King Cake

King Cake Dough

Sponge:

2 1/2 cup bread flour

1 cup whole milk, cold

2 tsp. instant dry yeast

Dough

Sponge

1 1/3 cups bread flour

8 oz (1 cup) butter, softened

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Make the sponge.

Combine the flour, milk, and yeast in a bowl fitted with a dough hook.  Mix at low speed until blended, about 2 minutes.  Cover and let ferment until the sponge has risen and just beings to recede, about 30-45 minutes.

Make the dough.

Add the remaining ingredients to the sponge in the mixing bowl and continue mixing on low speed with dough hook for about 5 minutes.  The dough should be smooth but slightly sticky.  Remove the dough from the mixer and place in an oiled bowl.  Let the dough rest until nearly doubled, about 30-45 minutes in a warm kitchen.

Roll out or spread dough with hands to form a rectangle about 12 inches by 6 inches.  Place filling in middle of dough and roll into a thick rope.  Join ends of rope together to form a circle.  Place on greased baking sheet and let rise again until volume has doubled.

Bake at 350 F until golden brown, about  30-45 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.  When cooled, brush with glaze and drizzle colored sugars on top.  Place small plastic baby (or coin wrapped in aluminum foil) into bread from bottom.

Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. cream cheese

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and stir until smooth.  Refrigerate until needed.

Weekend Cooking - January 24, 2009