Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge #19: “Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking

Danish braid, sound good, this month challenge is being hosted Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’? and the recipe is from The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts by Sherry Yard (I still don’t have this book and after making this Danish braid, I will reconsider about buying it).

I made laminated dough before but I can’t say I’m master, and having a chance to try new recipe is a real challenge. I love to make this kind of bread (it will make you occupied for day). At first when making the dough (Detrempe), I couldn’t believe the dough will be workable, it’s super sticky dough for laminated dough, but I just follow the instruction and put it in the fridge. Anyway I use a lot of flour to sprinkle the dough when roll in the butter block, it’s amazing that after the second turn, the dough was very manageable and because of the stickiness, the leaking of the butter was less. I think this recipe is great even I still find it quite hard to work with (in the first and second turn), but the bread turn out beautiful and delicious, I love the little freckle of orange zest and vanilla bean, which made this bread smell so good.

Note: I find the filling is too little, may be I use small size apple, next time I will make it again but I will make more filling (and the filling is very delicious may be I will make it for using with other kinds of sweet too).


“Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking

DANISH DOUGH

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

Ingredients
For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (1 tsp instant 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 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

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.

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


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

Makes enough for two braids (mine was enough for only one!)

Ingredients

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 juice
4 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 (mine was not that long). 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

Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk



1. 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.
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.

Egg Wash


Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking


1. 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.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. 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.

18 comments:

Ann said...

Your braid is beautiful!

Candace said...

Gorgeous braid and picture!

sue said...

well done..lovely braid and pictures well taken.
rgds

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Very very nice! Love the pictures!

Colette said...

That looks amazing! I ended up kneading in a lot more flour because my dough was very sticky.

Susie Homemaker said...

wow...i love all of your step by step pics...and you are right - this dough requires lots of filling (or at least i thought so!)
great job!

Robyn said...

Great job! Beautiful Danish and I love your step-by-step photos.

Lorrie said...

your braid looks lovely and flaky! congratulations on a successful challenge!

dobetter said...

Love your food styling. Nice job on your braiding, it is lovely.

MaryMary said...

Amazing technique and beautiful braid...it looks perfect. And I loved your site in Thai--I'll show that one to my mom.

breadchick said...

well done!

Angel said...

Your braid looks gorgeous! I loved the apple filling too, but definitely would say add more! I was eating some of the filling just on its own it was so tasty. Fantastic Job!

Dolores said...

Your braid is beautiful. I'm glad you got the dough to behave after the first couple of turns. Great job!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Your braid looks beautiful! Well done!

Patti said...

really awesome . . . I loved the apple filling . . .

Jen Yu said...

Nicely done. Your braids are so beautiful! Great job.

Claire said...

Beautiful braid! You did a fantastic job.

Lunch Buckets said...

Excellent! You did a great job of photographing your steps - nice work :)

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