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1 Mardi Gras King Cake on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:33 pm

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8 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pound butter or shortening
2 cups whole milk, scalded then cooled to lukewarm
1/2 ounce yeast (2 1/4-ounce packages, or about 4 1/2 tsp)
2 teaspoons salt
Candies to decorate

To make the cake take 6 cups sifted flour, and put it in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the center of the flour, and put in a half-ounce of yeast, dissolved in a little warm water. Add the 2 cups milk. Knead and mix the flour with one hand, while adding the milk with the other. In another bowl, combine remaining 2 cups flour with the salt; set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat eggs with butter and sugar until light. Add to dough, kneading lightly with your hands, and adding more eggs if the dough is a little stiff. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, then add the reserved flour and salt.
Knead the dough by turning it over on itself three times and set to rise again, covered with a cloth for about an hour. Take it up and work again lightly, and then form into a ring.

This is a large amount of dough, so it may be divided and baked in two or more King's Cakes. Pat gently and flatten a little. Have ready a greased parchment paper or silpat-lined baking pan, and set the ring in the middle. Cover the pan with a clean cloth, and set the cake to rise for an hour longer. When well risen, glaze the loaves lightly with a beaten egg. Place in 325 oven; let bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or less if making smaller loaves. Decorate with colored icings and decorator candies, as desired.

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