Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TWD-Danish Braid

Chunky Bits

So I'm feeling a bit like a broken record...but I wasn't going to make this recipe.  I feel like these Tuesdays just sneak up on me...I know, I've said that before too.
But then I looked at the recipe and decided I should indeed make it.  Besides, it is a long weekend here in Canada...so I have an extra day for baking.  Woot-Woot!!

The pastry dough seems easy enough.  Though as I started making the dough, I thought to myself, 'hey stupid, ya should have watched the video first.'  I decided to ignore the comment and/or suggestion and floundered on.  (Who does she think she's calling Stupid!)

Pastry dough is made...now I'll watch the video.(Thank you very much!)  I think I've done it right so far.  Granted, all I've done is make the dough.  But so much can go wrong in those few minutes that it takes to make the dough.

Butter and flour get pulsed about a dozen times in the food processor.

Butter is broken down into smaller bits...but not too small...chunky bits.

Flour mixture is then added to the wet mixture.

This is stirred together just until the flour mixture is moistened.  Then, the bowl is covered with saran wrap and put in the fridge overnight.
It seemed strange to just stir the ingredients until the flour was combined.  I'm used to having to roll the dough into a ball and then put in the fridge.  But the video confirmed it was correct.  And why would sweet Julia and Beatrice lie?

After the night in the fridge, the dough is ready to be rolled.  The dough first gets patted out with my hands.  (The chunks of butter are still apparent...I think this is going to be a good pastry because of these butter chunks.)  That's right, chunky is good.

This dough was super easy to roll out.  And it was interesting to roll out.  It is a super chunky dough, with all the butter bits in it.  A few times rolling it out and folding it into thirds...and then back in the fridge for another rest.  Sort of like a croissant dough, but 100 times quicker and easier!




...and one last fold before being cut in half.  Look at those layers!  Yep, I predict this is going to be a good pastry dough.  Mark my words, sonny!  Yup!
And this dough then goes back in the fridge for another half hour or so.

So, I made neither the pastry cream filling nor the fruit filling.  Rather, I made a cream cheese filling, adapted from an Ina Garten recipe and used an apricot spread I had in the cupboard (that I was saving to make Rugelach-an Ina recipe).
I thought the cream cheese might help to offset the sweetness of the apricot spread I planned on using.

 Time for another roll.  But this time is the last (famous last words...but true this time).

Now to spread the apricot filling down the centre of the dough. 

Next, the cream cheese filling tops the apricots.  Then, strips are cut using a pizza cutter.  I should have cut my strips smaller as the recipe says 12-14 strips.  I just read cut into strips...then after cutting, I read just how many I should have cut...yep, seems pretty normal for me.  Sigh.

It seemed to work out all right...I think.  I've never been a fantastic braider.  I think I had problems with braiding in this post too.

Next, just need to brush some egg white wash and sprinkle some sugar onto the top.  I didn't have pearl sugar, so I just used some raw sugar.

This is then covered and left at room temperature for 30 minutes.

The braid is baked for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Lastly, it is glazed with a confectioner's sugar icing.  I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

 Yup!  It is good.  The pastry is nice and flaky.  The cream cheese and apricot spread compliment each other perfectly.  And what do you know, I'm glad I made this.  (broken record time)


  1. Beautiful pastry! I had a blast making this (unlike those dang croissants).

  2. Looks great--you don't need no silly video! I used the same fillings as you (Ina's CC + apricot jam). Hope you had a good Thanksgiving :)

  3. Mmmmm...apricot and cream cheese was a scrumptious choice of fillings!

  4. I used the same brand of jam "St Dalfour" just in a different flavour :) I bet the apricot and cream cheese would have been magic!

  5. I love all the filling choices that people came up with for this week's recipe.
    Looks (and sounds) delicious!

  6. Yours is really beautiful! I am just realising as I read a few more people's posts that I totally did not do the dough right (though it did not seem worse for it) - I chilled it overnight, then the next morning rolled it out and filled it immediately. Oops. That's what happens with these recipes which involve 2-3 additional recipes and I don't real them all till it's too late!

  7. Love the butter chunks in your dough! I also watched the video after the braid was baked - should have checked online sooner :)

  8. I am thankful that the dough was not as complicated as the croissants... like you said a 100 times easier. :)

  9. Wow - this is just spectacular! Very nicely done.

    I had to drop TWD because I could only handle 2 groups with working full-time but I love to see what you're making!

  10. Don't ask me how, but I missed the 'use 1/2 recipe', so my braid is going to be quite fat and long! LOL It's baking now. :)

    Your braid looks beautiful!!

  11. Your danish turned out fantastic!

  12. Your dough rolled out so perfectly. I had jagged edges and had to kind of cut pieces off and patch it up to make a rectangle. Beautiful step-by-step!

  13. Great job! I love seeing everyone's different fillings.

  14. Love the cream cheese filling idea! That's my favorite filling in pastries, and I was kind of disappointed there wasn't one in the book. Beautiful pastry!
    -Katie @ Counter Dog

  15. Delicious looking Danish Braid with fabulous fillings - I like the combination of that lovely French apricot jam and cream cheese - sounds like we all really enjoyed this recipe!

  16. That last picture makes me want to lick the screen! You can never go wrong with an Ina recipe! Love her! Glad this was a hit with you - it was here. :)

  17. I would eat your's too. It looks delicious!

  18. Your Danish braid looks beautiful. The cream cheese filling sounds like a perfect compliment to the fruit spread. I haven't made the Danish braid yet, but I'm becoming inspired looking at the beautiful results.

  19. Yummmm! Looks so good. I will have to look up Ina's cream cheese spread recipe.

  20. It looks delicious. I wished I had thought to use cream cheese. I think it would have cut some of the sweetness.

  21. This looks so good! I picked the wrong time of year to give up anything flour-based!

  22. That looks really tasty. I'll have to try it.