Danish braid pastry

Danish braid

Last 4 challenges of Daring bakers were sweet items and I was reconsidering whether I had to continue in this group or leave it because I could not take so much sweet.   I had missed March and April challenges both of which were sweets and I could not finish the May challenge because it was too sweet for me. Unlike any other sweets I make, I usually don’t like to change anything in DB challenges as they need exact measurements for their success. But then I simply love to learn new things and with Daring Baker’s I am guaranteed to learn something new every month, so I really don’t know what to do.  All the members of this group are great, so I really enjoy being in this lovely group.  So when I saw this challenge, I was very very happy.  Ohh, are you confused because this is also a sweet? That is because even though it is sweet, it is very very suitable for my taste buds because it has a very very tasty bread which I absolutely adore. So far, this has turned out to be my favorite challenge. I simply adored this. This is also the first challenge,  where I made it twice in one month and both times, we relished it and finished the whole thing. Yay…

This month’s challenge is hosted by Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’?. Thanks a lot guys for picking up this challenge. When I first read this challenge, I thought they had done spelling mistakes and instead of bread, they had written braid, then soon realized how stupid I was. I just searched Danish braid in Google and there were hundreds of results. It looked so impressive that I had to try it immediately. Yes, I actually tried this very early, in the first week itself.

First try – I absolutely had no difficulty in getting this right. I had a big batch of strawberries with me. So I tried this with strawberry filling. This is very time consuming recipe, so it took me most of the Saturday. One good thing I had done is, when the dough was resting for the first 30mins, I made the filling and refrigerated it. So by the time the dough was ready, the filling had completely cooled and was very thick (which is very important for the braid). I had made only half the quantity given in the recipe. All the time, I thought the yeast may not work and it may become a failure. Considering the time I had spent on it, I would have really freaked out if it had failed. So in the last stage, after 5hrs of waiting and making the braid, when it proofed well and doubled in volume, I almost danced with joy. Then I baked it, my entire house was filled with heavenly aroma. It was just out of the world delicious. I absolutely enjoyed the filling too.

Second try – In our office, we have “cook outs” every once or twice in a year. Though all of my teammates know my craze for cooking, I never cooked anything for them (apart from the chocolate cake which was tasted by only a few). This time I knew there will be many more at the lunch. Even though there are some who like Indian food, I am not comfortable cooking it for someone who don’t know much about it. I am not comfortable in cooking anything non-Indian for the fear that it may turn out to be disasters (Actually I didn’t want to spoil my image you know, they think I am a great cook and I would love it to continue that way). But since I had loved the pastry so much, I decided to bake this for the lunch. I didn’t go with the strawberry filling, because again, for the fear that it may not be something they would love. I decided to make it with apple filling given in the recipe and even though I don’t like cinnamon in sweets and hate everything that has apples in it, I thought to go with it (because I have seen this apple-cinnamon combo so many times on Food network, so I realized everyone would love it). This time I had made full quantity given in recipe. Also, used orange zest (the first time, I used lemon zest) in the pastry.

Everything went well this time too. But only problem was, the time constraint. I had prepared the dough on Thursday evening after office and on Friday morning, I had to bake this early morning and reach office by 8AM. I made one big and one smaller braid from 3/4th of dough. So things became a bit too tight that day for me. In a hurry, I baked it for a tad bit longer and it came out bit darker than I would have loved. But it still smelled amazing. Everyone at the office, loved it :). I was so happy. It was gone in minutes.

I had kept aside 1/4th of the dough. I made a small braid with it for a get together at home with my favorite strawberry filling. This time, instead of egg wash, I coated the braid with butter – because my guests don’t eat eggs, even though they said they don’t mind the eggs in pastries/cakes, I didn’t want even the eggy smell to pastry. This time, the filling was a bit watery, so the braids didn’t come out as expected. Even then, it was amazingly tasty.

I was going to make a savory braid again before this post with a savory filling. But since I was not keeping very well for last couple of days, I could not manage that. Anyway, I will do it sometime in future.

Click here for the recipe of Danish braid.

Some things to remember:
– Please follow the instructions exactly if you attempt this. Do not skip/change any of the steps of making the dough. Once you get hold of it, you can experiment with it, but first time, please follow exactly.
– The filling should not be watery, otherwise the braid opens up after proofing. So make it in advance and refrigerate it.
– Room temperature makes a difference too. My kitchen temperature remains at 70-80F all the time because of air conditioner.
– Remember, the yeast needs activation(if using active dry yeast) before using in this recipe. Leave the yeast in lukewarm water for 10mins allowing it to activate. Then continue.

Some other things I am going to do in future
– Some Indian and some non-Indian savory filling
– Change the flavoring of dough

Strawberry filling – This quantity is enough for half the quantity of the dough. The braid comes out huge and easily enough for 6-7 people. The nuts give a crunch and great taste to the filling. I loved the cardamom flavor of this filling very much.

Danish braid

Ingredients:
1lb strawberries chopped into small pieces
1 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tea spn corn starch
1/2 tea spn powdered cardamom
3/4 cup (75gms) chopped almonds
1/2 tea spn butter

Method:
Take strawberries and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and cook on medium flame till the sugar is melted and become slightly thick. Now add corn starch, a little at a time mixing all the time. Take off heat and add cardamom powder.
In another pan, melt the butter. Add chopped almonds and fry for few minutes.
Add the almonds to strawberries. Mix well. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for few hours before using.

Pictorial
Wet ingredients poured into the dry ingredients. In the dry ingredients, I used lemon zest instead of orange.
Danish braid

After mixing all the ingredients into a dough. (I used little more dough than mentioned in recipe)
Danish braid

Butter cut into pieces before beating for the butter block.
Danish braid

Cutting almonds into pieces

Heating the butter and almonds

Rolling the dough

Spreading the butter on 2/3rd of the dough

Fold such that every fold has butter

I did not take pictures of intermediate steps here. After 5 hrs of resting and rolled into required size

Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and then cut

Spread the filling

Braiding

I forgot to apply egg wash before leaving for rising. So here the dough has already risen and then I applied egg wash.

After baking

Made a glaze by boiling 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tea spn vanilla essence and 2 tbl spn water. Drizzled it over the baked pastry

Spread some roasted sesame seeds. Glaze helps to stick them to the pastry

A cross sectional view

With apple filling for the second trial (apple filling recipe is in the recipe linked)

This time I spread toasted almonds on the top

PS:
I am posting everything I know about this recipe. This point is for those who have been attempting Daring bakers recipes from here, skip/change some steps and say it did not work well for them. Remember, these recipes need some patience and expertise. When I made these, I was in one of my best moods and had reserved a lot of time for it. I am also a novice in this and just learning.

Update: For those who are worried about the butter quantity, if you calculate it properly, it comes to around 1tbl spn of butter per huge serving. I really don’t think it is too much because if you buy pastry sheets from market, they have too much of butter in them (which usually drips when you bake them). You won’t be eating this daily, so once in a while, I think so much butter is not too much.

77 Comments for “Danish braid pastry”

gowri

says:

hey Shilpa,
What a lovely looking pastry. Worth the effort i think……….. book marked, and I will try it soon. Thanks for such a detailed post.

says:

Hey Shilpa, this pastry looks amazing. I think the braiding looks perfect and love the chopped almond effect you have done on one of them. I think I would love both the fillings you have here..Yummy..

says:

Oh my my looks absolutely yummy and the braiding is sooo perfect. It definately looks time consuming and I must say you have a lot of patience 🙂

says:

Yeah! I am not a fan of sweet filling that much either- but then I simply loved this one. I stuck to apple filling and i for some reason simply loved it. Mine is almost over now – planning to share with friends 🙂 Thats one hell of a buitter to consume all by oneself

foodie

says:

looks lovely, must have tasted great as well. would love to make it, but am worried about the zillion calories 🙂 do u know a low cal version?

says:

Awesome awesome! This is just one grand looking challenge. Glad you are enjoying these challenges and i love chatting to you about them!

says:

amazing shilpa…the braid pastry looks delicious and simply out of this world..i don’t think i will ever have the patience to attempt something so complicated!!amazing..fantastic and fabulous..three cheers to you!!

says:

Two braids in one month… I *am* impressed (and glad you decided to stick with us). Definitely try a savory Indian filling and let us know how that turns out.

says:

Your description is wonderful, Shilpa! I will have to try this bread braid sometime too 🙂
Your co-workers must have been very impressed indeed!

growitgreen

says:

BEAUTIFUL!
I have been reading many of the daring bakers blogs about the braided pastry. I personally think that strawberries make the best pastries. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

read some of my other favorite blogs at http://www.foodista.com

says:

Shilpa..wonderful and its reflecting so much of efforts ya! (Am in Mumbai and today only signed in!I truly miss the blog world but enjoying here as well) Great work and it looks amazing the braids n the stepwise snaps.

Shilpa Shanbhag

says:

Hey Shilpa,

Kudos to you and your cooking patience…. Gosh I was drooling on the comp while I was going thru the recipe.

Keep up the good work…

Shilpa

Deepa

says:

Wow Shilpa, you are really a daring baker Shilpa,wow looks like one from a bakery,and your patience is admirable.

shilpa

says:

Hi Shilpa
Wow it looks too good, i buy it whenever i see it in our supermarket bakery aile, always used to wonder how they do it ,ur step by step procedure cleared all my doubts and also u really have loads of patience, (i knew about ur patince when i had seen ur peda recipe)… Keep it up girl

Take care of ur health
shilpa

says:

Hi Shilpa, I’ve seen this preparation as part of the Daring Bakers challenge 🙂 But this is one of those blogs with step by step pics so I really liked it 🙂 Thanks!
And oh yes, congratulations on your successful completion of the challenge! The results are mouth-watering!

Sowmya Venkatesh

says:

Hi Shilpa,
i really appreciate your patience to roll out that dough… just to make things a bit easy…can we use the ready made puff pastry sheets that we get in supermarkets?

Shilpa: Sowmya, you can use the ready made. But this one is more flavorful and also more healthy as the ready made ones have much more butter. This dough freezes well. So if you wish, you can make a big batch and freeze it and use when required.

Jyothi shankar

says:

hey shilpa…this recipes looks fantastic…good work…yeah really it need more effort and patience
thank u for such gr8 recipe!!!!

Cheers

sangeetha

says:

hi
so sweet of u to share all details with all of us…
i wish i had a piece of it to taste…may be next time….

says:

I absolutely love this recipe. I have always wanted to bake my own bread but have been a bit scared to take the leap. This looks time consuming but so well worth it. You have done an amazing job. I am going strawberry picking so this would be a great recipe in which to use my strawberries. Thanks for this post.

says:

Hi:

With this braid recipe, you have achieved amazing results.
I’m so–o-o impressed.
Brushing the top with milk gives a glossy finish too…just saw that on Food Network.
I’m a senior newbie who has just started a cooking blog: http://paytpooja.blogspot.com. When you have time would you please visit and leave a comment?
Thanks
Geeta Aunty

says:

Hi Shilpa:

It’s me, Geeta (Aunty) again.
What a great recipe you have made/followed here.
I am going to mention it on my site with a link to yours…as Most Challenging Recipe Followed Perfectly.
Congratulations on these great results…hats off to you.

nisha

says:

Im at just amazed at how beautifully you have captured all the photographs explaining it step by step. I just wish i could sink my teeth in it right away.

says:

this is a wonderful step-by-step instruction. I am afraid of baking (nothing ever comes out right), but here I feel like I could just go ahead and do it 🙂

kanthi

says:

omg…..!!!this just too gud to be true…i mean this is totally a pastry shop experience for me…u’ve done a brilliant job to get this beauty on screen…for all of us sweet tooths here…my mouth’s watering….great job!!

dhivia

says:

hi shilpa…am making the braid as we speak! am onto my second turn now! have a question though..how long after we fill the braid , do we have to leave it to rise? im hoping u see this before i bake mine!

Shilpa: About an hour till it rises and foamy to touch.

Fio

says:

Please let me know about the timing and the temperature used for this recipe. I would definitely try to make this pastry?

Have you also tried making scones, danish miniature pastry, choux pastry,cream puffs, choux eclairs, petit fours or any miniature pastry?

Shilpa: Every detail is in the recipe attached.

Manali

says:

So the difference is only in thier taste.I do have corn flour with me.Can i use that with this recipe?

Shilpa: I don’t know. Sorry.

Manali

says:

Lovely recipe,i gonna try it 2day,just wanted to ask u,Till how long it’s good to use strawberry filling after making?

Shilpa: I haven’t tried keeping it for more than 3 days.

Katie

says:

I’m about to make this bread and I have a question about the yeast. Do I need to measure out the required amount for the recipe before or after I activate it? I realize the volume is greater after adding water so I want to make sure Im not using too little or too much. I assume I would measure out the tablespoon of dry yeast and activate that; but then I think that the amount doubles once I wet it and then am I using too much? I fyou can please let me know! Thanks!

says:

i was searching for konkani veg recipes n eventually found ur site..simply superb how u show each n every step through pictures…it really inspires me..

says:

Hi,

I recently made this Danish braid using your recipe posted here. I want to post it on my blog with original source of recipe. I will use a link to link your recipe. Please let me know if this is okay. Also can i just use the recipe listed on your site on my blog for future reference for me ?

koyel

says:

Hi Shilpa,
I am a fan of yours….and was planning for a very long time to make this pastry but I was nt confident enough.Today just now I made it & am so happy that could not resist to share it with you at 11Pm :P..Braid was not perfect looking as yours though it is good looking enough hehehe & tasted great too.Thank you so much for this recipe.

Priya shetty

says:

hi shilpa
it blog has become my favorite pasttime these days.totally love it,why don’t you upload some of ur recipies on you tube .
love the presentation of the recipies in ur blog.

charanya

says:

hi, loved ur braided pastry, planning to try it. i have doubt, u applied butter and folded it and rested in d fridge for 5 hrs and then stuffed it and braided. just 1 fold is enough? (usually for puff pastry the folding is donen 3 times)

says:

You have to fold it and roll 5 times. I did not take pictures of these steps, but it is mentioned in original recipe. Butter is applied only once

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