Monday, January 21, 2008

Operation King Cake 2008: Successful

Last year I made several attempts to bake a King cake during the Mardi Gras season, and they were all dismal failures. BD and I resentfully referred to them as King crackers because the dough would never rise. It was a lot of work, including 10 minutes of kneading the dough and 2 hours waiting for it to rise, only for it to turn out flat as a pancake. I later discovered that I had the water too hot, so instead of activating the yeast, I was actually killing it.

Enough time has passed and the pain has dimmed, so I decided to give it another try this year. I would really like to bring one to work to share with my co-workers who have never had a King cake. I also had some success a couple of months ago with yeast, so I had a little bit more confidence in myself this time.

I started the process by activating the yeast with warm (not too hot!) water.

Then I sifted together my dry ingredients and created a hole in the middle for the wet ingredients.

After the dough was mixed and smooth, the kneading begins - a sticky and messy process, but just when your hands feel like they're about to fall off eventually the dough gets elasticy and shiny.

Now for the waiting...first the dough rises for an hour and a half, until it doubles in volume.

Then you "forcefully" punch it down with your fist and sprinkle with cinnamon. After forming into a twisted ring, the dough has to rise again for an hour.

It bakes for 20 minutes and then it's covered it green, yellow and purple icing. (I was out of blue food coloring to make the purple.) We got a little ahead of ourselves and put the icing on too soon, so it was really runny. I didn't hide a baby in this cake, but I probably will for the one I bring to work.

It turned out really well - the consistency was perfect. We enjoyed a piece (or three) while it was still warm from the oven.
Laissez les bon temps roule!


Stephanie said...

Looks so yummy! I've never heard of a King Cake. And the baby inside? Interesting...

Holly said...

Very pretty! I'm so impressed! Real baking!