Daring Bakers Challenge- Danish Braid

This months Daring Bakers Challenge is Danish Pastry.  I have tried my hand at laminated dough before.  I remember making Danish pastry years ago.  What I remember of the recipe was it was most definetly not  laminated (I seem to recall it was a Nigella Lawson recipe involving a food processor…).  I had also tried my hand at laminated dough like croissants (worked fairly well) and puff pastry (why, oh why, did I try that when it was 95 F all day every day, getting down to a ‘chilly’ 85 F at night?)

Thankfully, this challenge was announced over our dry season when the temperature is a bit more forgiving for people trying to make thin layers of butter in their pastry.

This dough is a pleasure to work with.  I used the grating the butter technique (using the food processor for speed) and that was a wonderful revelation.  I wasn’t sure if I was then supposed to process the flour through so i just tossed the butter in the flour and patted it on the rolled out dough (so much like mozzarella, it is not funny).

This bread needs 4 turns (roll it out and then fold it like a business letter) with a chill 30 minutes in between each turn.  Easy enough to do during a morning with the boys.  I used my trusty pastry mat so I didn’t have to clean the bench between turns. 

Please take a moment to admire the lamination…

I struggled a little bit with the instructions for the shaping of the braid (I do wish Sherry Yard had included a simple diagram).  So I turned to the Pastry Bible and Rose Levy Beranbaums (RLB) chapter on Danish.  Her books are my go to guides when I need simple clear instructions and I want to know why…

I used a ruler to mark everything out and then I used my bencher to give me even cuts 

My braid came out pretty well although I didn’t keep perfect even tension.  

I made the apple filling from the Sherry Yard recipe and it was good.  However, being a girl who likes to experiment a little I also made RLB’s Apricot Levkar and her Remonce (almond filling).  One would think I would take it easy on myself given I was about to go on holidays and I still don’t have a functioning oven at home but that’s not very Daring Baker is it…

So I messed around with fillings and shapes.  My stunt kitchen oven was running a bit hot so they got a touch more malliard than I was aiming for.  

My hands down favourite was the bear claws filled with the Remonce.  The almond filling really brought out the cardamon and orange flavours in the pastry.  I have some work to do with shaping and not letting the filling leak out so much, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

27 responses to “Daring Bakers Challenge- Danish Braid

  1. Great job! I love the grated butter trick and your extra experiments are so cool. I think your braid looks fantastic.

  2. Well done! I love the idea of grated butter, great looking braid!

  3. Your apple filled braid looks terrific, but my mouth was really watering when I saw the almond filled pastry. My dough is made, but chilling for the last time. I’ve wanted to do almond filling, and it turns out that last week my husband bought me RLB’s book, so I’m good to go. Thanks

  4. looks great…i love the other shapes you made. and i wish i could have tries the almond-filled one!

  5. Looks terrific! And the almond filling sounds fantastic!

  6. I love the sound of the remonce filling. Your Danish look flaky and superb – lovely!

  7. What a beautiful braid! The fillings sound delicious!

  8. I will have to try your grated butter approach next time I work with laminate dough. And despite my trepidation at the beginning of the month, I think there will be many next times.

  9. Wow! Great job! I love all of your different versions!

  10. The almond filling sounds so delicious! Great job!

  11. They look great. I didn’t grate the butter, it’s hilarious it turned out looking like mozzarella cheese!

  12. your bear claws look so delicious!

  13. love your picture of the layers…great job!

  14. Your first pic really shows how light and flakey yours turned out. Great job! I like the little shapes at the end.

  15. Your braid looks great! I love all of the little danishes!

  16. They all look wonderful! Great job 🙂

  17. Grating the butter is a great idea!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  18. love the grated butter trick. thanks. and good job.

  19. How funny that we took parallel paths! I also made the remonce for bear claws, and thought they turned out heavenly…it was my favorite as well.

    Great job on the variety!!!

  20. Your braid looks great! I love the bear claws too!

  21. So flaky and wonderful!! It looks awesome. I also love those little pastries you made 🙂 Great job on your challenge!

  22. Great job and great pictures.
    Thank you for baking with us 🙂

  23. How cute are your shapes?! I love them. Great job!

  24. It never would have occurred to me to clean between turns. I’m such a pig!

  25. Holy cow look at those layers! YUM!

    I loved this dough.. it was so easy to work with (abuse) and it turned out fabulously!

    I’m so glad the weather was good for your baking this time! heheee!


  26. Grating the butter is a good idea, one I’ll have to try. Your layers look perfect!

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