Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gourmet Girls King Cake

It's king cake time! We started making king cakes at the shop Saturday, it's the beginning of a very long Mardi Gras season.  Last year we made and shipped over 500, and for an operation the size of mine- that's a lot of king cakes made from scratch in a two week period.  Every day was ground hog day... Go into work,  start a batch of dough, wait 30 minutes, start another one and on and on and on. Every year I swear I don't really want to do it ever again once it's over.  Every year, I forget and start it all over again. 

In order to get ahead, we started a large batch of Brioche Friday afternoon so I could walk in Saturday morning and not have to wait on the first rise.  We put it to bed in the refrigerator in a gigantic bowl, and left for the day in hopes of having dough ready to go in the morning.  Saturday morning I returned to find the very large bowl of dough upright on the floor in front of the refrigerator, and the refrigerator door ajar.  I was the last one to leave and the first to arrive, no one touched the dough.  Clearly it didn't jump out of the refrigerator by itself, right? Well actually, it did.  Unfortunately it took me an entire day  to figure this out.  To J's amazement as I told him about this over dinner, I was more concerned with the fact that the dough looked about the same size as the previous day thinking the yeast was dead, than with how exactly the dough got itself out of the refrigerator and onto the floor.  I was going on and on about how I thought it was the yeast was not active and so on and he kept going back to the bowl on the floor.  Men! (I loathe it when he's right). Had I told him in the morning, I'm sure I would have figured it out then because he would have started with the whole your kitchen is haunted thing and I would have had to prove him wrong.  Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of yeast and flour only to figure out my little mystery at the end of the day.  Suddenly it came to me... the dough rose so much in the refrigerator overnight, the bowl shifted, pressed open the door, and fell on the ground.  When it fell on the ground, from about 4 feet up, it punched itself down and deflated. So in fact, the dough was just fine, it was still cold so it must have occurred shortly before I arrived.  Lesson learned- yeast is a powerful thing!  Hopefully this means I have worked out all the kinks and this will be a trouble free king cake season.  May the king cake gods be with us!

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