Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Bakers Challenge...Dare I?

Danish Braid 2
Oh yes - I dared to take on the June Daring Baker's Challenge, and though it was a bit of a work out, I'm happy with the results. The challenge is to create a Danish Braid, filled with apples. Yum. It takes a while to make the basic laminated dough, but it is completely worth it. At first I was surprised when the recipe called for yeast mixed with milk in a stand mixer - I followed those instructions and didn't see any type of change in the milk. I was used to bread recipes that require you to feed the yeast, thereby activating it. But I followed the directions and carried on. Cardamom, Orange zest and sugar give the dough, or in this case, Detrempe, a great flavor - along with the soft and tender lining of a vanilla bean.

Next came the "butter block" - half a pound of butter with some flour, beaten until soft enough to spread. I rolled out the detrempe as directed, to 18 x 13, and spread the butter over two thirds of the dough. The carefully folded the dough three times to incorporate the butter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, roll the dough and fold again - followed by two more foldings over the next hour or so. Then let it sit for at least 5 hours (we let it stay in the fridge overnight.) This morning, Another rolling, strips cut in the sides and then the addition of the filling, which we made while the dough was cooling it's heels last night. Delicious fuji apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and butter, cooked down to a lovely soft texture. Back to this morning, when I cut the strips on the sides, filled the center and "braided" the strips over the top of the filling, to form a basket-like length of apple-orchard-smellin goodness. It sat for another two hours to "proof", then Joe baked it, as I had to go to work. Danish Braid

I came home tonight to a truly delicious pastry - the basis of which will lend itself to so many other great flavors, as evidenced by the fact that, as we'd made enough for two braids, Joey had decided to try his hand at some fruit filled croissants. He chose lemon curd filled, and then raspberry filled, topped with slivered almonds. You can bet our apartment smells lovely tonight, and that we will definitely make this one again, when time permits.
Pain au framboise Pain au citron 3
Daring Bakers, my hat is off to you - you pick some excellent recipes to inspire and enhance our creative processes.

20 comments:

Rachel said...

I love the way your danishes browned..the flavous..lemon curd and strawberry..Yumm!!

Ally said...

They look so lovely. I love the mini lemon curd pastries, I'm sure they taste divine!

Sandie said...

Nice job, I liked the different fruit fillings as well.

~Amber~ said...

Your braids and other pastries are beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done.

Tarah said...

Beautifully done! Love the fillings! :]

Pamela said...

Lovely,lovely but would I expect less from you!

HoneyB said...

The braids and danishes look delicious! I totally agree, it was worth the time put into it!

Suzana said...

Beautiful braids and pastries! I love your fruit fillings. It was so amazing to see all the different fillings people are using.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Marvelous! Everything looks delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Aparna said...

Your danishes look pretty good, lots of layers. I searched for layers in mine and found them only in the croissants.

madcapcupcake said...

Everything is just gorgeously delicious!! I love lemon curd, mmmm :)

Renee said...

Beautiful braid. It looks perfect.

Lori said...

Wow, I'm really impressed. They all look so delicious. I love me a pastry!

Jenny said...

Looks good guys. Is this going to show up on the menu soon? :-)

breadchick said...

OH yea, that is some fine looking danish there! Well done!!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful pastries! Why didn't I think of tag-teaming this dough? ;)

Dolores said...

Beautiful braid (and assorted other pastries) gentlemen! Great job!

Debyi said...

Your braid looks so good, as does your croissants! Great job. The lemon curd filling sounds so yummy.

Jen Yu said...

Oh wow, look at all of the pastries you made in addition to the braid. They are all delicious looking and so pretty. Great job!

Claire said...

Great job! Lemon curd....mmm! That would combine my two favorite challenges, this one and lemon meringue pie!