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Megans Cookin: Danish Braids

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Danish Braids

It's Daring Bakers Time. This months challenge was danish pastry. This is the kind of recipe that I would of normally just passed on by. That's what I love about the Daring Bakers. They push me beyond my own limitations. I would of never made a Lemon Meringue pie, or a Bostini, or even Julie Child's French Bread, but that's whats so neat. It's the limitations I set on my self that are chaining me down. And the Daring Bakers challenge me to do more, to do better. They are a virtual kick in the butt. And each month that butt seems to get just a little bit bigger.

I had a few berries on hand so I decided on raspberry and cream cheese. So I threw some in a pot and thought I would cook them down a bit and sweeten them up a little with some vanilla sugar. I added a few blackberries for good measure.I only used some of the berries and used the rest on a tart that I made and on my breakfast. Yogurt and berries are one of my favorite breakfasts.

So I thought all was good and my jam was wonderful. (note to self: Make Raspberry Jam) I put it in a jelly jar and let it cool in the fridge. I made my dough, wrapped it, and put it in the fridge for it's 30 minute chill time. I turn around to start cleaning my work station and this is what I see.

The Orange Juice. I forgot the orange juice. And it's to late now. Stupid Stupid, Stupid!!! I couldn't believe it. But what ya gonna do? I had to just go with it. I couldn't add the juice at this stage of the game. But I lost a bit of my gumption. And I couldn't quit kicking myself. Stupid indeed.

The dough has to be rolled out and a butter block (butter and flour)is spread on 2/3 of the dough. Then you fold it like a business letter. The right third over the center third and then the left third over the middle third. That is considered a turn and you do that 4 times with 30 minutes of chilling in between. Time consuming? Yes. Hard? Not unless you forget to put your OJ in it. Oh, sorry. I'll try to keep the attitude out of it.
So after 4 sessions with the rolling pin, was time to fill my braid. I was so excited that I went barreling forward without thinking. I cut my dough and I spread a layer of cream cheese on half, because a certain someone kept wrinkling her nose at the cream cheese. Geez, kids.
Then it was time for the raspberry jam. There wasn't enough jam. I should have used alot more berries. But they were all gone at this point. So I sliced up some fresh apricots.

But remember I told you I went barreling through. I again didn't stop to think. My filled braid was still on the pastry cloth and not on the baking sheet. It was a little hard to move. (Imagine more air being let out of my balloon.)

But I baked it and It tasted great. I loved the orange and cardamon flavor in the dough.
By this point I decided to forgo the icing and I just let it be eaten. It was definitely tasty. Maybe not necessarily flaky but it was good. A few days later I rolled out the remaining dough and just filled it with canned apple pie filling. The air was pretty much out of my balloon.

During the next week my balloon was refreshed. I am a Daring Baker! I will try again. Actually, I had a bible study coming up and I thought I could take a Danish Braid to it. I still had everything I needed on hand including the stuff to make the apple filling that was suggested.

I sauteed my apples and made a quite tasty apple filling.

I made my dough and I didn't forget the OJ! Sure makes for a smother, more pliable dough.

Go figure.

I rolled and did 4 turns of the dough.

I shaped it, filled it, and baked it.

Then drizzled an almond glaze over the top and sprinkled sliced almonds on top. After I was finished, it occurred to me that I should of probably toasted them. But I was very happy with my end result.

A sneak peak at all that goodness!

I made a few little Cinnamon sugar pastries with the scraps from the braid. They are encouraging me to make little danishes with the last of the dough in my freezer. Yes, I still have some left. I'm packing it up with my rolling pin and taking it camping with us next week. Just because I'm camping doesn't mean I cant eat good.

Thank you to Kelly of Sass and Veracity and Ben of What's cooking? for hosting this months Daring Bakers challenge and picking such a wonderful recipe. Or should I say, "Thanks for the kick in the butt this month. It was a blast!"
If you would like the recipe, go to one of our host's site. It will be there in all it's glory!
Previous Daring Baker Challenges:




Blogger coco said...

I wanted to garnish mine with sliced almonds too but didn't have any

June 29, 2008 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger zorra said...

I love the filling of the first one!

June 29, 2008 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

These look fantastic and am sure the filling was so so good.

June 29, 2008 at 5:37 AM  
Blogger Gretchen Noelle said...

Love those near the bottom, they look perfect! Glad you faced the challenge!

June 29, 2008 at 5:43 AM  
Anonymous onepsicymama said...

They look yummy and I am sure that was one well-fed Bible study! Great job!

June 29, 2008 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

I'm so glad that you weren't defeated and went on to make a second batch of dough. All your danishes look great, but I must admit that I like your final one best. It looks so scrumptious!

June 29, 2008 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Looks like they all tasted delicious! That's awesome you didn't give up after trying once! :)

June 29, 2008 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger DaviMack said...

Good job! I'm glad to know that the dough is forgiving enough to leave out the orange juice, but also glad that you got the chance to do it twice!

June 29, 2008 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Jyotsna said...

Hi :) Your braids look great and I really admire you for trying twice!

June 29, 2008 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger CookiePie said...

Well done! It took 3 tries for me, so you're way ahead of me :) That last pic looks irresistable!

June 29, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Not one you did two! Awesome job and I will see you next month! That is what got me it was time consuming and I ran out of time...

June 29, 2008 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger rainbowbrown said...

Great process photos, the almonds on top are a fantastic idea!

June 29, 2008 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger glamah16 said...

You did fabulous Megan. I love those freah apricots and jam. The child will learn to love cream cheese when she grows up. Nice looking Kitchen Aid.

June 29, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Natalie... said...

Looks fantastic :) Good job.

June 29, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
OpenID dobetter said...

Wow, wonderful end result. The ladies in your Bible study must have been so impressed.

June 29, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Your braids turned out good. I like the almonds and icing sugar on the second one.

June 29, 2008 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Fran Z said...

I agree- it forced me to do things I wouldn't have done. In a good way!
Nicely done!

June 29, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous breadchick said...

Yup, the DB Challenges may kick our butts every months but they kick them in a good way! Great danishes!!

June 29, 2008 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Lorrie said...

your fillings look so nice, you did a very wonderful job!

June 29, 2008 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Half Baked said...

They all look fantastic! The glaze with almonds looks tasty:)

June 29, 2008 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger HoneyB said...

Great job! I too forgot and assembled mine on the counter! However, my braid didn't suffer much for it thankfully! I agree the dough was an awesome dough - I loved the flavors!

June 29, 2008 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Chanonn said...

Your water arobics friends want you to bring us some:) LOL, we can make up for it with a couple extra leap frogs!! LOL

June 29, 2008 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Your braids look great. I love the really fruity filling you used. The mini cinnamon rolls look cute too.

June 30, 2008 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

You can say it anyway, this challenge was a blast!
And your braid looks great. All the drizzle and almonds.

June 30, 2008 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger April said...

Yum! Megan, these look delicious! I made the dough yesterday and I am going to bake them today when I get home. Better late than never, huh? Great job on doing yours twice!

June 30, 2008 at 5:34 AM  
Anonymous marye said...

I am hungry all over again.

June 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Way to go doing yours TWICE! They look lovely and I like the mini cinnamon and sugar pastries.

June 30, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Janet R said...

that was cute! I enjoyed reading about your adventure and it had a happy yummy ending!

June 30, 2008 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

I'm so inspired that you made the recipe twice! They both look wonderful! I love the idea of the berry jam.

June 30, 2008 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Miss Ifi said...

Okie so the filling of the first one looks delicious!!! but I am sorry it didn't turn out as you expected.. however you attempted it again and you had a reeeally nice result, see? you are truly a DARING baker.

June 30, 2008 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

I can see why you were happy with the end result - gorgeous! Good for you for persevering.

June 30, 2008 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

What a wonderful combination Megan..these look beautiful!! Hugs to you! :)

June 30, 2008 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

That apple filling looks devine!

June 30, 2008 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger BumbleVee said...

Oh, oh, oh..!!! just cruising through checking some blogs cuz I was away ..then busy..then...well. you know. But... now this!! I'll be back to read all about it...and if you don't mind...copy and paste. I definitely want to try some. Your photos are great..I can almost taste the goodies!

June 30, 2008 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Y said...

Those little sugar pastries are so cute. I love the second danish you made, but the first one looks pretty darn good too, with all that fruit and half-cream-cheese! :D

July 1, 2008 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

Wow - I'm impressed you made it twice. Looks delicious!

July 1, 2008 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Geez, Daring Bakers IS kicking this butt ... and making it bigger. ;)

July 1, 2008 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I'm impressed you did this twice! I think they all look wonderful!

July 3, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger virjennifer said...


July 3, 2008 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Dolores said...

I love that you took the lessons learned in your first braid and used them to perfect the second one. Great job!

July 3, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

mmm....looks great! And even if your balloon did deflate, there are lots of layers in that cross-section!

July 8, 2008 at 4:43 PM  

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