The Daring Bakers strike again! The Daring Bakers started as a small intimate group of supportive baking enthusiasts who wanted to share their challenges and triumphs tackling a chosen recipe each month. The group is growing like wildfire and we number over 1,000 members. There is never a dumb question, never a disaster we cannot learn from, and never a success that we do not celebrate.
This month the Daring Bakers are tackling a Danish Braid. Our hosts, Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’?, picked “Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking.
First a little history and information from our hosts....
“Danish” was born when Danish bakers went on strike, and Viennese bakers were brought in to replace them, creating what is referred to as Vienna Bread. Conversely, it is also said that Danish bakers went to Vienna to learn the techniques Viennese bakers employed, and Danish dough was created there. In the early 1800’s, C.L. Olsen spent time in Germany, believing in the idea of gaining inspiration from bakers of other countries. He brought knowledge back to Denmark to introduce “foreign” breads to his country, also hiring people of other nationalities to bake in his family bakery.
Why Danish Braid?
Danish dough is in the family of butter-laminated or layered doughs with puff pastry being the ultimate. Danish dough is sweet and is yeast-leavened, however, where as puff pastry is not. The process of making Danish dough is less complex than that of puff pastry, but equally as important to achieve best results, and a great starting place to begin to learn about laminated doughs in general. Danish dough is extremely versatile, and once made can be used for a variety of baked goods. The possibilities are endless.
Now, a little feedback from me...
I loved, just loved this challenge!!! To tell the truth I relish every challenge because I learn so much from the other lovely bakers. Every challenge reveals something about myself too - following directions is a discipline I have yet to master .... but... I can trouble shoot like no one's business.
Rolled Dough Ready for Filling
This baby was filled with a homemade almond pastry cream and a drizzle of raspberry coulis. If I had followed all the directions, I would have braided my first attempt more evenly, oh well....
1) Room temperature has a different meaning depending on where you live. In Singapore, it meant melting butter. In Ottawa (Canada) we had a wave of cold weather; my "beurrage" was a hard lump of shivering butter.
2) All the instructions are important, not just the ones I remember.
3) Making two braids helped me use those instructions I omitted on my first attempt.
4) This was the sexiest Daring Baker challenge ever. Without exception, every picture from the Daring Bakers made me want to lick the screen.
The recipe can be found at the host's websites. It was loooong but filled with important information that should not be skipped. (sigh) Thank you to our lovely hosts for picking this challenge. We all appreciate the time and effort you have put toward making this experience fun.