Daring Bakers

June 29, 2008

It would have been so easy to take a pass on the June Daring Baker’s Challenge. I’ve been baking at work for weeks to complete a big fall recipe project that will appear in the October issue of Homemakers so my sweet tooth was more than satisfied. In fact, as the calendar changed from May to June, I was leaning toward making this a DB-free month.

Then everything changed. I saw that the challenge was to make a Danish Braid and I was in! I’ve made puff pastry millions of times and when I was 14 or 15 I perfected my recipe for a quick bread version of Danish Braid that became the cornerstone of my brother’s hockey team’s bake sale fundraisers. But, after more than 30 years of baking, I had never attempted the true Danish pastry that combines bread making and puff pastry techniques.

The recipe we were to use was selected and presented by Kelly of Sass and Veracity and Ben of What’s Cooking. Please visit their sites to get this terrific recipe. This is a large dough recipe so I froze half (I plan to use my left over pastry later in the season to make custard and Niagara peach filled Danishes.) but you can simply cut the ingredients in half and make less. Once I finish this dough, I likely will make another batch. It’s really that good!

As you can see from the picture above, my Danish Braid turned out a bit dark; however, the texture and flavour were excellent. I found the Danish to be a little under-sweetened, so after this picture was taken I added a drizzle made by blending icing sugar, a gob of butter, and whipping cream together to make a fluid consistency. (This mixture is just a slightly thicker version of the glaze I use for my homemade doughnuts, btw). I transferred this glaze mixture to a plastic bag, nipped off one corner and then drizzled the gooey goodness over the pastry in a zigzag pattern.