We put a Carnival twist on the popular bakery treat.
King Cake Babka
Yields: 1 (9X5-Inch) loaf
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus ⅓ cup sugar, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ½ cup warm whole milk (105° to 110°)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold whole milk
- Carnival Sugars (recipe follows)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, ⅓ cup sugar, yeast, and zest. With mixer on low speed, add warm milk, eggs, and vanilla, beating until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes.
- With mixer on medium speed, add ½ cup butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl.
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cinnamon, remaining ½ cup butter, and remaining ½ cup sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Fold in pecans.
- Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- On a heavily floured surface, roll dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. (Dough will be sticky.) Spread pecan mixture onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides. Starting at one short side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other, and place in prepared pan, cut side up. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°, about 35 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes; remove from pan.
- In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and cold milk. Drizzle glaze over loaf, and top with Carnival Sugars.
Yields: 1½ Cups
- 1½ cups sugar
- 8 drops purple liquid food coloring
- 8 drops green liquid food coloring
- 8 drops yellow liquid food coloring
- Place ½ cup sugar in each of 3 small resealable plastic bags.
- Add purple food coloring to one bag, green coloring to second bag, and yellow coloring to third bag. Seal bags, and shake each until sugar is even in color.