McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppe’s longtime operator Donald Entringer Sr. is said to have been the first to put plastic babies in king cakes, and McKenzie’s light, sugary style is a nostalgic bite for many old-school New Orleanians.
McKenzie's-Style King Cake
Makes 1 Cake
- ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, room temperature, divided
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 (0.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
- Milk Roux (recipe follows), room temperature
- 3 to 3¼ cups bread flour
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- Garnish: gold, green, and purple sanding sugar
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat ⅔ cup milk on high in 10-second intervals until an instant-read thermometer registers 110° to 115°.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add Milk Roux, 3 cups flour, ¼ cup melted butter, 1 egg, salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to yeast mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed for 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium-low, and beat until a soft, smooth dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl; add up to remaining ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if dough is too sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Punch down dough; let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x10-inch rectangle. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up dough, jelly roll style, and press edge to seal. Place on prepared pan, and form into an oval; pinch ends to seal.
- Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size and dough holds an indentation when poked, 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg and remaining 1 tablespoon milk. Brush egg wash on top of dough.
- Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers at least 190°, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush top of warm cake with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Garnish with sanding sugars. Let cool completely before serving.
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons bread flour
- In a small saucepan, whisk together milk and flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, an instant-read thermometer registers 150°, and whisk leaves lines on bottom of pan. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool completely before using.