I have been trying to perfect John Besh's king cake recipe, which is similar to Randazzo's King Cakes in New Orleans (if you know your king cakes). After many questions to my pasty chef friends, I am still having a couple of problems. I think I am proofing the dough property but there seems to be stretch marks in the dough when I create the ropes for braiding. Also, once cooked the dough is rather hard on the outside. I've never made other types of brioche before but Randazzo's cakes are soft on the outside. I am baking until the cake reaches 200, which can take a while because the cake is pretty thick with the braids. (side note: I also cant get the braids to stretch as much as I'd like in order to look like professional king cakes). I've sold several king cakes I need to make this week and am stressing out that they're going to be too hard to mask with cream cheese icing.