Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk and enough flour (about 1/2 to 1 cup) to make a soft dough. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, salt and eggs (use low speed of an electric mixer). Add the soft ball of yeast dough and mix thoroughly. Gradually add about 2-1/2 cups flour to make a medium dough. Place in greased bowl and brush top of dough with melted butter. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours. Sprinkle 1 cup flour on board. Place dough on board and knead until smooth (8 to 10 minutes), adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into three long strips. Plait strips to make one long braid. (Or, roll dough into a long strand and twist.) Place on greased cookie sheet and form into an oval ring, connecting ends by pinching together with dampened fingers. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Bake in 325-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. To decorate cake, brush top lightly with corn syrup and sprinkle with alternate bands of purple, green and gold sugar. If desired, push a "baby" (nut, pea, bean or trinket) into cake from underneath. Yield: 1 king cake. Note: To color sugar, add a few drops of food coloring to granulated sugar in a jar; tightly cover jar and shake to mix. Recipe, an exclusive on POSTnet. Recipe by: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/19/96 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #469 by Nancy Berry
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