Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Daring Bakers Challenge: Danish Braid

danish bread

It's that time of the month again when Daring Bakers strike! I must admit that I am constantly amazed by the choices of challenges month after month. Never once did the hosts choose something that I attempted before! The same can be said about the June Challenge : Danish Braid, which Kelly of "Sass and Veracity" and Ben of "What's Cookin" have picked. In fact, it is one of the pastry items I keep dragging my feet about.

Making a Danish Braid requires two things that I dread. One being making a laminated dough, the most temperamental dough in my opinion, that doesn't work well in warm temperature.

Secondly, the dough needs to be braided....Unless you are adept at bread making,(which I am not), otherwise the instructions of the recipe may seems daunting to the occasional bakers, such as myself.

Under such circumstances, watching someone demonstrates the process in video help to alleviate some of the trepidation. Thanks Kelly and Ben for the thoughtful attachments, they help tons!

So, I watched the videos diligently, and proceeded to make the danish braid. Surprisely, it wasn't as hard as I had imagined. And with a stroke of luck, my dough turned out really easy to work with. The only complaint I have, is the length of time involved. In between each rolling, the dough needs to be chilled for half an hour. Making the danish braid was a 2 day event for me.

danish bread2

I made a simple cream cheese filling to go with fresh blueberries, which are abundant at the moment. Other than the long down time, the whole process went on quite smoothly,and I am happy with the end result. The braid is flavorful, benefitted from the addition of vanilla beans, fresh orange juice and ground cardamom in the dough. I think I will probably leave the cardamom out next time, as I think the taste is a bit overwhelming.

danish breads

Half of the dough has been tranformed into small invidual danish breads. I think I was a bit too generous with the filling, because almost all of them overflew! I jokingly told my friends that they were alien breads.

Will I make it again? Absolutely! I will even try adding Nutella as filling next.

By the time you read this, I will be in Boulder, visiting my lovely sister in law. I will only be able to read about other Daring Bakers experiences when I get back. Who knows, maybe after reading all the inspiring braids, I may start making another batch of danish pastries. To read more about other Daring Bakers takes on the Danish Braid challenge, click here.

23 comments:

Susie Homemaker said...

That braid is absolutely gorgeous!! And beautifully photographed...
-Susan of http://doughmesstic.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

Your blueberries look fab in the braid...makes me want to make another one with those flavors. Great job!

Deborah said...

I hope you are having fun in Boulder!! The braid looks delicious, and the filling has my mouth watering!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

So beautiful! That filling with the blueberries, wow! I love the color of your pictures!

Manggy said...

Really pretty Mandy! Do you think the dough would have worked out here in Southeast Asia? Ha ha ha :) Have a fun trip!

breadchick said...

Well done on your challenge!

farida said...

Your braid looks so beautiful! Perfectly braided, you did such a good job! Mine looks skinny and snaky:)) I love your pictures! Blueberry filling sounds like a good idea. I made chocolate filling. It was light and very delicious!

Y said...

I love your individual danishes - they're so pretty.

Aimei said...

Your braiding was so neat and nice. I've done that using normal bread dough and didnt got it as nice as yours. :) I liked your blueberry with cheese filling! Yum yum :D

Rebecca said...

Wow, your pastries look amazing! I can't believe that filling.

Dolores said...

Beautiful braid... and the individual pastries are gorgeous too.

Nutella and bananas... I'm so-oooo there!

Rachel said...

Wow they look stunning and sound fantastic! I had never though of combining soft cheese and blueberries but I can imagine that it would be delicious!

Hannah said...

Just beautiful, and those blueberries that are peeking out look so lush and delicious!

Milli said...

wooo....love how ur braid turned out.
Congrats!

sterling said...

I love the cream cheese filling and blueberry combo - sounds lovely! I may have to use the second half of my dough this weekend and do something similar :)

my food affair said...

yum!! blueberry and cream cheese is a match made in heaven! i will have to make the braid again with that filling.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Cream cheese and blueberry filling - yessss! Your braid and it's smaller cousins all look delicious. Good job!

Claire said...

Looks great...I love the filling.

Hannah said...

How beautiful, your braid looks absolutely flawless!

Lunch Buckets said...

I made my second braid today with a blueberry and cheese filling :)

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Fresh blueberries and cream cheese!?! That sounds and looks so good! You can't go wrong with cream cheese and fruit!

Dita said...

I love the filling, Mandy!! look so scrumptious! Perfect combination between cream cheese and blueberry.

Leslie said...

Love the Braid...I tagged you for a meme on my site..if you would like to participate you are more than welcome to!

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