Daring Bakers

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.

45 Responses to Daring Bakers

  1. My mom used to make something similar at Christmas but we haven’t had it in years. This looks like just the sort of thing for when the cooler weather hits. Do you have a direct link to the recipe? I visited their sites and can’t find it — although the sites were well worth the time!

  2. dinnerwithjulie says:

    Yum. I’m waiting for my third fold to chill now. at past midnight!
    Pondering a fig caramel filling, although that seems blasphemous in late June…

  3. peabody says:

    Yeah, I threw some glaze on my baked dough. I like my stuff sweet.🙂
    Looks good and I can’t wait to see the custard and peach versions(hope you post it).

  4. Aran says:

    beautiful braid dana!

  5. giz says:

    So glad you didn’t pass on this month’s challenge. Your braid is wonderful. It kind of gets right into your blood stream doesn’t it? And who can resist the smell when it’s baking?

  6. danamccauley says:

    So true, the smell of that cardamom laced dough baking is absolutely therapeutic.

    Thanks for popping in ladies. I’m off to Collingwood hiking today and tomorrow so I won’t have a chance to check out too many people’s wares until later in the week.

    BTW Char, Sass and Veracity has their post up now. She even has excellent step-by-step pics to accompany the recipe.

  7. Cakelaw says:

    Your braid and filling look great Dana – wonderful!

  8. Mom Quixote says:

    So jealous Dana: wish I had those skills when I was 15!

    Your braid looks lovely. Happy you were able to squeeze it in!

  9. farida says:

    Wonderful looking braid! Yummy yummy!

  10. Marie says:

    I think some glaze would have been good on mine too. Such talents at a young age!
    fantastic job!

  11. Natashya says:

    Beautiful and flakey pastry. I can’t wait for the Niagara peaches either.
    I also love your orange espresso machine in the background. Francis Francis or Delonghi? My KA stand mixer is in the same colour, it makes me happy every time I use it.
    Nice to meet another Canadian DB. Happy Canada Day!

  12. Fran Z says:

    I, too thought is could use some more sweet. I had a lot of fun incorporating the butter! Looking good Dana!

  13. Lorrie says:

    yummy it looks so good!

  14. Karen says:

    Perfect looking braid! Can’t wait for the peach danishes to come. Well done! Fantastic challenge.

  15. rachel says:

    I like that you added the glaze for that extra sweetness..Nice!!

  16. Aparna says:

    Quite a flaky braid, Dana. I left the glaze out thinking it might turn out too sweet!

  17. Deeba says:

    What a pretty & delicious looking Danish! Wonderful!! This has ceratinly been one of the most fun challenge for me…& as I read, for many other DBs! Mine overbrowned a bit too, but it tasted ‘out of this world’!!! Your braid is ever so pretty Dana!

  18. marye says:

    Dana- fantastic..So glad you joined in.I went with sugar rather than glaze because I like the crispy top..
    yours looks wonderful.

  19. breadchick says:

    Very nicely done!

  20. Natashya, you have a very good eye! Yes, that is a Francis Francis espresso maker in the background.

  21. Christine says:

    That looks delicious! How can I get a copy of Homemakers? I don’t think we have that in the states.

  22. madcapCupcake says:

    Oh, it looks delish – love the icing on top…yum!

  23. Mary says:

    Your braid looks fantastic! Super delicious!

  24. lisa says:

    Yep, I agree – the glaze makes it perfect! Nice job!!

  25. Rosa says:

    Your braid looks great and delicious! Very well done!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  26. Deborah says:

    Gorgeous braid! I’m so glad you were inspired to do this month’s challenge, because it looks wonderful1

  27. Gabi says:

    Glad you opted to do the braid instead of pass this month- looks fabulous!
    Happy Canada Day!
    xoxo

  28. Laurie says:

    It looks great Dana!
    I’ll look forward to checking out the fall issue f Homemakers!🙂
    Ciao

  29. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for your comment!! The turnovers were really just a result of my playing around with the extra dough…but they turned out pretty good, I think! I bet your glaze was yummy….and just the right touch of sweetness.

  30. courtney says:

    Wonderful job here. I should have glazed mine.Next time.

  31. Marie says:

    Your Danish braid looks really yummy! I actually did sit this month out of the DB challenge. Great Job!

  32. Barbara says:

    Baking for a bake sale at 14 – that’s pretty impressive! Your braid looks delicious!

  33. Di says:

    I’m not even sure how my braid tasted without glaze. Do they make danishes without glaze? =) The custard and peach filling idea sounds delicious.

  34. Miss Ifi says:

    Okie.. so your danish braid looks AMAZING!!!
    mmm congratulations…. *gets hypnotized by your braid* yum!!!

  35. I like my Danish dark so this looks great to me!

  36. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments. I thought it turned out well, too.

    For those of you who mentioned my early baking prowess, let’s just say that I was an idiot savant when it came to the stove. Truthfully, I have to give my mom credit for not freaking me out about the dangers of the kitchen. She was laid back about cooking and it allowed me to relax and have fun with the whole thing. And look where it took me in the end? Sweet! (literally.)

  37. Lisa says:

    You did a splendid job.. glad you decided to go for it. And I’m with the rest.. looking forward to the peach danish!🙂

    xoxo

  38. Jen Yu says:

    A job well done. I’m glad you completed the challenge despite your crazy schedule!!

  39. Sheltie Girl says:

    You did a fabulous job on your danish. Simply beautiful.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  40. Shari says:

    I’m impressed that at 14 you had found your baking talent!! I’m with you on the glaze on top for added sweetness. Great job!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  41. Claire says:

    Looks great! Mine was a bit brown as well and the added glaze perked up the flavor. 🙂

  42. Ben says:

    Excellent job. Thank you for baking with us🙂

  43. Barbara says:

    I agree, the danish by itself wasn’t super sweet but a glaze would be just the right touch. Next time I make one, a glaze will be included for sure.

  44. […] several months of hardcore, pastry-school-worthy Daring Baker’s challenges such as Danish, Éclairs and Opera Cake, this month’s savoury, flat bread challenge felt like a vacation! Our […]

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