While eating a piece of the Danish Braid, my official taste-tester announced, that if she died right then and there, she would die happy. And she also requested that this be a regular, weekly (if not daily) staple in our diet.
That is my consensus as well.
This month’s Daring Baker challenge was to create the Danish Braid from Sherry Yard’s cookbook, The Secrets of Baking. I’ve owned this book for awhile now, so I was pleased to be able to finally bake something from it! And, while I’ve made puff pastry and croissants many times, I haven’t make Danish dough, so this was a good and easy challenge for me.
The dough, itself, is delicious. I love the combination of the cardamom and the orange; the bread would seem bland without it. I had no issues with creating the laminated dough; the butter behaved itself throughout the process.
For this challenge, we were allowed to choose the filling, so to please all potential tasters, I chose a cream cheese filling, spiked with lime zest. Here’s the recipe:
Lime Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
½ an egg yolk
¼ teaspoon lime oil
1 teaspoon lime zest
Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients. (This is half of the original recipe, but it made enough to fill two braids.)
The only concern I had with this recipe was that the braid, itself, just didn’t seem to want to do that final rise before baking. I baked off both halves of dough, and neither one rose much, if at all, during the final stage. I know the yeast was viable, but I also know that sweet, rich doughs have a more difficult time rising, so perhaps that was the case here. Even though they were a bit more dense than I prefer, they both tasted delicious. In the interest of science, I will most likely make this kind of dough again, but use a different recipe for comparison.
Thanks to this month’s hosts, Kelly, of Sass & Veracity, and Ben, of What’s Cookin’?, for choosing a delicious challenge. When you have a spare moment, take a look at 1000+ more variations on the Danish Braid at the Daring Bakers blogroll.
For the Danish recipe, go to Kelly's blog.