King Cake Recipe
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter (to spread on dough strips)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Scald milk. Pour over butter, sugar and salt. Mix together in large mixing bowl. Let cool to lukewarm. In another bowl, sprinkle yeast on 1/4 cup warm water (or use lukewarm water for compressed yeast). Stir softened yeast into milk mixture. Add beaten eggs. Stir a little flour in, beating until smooth. Add sufficient remaining flour to make soft dough, stirring until dough forms ball which leaves side of bowl.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Press into flattened ball, about 1 1/2 inch thick. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Grease mixing bowl. Return dough to bowl, turning dough once to grease its surface. Coat top of dough lightly with softened shortening. Cover with folded kitchen towel. Let rise in warm, not hot, place about 50 minutes, or until double in bulk.
Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured board. Roll out into 10x16 inch rectangle to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut lengthwise into 3 strips. Spread each strip with melted butter. Sprinkle each strip with cinnamon, sugar and ginger mixture. (This is easiest if kept away from edges and mixture is "funneled" in the middle of the strips.) Fold each strip over on long side. Press to seal each strip. "Braid" dough and place on lightly greased baking sheet.