Breland: King cake special for 2022 MCCA celebration

Published 11:26 am Friday, February 4, 2022

After skipping a year, most have noticed the Krewe of MCCA Mardi Gras celebration is taking place again this year in Bogalusa!

Recently I brought out several pieces of Mardi Gras jewelry, given to me in the past by Captain Don Spiers and others for many years of covering the Mardi Gras events in Bogalusa for The Daily News. It was always interesting to interview the different kings and queens and other participants in the krewe. The ball was always fun, even with me busy taking notes and photographs. Later on, work was lightened by a real photographer.

I particularly like the royals who take the time to go to the schools and introduce children to the grand Louisiana custom of Mardi Gras. All little girls enjoy the thought of being a queen or at least a princess. Apparently, guys like royalty too.

Krewe members really enjoy a lot of socialization during this time. Gifts are given to the royals and many of them have interesting rooms set aside and filled with fabulous gifts from their special time.

Special recognition goes this year to King Johnny Passman and Queen Theresa Wascom. Theresa and I have been friends as painters with the local art association for many years. May they both enjoy their time as royalty, even during this strange year of still much COVID-masked misery.

Of course, so many will enjoy the parade and are looking forward to this big event.

It is also time for king cakes, which are already being enjoyed. It’s really easy to stop by and pick up one in the morning on the way to work, but you can make your own if you want to impress your family or co-workers.

Here’s a recipe I have shared before from the cookbook “Recipes and Reminiscences of New Orleans.” It is good!

King Cake

Ingredients

1 pkg. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

6 Tbs. milk, scalded and cooled

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs

melted butter

 

Directions

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm (not hot) water. Add milk and enough flour, about 1/2 cup, to make a soft dough. In another bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt and eggs with the electric mixer. Remove from mixer and add soft ball of yeast dough. Mix thoroughly.

Gradually add 2-1/2 cups flour to make a medium dough that is neither too soft nor too stiff. Place in a greased bowl and brush top of dough with butter. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise in bulk, about 3 hours. Use remaining 1 cup flour to knead dough and to roll with hands into a rope shape.

Place on a 14-by-17-inch greased cookie sheet and form the rope of dough into an oval shape. The center should be about 7 by 12 inches. Connect ends of dough by dampening with water. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (A bean may be placed in the dough if desired.)

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Decorate by brushing the top lightly with corn syrup and alternating 30-inch bands of purple, green and gold colored granulated sugar.

To color sugar, add a few drops of food coloring to sugar, and shake in tightly covered jar (or plastic bag) until desired color is achieved.

To make a filled cake, you can open the “rope” of dough after you put it on the pan and fill with canned pie filling of choice. Close back up by dampening the ends of the dough and sticking back together before baking. You would want to limit the amount of filling you use in the king cake as too much will just spill out.

This seems like a lot of trouble and it does take a little time, but if you want to be original, try it! Anybody can buy a king cake!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at bobann70@att.net.