First of all, thank you to Lisa & Ivonne at The Daring Bakers for welcoming me to The Daring Bakers. Also, thanks to Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cooking? for picking this fantastic challenge.
THE DANISH BRAID
I can’t possibly begin to tell you how intimidating this challenge was for me. I’ve never made any kind of pastry and this challenge had me questioning my once unquestionable baking skills.
I decided to take my time with this challenge. I started, as the directions indicated with the dough or Detrempe as I guess, the Danish call it. Carefully adding each ingredient, following the recipe to the letter and wow… everything is turning out beautifully.
It even looks and smells good. My lovely assistant, my pink Kitchen Aid, is working like she’s never worked before.
Presto, chango…. A dough ball!! Into the refrigerator you go.
Now it's time for the beurrage (butter block).
mmm… butter and flour. Wait… yuck.
Rolling out the dough…
This is where the "fun" begins. I have to fold the dough a total of four times and in between each time chill it for 30 minutes. So, here we go...
So far so good... uh oh...
...butter squishing out. BIG mess on my table. Being the anal retentive baker that I am this was LOADS of fun.
More buttery mess. At this point I'm worrying that I'm not doing something right.
That's better. The dough starts to come together by the last turn.After the fourth turn it has to sit on the refrigerator overnight to stew in it's own yumminess I presume.
In the meantime, I decide to make the apple cinnamon filling of the Gods.Peeling apples isn't the most fun part of this challenge.
The next day, I take the dough out and roll it out. Cut the pastry to braid.Fill it with the yummy goodness. Then braid it? Kind of... Ok, so it's not the most perfect braid in the world. It looks more like something a kindergardener would make just before they smothered it with a tiny fistful of glitter, some feathers, a little macaroni and two googley eyes, and tried to pass it off as some kind of ash tray or paper weight. (Expect one for Christmas)
After a few hours of hanging out at Castle Grey Skull for turkey burgers and Birthday cake while my beautiful braid sat to rise, my braid is ready to bake!
At this time I'd like to take a moment to tell you all how incredible my house smelled while this was baking!
Finally finished after two days.
Here are the top 5 things I learned while making this pastry.
1. A pastry brush is useful.
2. Rolling and shaping is a difficult process.
3. Apple filling is yummy.
4. Pie is not just for suckas
5. The people in my office fight over a Danish Braid.
I will definitely attempt to make this again with all different types of filling. I can't wait until next month for the new challenge!!!
PS - I'll post the recipe for this next week.