danish braid

6.29.2008

This was my second Daring Baker's challenge. I've never made pastries like this before, I guess there is always a first for everything. Yeast can do amazing things, and this braid is one of many of them. I decided to go along with the original apple filling recipe from the challenge.

danish braid  
Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough  
ingredients  
For the dough (Detrempe)
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 
  • 1/3 cup sugar Zest of 
  • 1 orange, finely grated 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract paste 
  • 2 large eggs, chilled 
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt  
For the butter block (Beurrage)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour  
dough directions
  1. 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 paste, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
butter block directions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
apple filling ingredients 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract paste 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice directions
  1. Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl.
  2. Cook the apple mixture over medium heat and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid.
  4. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
danish braid directions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
  2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
  3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.
  4. Whisk together the whole egg in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
  5. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. 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.
  6. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
  7. 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 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

5 comments :

  1. Congratulations on your second Daring Bakers challenge!! so you've never really work with yeast eh?? we definitely need to get you some more experience.. because it is something amazing!!!
    You braid looks really nice and I hope you enjoyed a lot making it ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done on your danish braid!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your braid looks great! If your tasted anything like mine, I bet it was delicious. Great job on your second challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job! Once you start doing things with yeast, you get pretty comfortable.

    ReplyDelete

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