First King Cake of 2020

This post is a continuation of last year’s, where I developed a new recipe.

I followed my suggestion of more commercial yeast by doubling to 1/2 teaspoon. This dough creates a light fluffy, perfectly textured bread. It is slightly eggy and sweet and just melts away in your mouth without being the sugar bomb like most king cakes.



  • 420g AP flour

  • 165g milk

  • 40g white sugar

  • 7g salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 50g sourdough starter

  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

  • 4 Tbls room temperature butter


  • 2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar

  • 2-3 capfulls of milk, until icing is right consistency


  1. Bring together all the ingredients except the butter using a stand mixer until it looks like a loosely incorporated dough. You should not be able to see any dry ingredients, but the dough will not have much, if any, gluten development or structure. The dough is extremely wet – resist the temptation to add additional flour.

  2. Drop the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Fold in thin pats of the butter. This can be done by slicing the butter into 1/2 Tbls squares, arranging on the dough, and literally folding the dough over. This process is similar to how to laminate dough for crossiants.

  3. Knead the dough. My dough was too wet to knead with my stand mixer. It is extremely wet and sticks to everything. A bench scraper is handy to help un-stick the dough from the work surface. Do not be afraid to liberally apply more flour to the work surface. As you knead the dough, it will become smoother, elastic, and less sticky as it develops structure. I kneaded for about 6-7 minutes.

  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a oiled bowl. Cover and let rise.

  5. At the two hour mark, fold the dough in on itself. Repeat after an additional hour.

  6. After four total hours of proofing, place the dough in the refrigerator.

  7. After 24 hours, remove the dough and divide into thirds.

  8. Roll out each section until a log 1/2 inch in diameter is formed. Each log will be 25-30 inches long.

  9. Stick the ends together and braid the dough. Once it is braided, move to a parchment lined baking sheet and form into an oval ring.Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to proof for two hours.

  10. Place the king cake into a 350F oven, baking for 20-25 minutes. It should become a gold color.

  11. Allow the cake to cool. Ice and decorate using colored sugars.

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