Recipe for failure
The first attempt came out fine:
Here's a short list of things you should NOT do if you want your baked goods to come out properly:
1. Substitute key ingredients
I didn't have the proper type of yeast, but I plunged ahead anyway. The recipe asked for rapid rise; I only had the normal glacial pace variety. I didn't bother to look up the difference this would make in rising times.
2. Make inaccurate adjustments
I played fast and loose with yeast quantities while doubling the recipe. Big mistake.
3. Combine unrelated recipes
Since I'd never made King Cake before, I started poking around the internet, investigating other recipes for an idea of what this thing was supposed to look like. I found another recipe that included a pecan brown sugar filling. That seemed delicious. I wanted it. In addition to sweet-yeasty-bread weakness, I also suffer from anything-containing-brown-sugar weakness. For the second cake, I rolled in a bunch of brown sugar filling to form a sort of mutant cinnamon roll, which led to tragic leakage once it melted in the oven.
4. When in doubt, add flour
The recipe created batter. But I wanted dough, so I could roll the thing up and slap the brown sugar in it. I kept adding flour until it became kneadable. This was just plain silly. I knew it, but I could not stop. Could. Not. Stop.
When it came out, it looked like a gargantuan bagel oozing brown goo:
And guess what? It didn't taste too good either. [Slapping hand. Tying string around finger.]
I don't like coloring inside the lines. But I don't like baking monstrosities either.