Sunday, June 29, 2008

Queens Blend Danish

Danish, that is a great Daring Baker Challenge. I have always wanted to try my hand at a layered dough such as this and now I have my chance.
I am finding that the kids prefer a DBer recipe that includes kneading, they almost push each other off the chair trying to be sure that they get their turn at the push and fold.

I have never mentioned this before but I have a lot of rolling pins. A few years back I told my Grandfather that I would like for him to pick me up a couple of rolling pins at the yard sales he goes to in Florida and he has not stopped getting them for me and the count it up to 8 or 9 now. this year he brought be a marble rolling pin. I found that the heavy marble rolling pin was the perfect tool for rolling out the danish dough, only after using my wooden one for the first 2 rolls.

I the beginning of the month the kids and I went to IKEA and the Jams looked so good that I got them just for making this danish. I got the gooseberry for the danish; however, the Queens Blend was so yummy and had such a beautiful color I had to use it.

I was so happy when the danish came out and it had all these beautiful layers in each of the braids.

Unfortunately I took it out of the oven a minutes too soon and it was a little doughy in the inside or maybe I did not roll it thin enough so next time I will let the dough rest a good long time and then roll it out extra thin and add more filling.

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer:
Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.


1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes enough for 2 large braids

1 recipe Danish Dough
2 cups Jam or other filling

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Because the oven, and the house, was already hot and I had some egg whites in my refrigerator I tried my had at making french macarons. I will post this adventure at a later date .

When I was all done and the kids were in bed I ended the day with a home made Mojito, mmmmmmm!

To see more Daring Bakers go here.


Ann said...

Just gorgeous!

glamah16 said...

You had a lot of yummy going on that day. You and the kids did an excellent job.

DaviMack said...

Your dough looks so smooth and perfect, as does your finished product! I'm sorry that it was a bit doughy - it certainly looks wonderful.

breadchick said...

You and your little baking helpers sure did a fantastic job on the challenge this month. Can't wait to read about the macaroons.

Kevin said...

Great looking braid. You can really see the layers in that light and flaky pastry.

Leslie said...

Beautiful..and it great that your kiddos helped you! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!!

Lorrie said...

aww I love your little helpers! your danish turned out lovely!

PAT A BAKE said...

Your braid just looks sooooooo awesome. And i luved your lil kids lending you a helping hand. Gr8 job and well done.

maybelles parents said...

great job, and can't wait to hear about the macarons.

Lore said...

Your Danish braid looks fabulous. Sure sounds like lot of work...I can't believe you had the energy to make some macarons too!

Laura Rebecca said...

I love that you A) made a beautiful braid, B) got your kids involved in the DB recipe, C) used extra egg white to make macarons and D) celebrated it all with a mojito. You are a dynamo!

~Amber~ said...

Your danish is absolutely beautiful. It looks so flaky and delicious.

Christine said...

Shayne - it's always nice to see your children baking with you. I can't say it enough - they are too cute!

I've also liked a lot of the jams from Ikea - not too sugary and with real fruit flavor.

Elle said...

Beautiful! And think I'd like a mojito now, too. hehe!

Deborah said...

Your dough looks so perfect and flaky! I need a new rolling pin - I only have one, but I've been meaning to buy a thinner one for years. I bet that marble worked so well for this!

abby said...

i love that your kids get so involved - daring bakers of the future!

Dolores said...

Beautiful braid. And I always enjoy watching your kids in action in the kitchen. They're going to know no fear when it comes to baking. Great job!

Claire said...

How wonderful to have TWO sets of helping hands! I've used a rolling pin like that before and LOVED it! You did a great job.

Lunch Buckets said...

Nice job! I don't think that my children have ever kneaded - obviously I've been remiss!

Abbi said...

That danish looks so very yummy!

Shayne said...

I just wanted to say think you everyone for all your kind words about this months challenge.