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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Danish Braid

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....

History
“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....



Lessons learned:

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.

36 comments:

ostwestwind said...

Almond pastry cream sounds divine, great looking braid, congrats

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Dolores said...

I love your description of all that is the daring baker experience. And your lessons learned were priceless. All the instructions are important indeed. Great job!

Ann said...

Love the idea of almond filling! Beautiful braid!

Beth said...

Almonds make everything infinitely better! Glad to hear your second braid went smoothly - it looks great.

zorra said...

You are absolutly right, everybody has done a great job, and your braid make me drooling even more.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Sexy is your filling! very nice pictures!

DaviMack said...

Wow, your dough looks totally professional - as does your finished product! Great job!

glamah16 said...

Beautiful braid work. I love almonds. Its amazing how the varing temps can make all the diffrence.

sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

Great looking braid aside, I must agree with Dolores...your biography of what the "Daring Bakers" is about was true to the core. No question too dumb, no failure but a learning experience. We are lucky to have great members such as you!

Great Job!

miss.cupcake.face said...

Hehe I agree with all your lessons learned.
Your braid turned out great, wish I could've had a taste!

madcapcupcake said...

The braids look great - nicely done, but it was delicious :)

Jackie said...

My beurrage shivered too!

I imagine that almond pastry cream and raspberry coulis was a dynamite combination. Looks good!

onespicymama said...

I hear you about those lessons (#2 comes to mind...)! Great braid!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Your first paragraph BC is the perfect DB spirit! It's what it's all about.
I have to smile at 'all the instructions are important not just the ones I remember: if only I'd remembered about the 16 seeds of cardamom and not used that grocery store stuff from a bottle . . .
and yes two tries does seem to get things to come together better for me to.
Almond is sexy! YES!

Aparna said...

That's one good looking braid.
Being a DB is fun and true learning experience. We rock:D

Cynthia's Blog said...

I love the attitude! Your braid is beautiful.

Angela said...

The pastry cream sounds gorgeous and the finished braid certainly is gorgeous! Great job!

Lorrie said...

your braid looks like it came straight from a bakery! delicious!

breadchick said...

I think almond is just about one of my favourite danish flavours. Yours is bakery perfect!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks delicious and I love the almond pastry cream filling. Sounds like heaven!

Deborah said...

I really liked this challenge, too. Your braid is gorgeous!

shellyfish said...

Your braid looks great- and I love your photos, they're so pretty!

Holly said...

Yummy! I love the nuts sprinkled on top, looks so professional.

Rebecca said...

This challenge was pretty sexy. I haven't seen a bad braid yet. ;)

Jenny said...

Amazing job!
And if you were having problems with the cold, you should have brought it to my house, the heat from the sun coming in my windows would have melted things very quickly.

~Amber~ said...

Beautiful looking braid. Congrats on a job well done.

Elle said...

It's beautiful! I love the almonds over the top.

Claire said...

Your braid looks great!

Renee said...

Very nice braid!

Ben said...

Great job. We all learn something new with each challenge and that's why I love the group. Thank you for baking with us :)

Jen Yu said...

"All the instructions are important, not just the ones I remember." LOL! You are so cute! I totally know where you are coming from on that lesson ;) I think your braid turned out perfectly - it's beautiful! Great job.

Lunch Buckets said...

Sexy indeed! Nice job :)

Lesley said...

I wish I had read your post before starting! I find it very instructional, especially the photos! Great job!!

Lis said...

HAR! I couldn't agree more.. this was a very sexy challenge and looking at your photos makes me wish that my monitor had scratch and taste abilities. :D

xoxoxoxooxo

virjennifer said...

It looks absolutely perfect!

creampuff said...

BC,

That is fabulous! Well done!