel and place in a warm dry area to rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, flour and raisins for the filling, and stir to combine and evenly coat. Pour melted butter over mixture and stir to combine.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease.

Once dough has doubled, punch down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle filling mixture over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Starting with the long edge, roll the dough into a log, similar to a cinnamon roll. Bring the two ends together to create a ring.

Place the ring on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Let the pastry cool 10 minutes, and then push the baby into the cake through the bottom.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla and stir to combine. Spread the icing across the surface of the cake. Sprinkle colored sugar over the top of the icing, dividing each color into individual sections, if desired.

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