Danish Dough

Danish Braid

Or Boxing with a Danish in the Kitchen.

I finished my challenge, and I would like to say it was easy but it was not, the day I chose to make my Danish dough was so hot (over 40°C) that I did not make turns but rounds. Anyway, it was really difficult to keep that stubborn butter in the dough but I enjoyed making this dough a lot, I laughed like crazy because every time I put the rolling pin over the dough the butter squeezed out of it like tooth paste, I fell like an alchemist, making butter from dough. The result, to my surprise was a very flaky, crispy dough outside and a soft and spongy dough inside, I filled it with “casatta filling”. The scent of the dough while baking made us sooo hungry and it was sooo delicious . I also made small pastries filled with cheese and olives, cheese sticks, ham, and platain marmelade.
Thanks Kellyof Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s cooking? for this gorgeous recipe.

First round: Faery won, I don’t understand why they call this dough a Challenge??, this was easy…
Second round: Faery won again, easy peasy.
Third round: Faery was weak, she was trembling and about to fall, but she recovers and manage to keep the butter in the dough.
Fourth Round: Faery is frightened; the dough is looking at her in a very ugly way, Faery struggles with the dough but, again, she kept the butter in the dough.
Fifth Round: Faery is decided to win and she knocked down that dough and sent it to the refrigerator for a long rest.
I am sure there will be Danish Dough part I II III IV … in my kitchen
What…what is that music… Rocky’s movie music…ooooh noooo

P.S. I do not like boxing matches, live or on TV. I am a very peaceful Faery …

Original Recipe:

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough
IngredientsFor the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugarZest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom1-
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
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
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.
Without a standing mixer:
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.
Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even.
Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges.
When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.
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.
Apple Filling.
Makes enough for two braids.
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into
¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.
Danish Braid
Makes enough for 2 large braids.
1 recipe Danish Dough.
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves.
For the egg wash:
1 large egg,
plus 1 large egg yolk
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or 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.
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.
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.
Egg Wash:
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
Proofing and Baking.
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.
Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
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.


DK said...

wow! U managed to make some large variety in there - all shapes and sizes. This was quite something this time at DBers isnt it. Loved your pics:)

Ann said...

Great looking braid and smaller pastries!

Sarah said...

Looks beautiful! The way that you cut and braided your braid kind of looks like a corset . . . I didn't know that there could be a sexy Danish braid! :)

I love all the different shapes that you made with your remaining dough as well!


Anonymous said...

I love all the little danishes - beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

What a pretty presentation! I would say you're a "Heavyweight" in the kitchen. You really showed that dough whose boss. We had mild weather here when I started mine in the morning, but by the evening when I was turning my oven on it was a bit hot.... So, I had to serve it warm with ice cream. Yours is beautiful & I look forward to the endless amount of sequels!

xoxox Amy

HoneyB said...

I'd say you were a winner in the long run! Great job!

Lorrie said...

wow you made so many and they all look delicious! way to go!

Donna said...

Looks YUMMY!!! Happy cooking sweetheart!hughugs

Susie Homemaker said...

Love your "round by round' action! Too funny! End result is fab! That braid is GINORMOUS!
-Susan of http://doughmesstic.blogspot.com

tartasacher said...

Buenisíma esta trenza de masa danesa. Muchas gracias por tu comentario y por las felicitaciones. Un beso y te envío todos los helados que quieras

Deborah said...

Wonderful job! Especially with dealing with the temps.

Laura Rebecca said...

Oooh, I love all the sizes and shapes you made. Terrific!

Big Boys Oven said...

such a nice bread you have baked there! looks so awesome, for us, we done have the time to bake this!:(

breadchick said...

Excellent job on the challenge!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Faery, You did a great job, and so many different shapes too! Nice post!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your braid and pastries look great!



glamah16 said...

Yu went all out on this. Fary magic!Great job.

Dolores said...

Wow... I love all of the interesting directions you went in filling the dough. The verdict is in, Faery's the victor in this challenge for sure!

Claire said...

Mmmm....looks great!

Kevin said...

Nice looking braid! I like the zigzag cuts.

Lis said...

WOW!! You outdid yourself with this challenge! I'd say you were definitely the CHAMPEEN! hehe

I can't decide what I'd like to taste more.. the braids or those adorable lil pastries.. YUM!

Another beautiful challenge, sweetheart! :)


Ben said...

Great job, all your creations turned out perfect. Thank you for baking with us :)

Cooking and the City said...

Faery this looks fabulous, I love Danish pastry! :-)