Yield: 2 Cakes
½ oz. active dry yeast
½ c. warm water
6 c. (30 oz.) unbleached white or all-purpose flour
1 T. salt
½ c. sugar
1T lemon zest
1 ½ c. (12 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature and softened
6-7 eggs, room temperature
¼ c. cold milk
Wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 T. milk
¼ c butter, melted
1c cinnamon & sugar mix
1c candied pecans (optional)
4 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sugar sprinkles
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix the flour with the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt. Beat the eggs and combine with the yeast mixture. While the mixer is running on low speed with the flat beater, slowly add the egg-yeast mixture in a steady stream. You want to avoid big lumps and dry spots in the final dough. Switch to the dough hook, and knead until the dough is quite smooth but firm. Knead until very smooth, soft and shiny. Slowly add the milk in a thin stream. This is a very soft dough, but if you feel it’s too wet, add a little more flour you until you get a moist, elastic, responsive dough. Knead until completely smooth.
Place the dough in a covered bowl, and let it rest until doubled, 2-3 hours. Turn the dough, cover tightly and place it in the refrigerator to double again overnight.
To shape, retrieve the dough from the refrigerator and divide dough in half, cover 1 half with plastic and return to refrigerator. Begin shaping remaining dough, using your fingers shape into a rectangle about 30 inches long by 6 inches wide. Brush dough with melted butter and top with half of the cinnamon sugar and pecans if using. From the long edge roll dough into a cylinder pinching edges together to completely close the roll. Bring ends together and pinch together to form circle. Place dough on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Let rise at room temperature until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Glaze the loaves with egg wash mixture. Bake until very brown on top, and golden on the bottom up to 25-30 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary to prevent over browning. Let cool for a short time in the pan, and then cool completely on racks.
Combine confectioner’s sugar, milk, and lemon juice mix thoroughly and spread over cooled cake. Top with colored sprinkles in order….Purple, Green, and Gold. Serve with Praline Ice Cream.