This is my 5th Daring Bakers Challenge, and I have to say that this was my favorite! I've always wanted to try baking a pastry, so when I found out what this month's challenge was, I was pretty excited! After completing this challange, I've added a few new words to my baking vocabulary such as "butter-laminated dough", "Beurrage", and "Detrempe."
Laminated Dough - layered dough created by sandwiching butter between layers of dough
Beurrage – butter block (this is the butter that is sandwiched in the dough)
Detrempe – ball of dough
I only wish that the process of making these braids and pastries were faster...it ended up being a 2-day process. I can't complain though, because that only makes you savor the final product more! This was my first attempt at laminated dough. I found completing the "turns" and folds to be fun. My butter block stayed in place, which made the process pretty easy. It just takes a lot of patience.
The cardamom and orange zest added such a wonderful, authentic flavor to these danishes. The original recipe called for an apple filling, but we were allowed to choose our filling as long as it was homemade. I chose to make a mixed berry filling for the Danish Braid, and I drizzled a hazelnut-coffee glaze over the top. Both of these ideas came from this very helpful video:
Instructional Video - Just click on "Danish Pastry Braid" after following the link.
Another great idea would be to make a savory filling instead of sweet, such as cheese, spinach, etc.
You can find the entire recipe HERE
I think I'm going to let these photos do the rest of the talking...this braid was SO good...I will no doubt be making this time and time again. Sorry there are so many photos...can you tell I had fun with this challenge??
After cutting the strips...
Close-up of the mixed berry filling (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry)
After completing the braiding...
After the final rise...ready for the oven!
A croissant ready for the oven...
Hot and fresh out of the oven!
With the hazelnut coffee glaze...my favorite! I made it by mixing a little coffee with confectioner's sugar.
Just look at those layers inside!
A platter of goodies...