King Cake (New Version)
Warm water, 1/2 cup
Yeast, 2 envelopes
Flour (sifted), 6 cups
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp
Salt, 2 tsp
Grated lemon zest, 1 tsp
Lukewarm milk, 1/2 cup
Egg yolks, 4
Butter (softened), 1/2 cup
Tiny doll or coin (optional)
In a bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, nutmeg and the salt. Stir in the lemon zest.
Mix the water with the milk and the butter, heat it up without boiling. Slowly add it to the flour mixture.
Add the eggs and the egg yolks to the mixture, continue kneading until the dough is uniform.
The dough must be very smooth and elastic, a little sticky but never stiff.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with kitchen foil. Let it rise for 2 hours.
Punch the dough. Divide the dough first in half, then divide one half again into two pieces and the other half into three pieces.
At this point, add the food coloring to each portion and knead until fully incorporated.
Form 3 cylinders (one of each color).
Twist the cylinders together into a circle.
Cover the circle with kitchen foil. Let it rise for 45 minutes.
In the meanwhile preheat the oven at 180°C and bake the loaf for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Place the loaf onto a wire rack and let it cool down.