Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mardi Gras Love (A King Cake Recipe)

Hello hello!
Posting two days in a row... so refreshing!

I hope you're in the mood to step into the kitchen again.

'Cause it's time to make a king cake to celebrate life, family, love and laughter before we enter in the wonderfully solemn and forming season of Lent.

My mom has an AMAZING, DELICIOUS recipe for king cake.  Really, it trumps this one.  But (here is where I appeal to your weakness ridiculously crazy life) mine is WAY WAY WAY more simple.

49-ers style! This is the "pretty" side - not where the ends meet.
The Ravens king cake, as that's who we were rooting for, was eaten, eaten, eaten! (excuse the sippy cup and dirty pot and other...stuff...)
It's really not "mine." It's courtesy of a recipe my friend Amy, who I WISH kept a blog, but doesn't, so I just crash her house on melt-down days and we let our girls run amuck, printed out for me.

So, giving credit where credit is due.

Bread recipe from: (I have never even visited the site.  But you can't ask me to try another yeast bread recipe.) Its called "Our Everyday Half & Half Loaf" (no actual dairy half & half involved.)

Ok, so usually I'm pic heavy but you're only get three with this post.  And none are helpful.  Just pretty.

Here we go!

*please, do me a favor.  stop and clean your counter with hot soapy water or vinegar.  you don't want to knead dough on yesterday's spaghetti meat sauce splatters.

To Bake the Bread:
  • dry measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • wooden spoon (or plastic/silicone spatula, but wood is best)
  • large mixing bowl
  • four-cup liquid measuring cup
  • all purpose flour (six and 1/3 cups)
  • salt (four teaspoons)
  • yeast (four teaspoons)
  • olive oil (four tablespoons)
  • sugar (two tablespoons)
  • warmish-hotish water (just fill the kettle (need at least three cups heated) and put it on med-high now. Yes, really. Before you even read through this recipe for the first time, which you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS do
Kettle on?


To Make the Spice and Sugar Spread:

  • small bowl
  • spatula
  • softened/room temperature butter (at least four tablespoons)
  • granulated sugar (one cup)
  • cinnamon (two tablespoons)
  • nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • allspice (just a dash)
Stir the sugar and spices together.  Spread on top of butter-smeared dough.

To Make the Icing (as per Momma's recipe):
  • sifter
  • whisk
  • small bowl
  • powdered sugar (one cup, sifted)
  • milk (two or three tablespoons
Whisk together the cup of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of milk.
    To Make the Sugar for Sprinkling:
    *mix/add colors into ziploc bags before adding the sugar
    • red food coloring (gah! chokes me to type that)
    • yellow food coloring (gasp!!!!)
    • blue food coloring 
    • green food coloring (or be hard-core and make your own green. way cooler.)
    • granulated sugar (1/4 cup per ziploc bag)
    • three ziploc bags

    Ready for the second rise, after being rolled, wiggled, stretched, cinnamoned, sugared, formed, and braided!
    So first put your

    • two tablespoons of sugar (or honey) into your 4-cup liquid measuring glass. 
    • Add four tablespoons of olive oil (or butter or coconut oil). 
    • Pour the hot water (good thing you heated it already!) into the 4-cup glass, BUT only fill to the 2 1/2 cup mark. 
    • Give it a good stir. Make sure oil and, most especially, sugar are melted.

    • measure 6 1/3 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. 
    • Add four teaspoons of salt 
    • and four teaspoons of yeast. 
    • Stir.
    • Slowly and intermittently pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir, pour, stir pour, until it is blended. Do not not not over mix. You shouldn't be thinking cookie dough. Think biscuits. The less handling the lighter the dough.

    • flour your clean countertop, and 
    • dump the dough. Knead until supple. My dough starts off nice, gets tough and then becomes supple. It takes about seven minutes of kneading.
    • Place into an oiled/buttered bowl for the first rise (cover with a clean cloth). Give it at least 90 minutes.

    Make Spice and Sugar Spread!

    • Once dough is doubled in size and/or a finger poke leaves an imprint, then punch that mound down!
    • Divide into three equal pieces.
    • Gently roll into roughly three inch wide by 24 (at least 20) inches long.  If they are resistant, you can hold them by one end and do a little dough-wiggle-stretch dance. but be gentle!  
    • Smear with softened butter. 
    • Sprinkle, nah, heavily coat buttered dough with spice and sugar mix.

    • roll the dough from left to right, as in, roll the long strips of dough so that they are about an inch or two wide but still about 24 inches long.
    • Pinch pinch pinch the seams.
    • seams facing down, braid your dough.
    • Carefully form braided dough into a circle. Tuck and pinch and just do what ya gotta do to get the ends to get along together nicely.

    Second rise done, time for some oven action!
    Take a breath,

    • set the dough in a warm spot to rise a second time. 
    • Wait at least an hour. 
    • heat your oven to 350F/176C

    Make the Icing!

    After the second rise,

    • pop that cake into the oven and allow to bake at least 45 minutes, but the better (and maybe longer) indicator is to wait for the dough to turn a bit golden. Watch closely after 45 minutes. You don't want a tough cake.

    Color your Sprinkling Sugar!

    Once out of the oven,

    • let cool 10 minutes

    After 10 minutes,

    • drizzle the icing you whisked-up and 
    • sprinkle with your colored sugars!

    Take a photo! Cut a slice! Breathe in a bit of Heaven...and then taste and enjoy!

    Happy Mardi Gras celebrating! I hope that you are blessed with a full meal and that your Lent is awesome!


    1. You totally inspired me to make a king cake for the first time! Thank you and it's too late to say happy mardi gras but I hope you and your beautiful familia have a wonderful lent that brings you ever closer to Jesus. :) Victoria

      1. Hooray!!!!!!!!!
        I hope it was yum-yum-yummy!
        Lent is going well! I hope the same for you.


    So glad to hear from you! All conversation is welcomed, within good reason and kind intentions.