Daring Bakers – Danish Braid

Last month I was hoping that this month Daring Baker’s Challenge will come up with a more bikini-friendly recipe. No chance, Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cooking? have chosen Danish Braid (contains a lot of butter!) as theme. Anyway who cares about bikini figure? Me not anymore. ;-)

This challenge was easy, because I did a puff pastry for the June edition of Bread Baking Day.

Kelly and Ben proposed an apple filling for the braid. We were still allowed to play around with the filling. So I did go for marzipan and apricots.

Daring Bakers - Danish Braid

Unfortunately I added an egg to the marzipan, which gave the filling an „eggy“ flavor. I didn’t like it. Y. neither, so I had to eat the braid alone. It was a huge braid. Tschüss bikini! ;-)

With the other half of the dough – that was in the freezer (can be there for 1 month) – I made pastries filled with vanilla cream and a half of apricot on top.

Daring Bakers - Danish pastries

These pastries were heaven! I will do them definitively again.

First I will give you the recipe of the vanilla cream:

Vanilla Cream

300 g milk
vanilla sugar and 1/2 ts vanilla extract
20 g Maizena
90 g sugar
1 large egg
35 g butter

In a saucepan mix all ingredients except butter. Heat the mixture stir constantly until it comes to the boil and gets thick. Remove from the heat, transfer immediately into a cooler container and beat in the softened butter. Leave to cool, stir from time to time or press a piece of buttered paper on the surface of the cream.

Danish Dough
makes 1 huge braid and 8 pastries

For the dough (detrempe)
28 g Fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
100 g whole milk
65 g Sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 ts ground cardamom
1 ts vanilla extract
2 large eggs, chilled
60 g fresh orange juice
500 g all-purpose flour
1 ts salt

I had no orange at hand, so I omitted the zest and used water instead of orange juice. Next time I will also omit the cardamom, as Y. doesn’t like it.

For the butter block
225 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
30 g all-purpose flour

Dough: Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour
is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well.

Butter Block: Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.

After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Proofing and Baking:
Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 200 C.

Braid: Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 180 C, and bake 15 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Pastries: Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180 C, and bake 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Don’t forget to visit Daring Bakers Blogroll.

More entries and recipes in English.

Daring Bakers

November 2007 Challenge – Tender Potatoe Bread
December 2007 Challenge – Yule Log
January 2008 Challenge – Lemon Meringue Pie
February 2008 Challenge – French Bread
March 2008 Challenge – Perfect Party Cake
April 2008 Challenge – Cheesecake Pops
May 2008 Challenge – Opéra Cake

46 Gedanken zu „Daring Bakers – Danish Braid

  1. Your braid and pastry look absolutely lovely. And got to eat it all by yourself.:D
    I also enjoyed this challenge and wouldn’t mind doing this again.

  2. WOW! that Danish with the apricot is stunning. The marzipan is such a great choice for this, too. I’m thinking that bikins are highly overrated, don’t you? Having a few slices of this dough was so worth it. Gorgeous photos, and very nice job on this challenge!

  3. Those pastries look to die for! And who needs to wear a bikini when you can have danish??!! ;-) Great looking danish.

  4. Zorra, your danish braid and pastry looks just so perfect! Love it! I left DB, but I feel inspired to make this in my own time. Well done on the challenge.


  5. REPLY:
    Zorra siempre que doy una vuelta por tu blog no dejo de sorprenderme y maravillarme con todo lo que preparas.
    Esta receta se ve suprema, tentadora e invitante a poner manos a la masa y prepararla, te felicito una vez más!!!

  6. Zorra, I love the photos, and those little apricot Danish look so cute! Beautiful! Too bad about the bikini, though! ;)

  7. Apricots and marizipan, perfect combination! Sorry your marzipan wasn’t your favorite, but it looks beautiful anyway! And so does the one with the vanilla cream.

  8. This post is lovely- I love the collage presentation of the photos. Do you have a style sheet for that? I had the same issue- it was such a beautiful dish I wanted to share lots of pictures with it! I will also definitely make this recipe again.

  9. What a lovely, puffy braid Zorra. Love the sunny individual pastry too. In my apple almond filling, I used marzipan too, but no egg – it was sweet, and hardened quickly, but tasted OK.

  10. I totally agree, these were delicious and fun to make :) Your braid is gorgeous – I love the intricate detail in yours!

  11. Daring Bakers…Bikini friendly? No with every other challenge containing buttercream! Sorry you didn’t like the filling. I really enjoyed the challenge overall…hope your second braid is more to your liking!

  12. Sehen toll aus Deine Plundertaschen- zumindest heissen die hier bei uns (Berlin/Potsdam) so…
    Toller Blog, habe mir hier schon einige Anregungen geholt.
    Merci vielmals…

  13. I don’t think there is any such thing as a bikini-friendly Daring Baker challenge! :-)

    Your braid looks amazing. And those little pastries with the vanilla cream and apricot are divine. Great job!

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