Sunday, June 29, 2008

Danish Braid with Quadruple Berry-Rhubarb Filling

Danish Braid with Quadruple Berry-Rhubarb Filling

This is my first month as a member of the "Daring Bakers" group. I joined this group because they only do one challenge a month and it is usually some baking technique that I have not done before. This is exciting for me, as it allows me to stretch out of my comfort zone and improve my knowledge of baking! This month's challenge was a Danish Braid. The actual recipe was not difficult, just a lot of steps and waiting. I made a Quadruple Berry-Rhubarb filling. I made this for my Dad for Father's Day and I think he enjoyed it!


Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

For the dough (Detrempe)
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 (I used lemon)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I used lemon)
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 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(lemon) zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange(lemon) 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(lemon) zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange(lemon) 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.

Quadruple Berry-Rhubarb Filling
3 c. mixed berries (I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1 c. chopped rhubarb
1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar

Toss fruit in flour/sugar mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

Here is what I did with the remaining dough. I rolled it out and sprinkled it with miniature chocolate chips. Then rolled it up and baked it. The finished product resembled a croissant with chocolate chips.

Reference: The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard


Francijn Brouwer said...

I especially like what you did with the remaining dough! Quick, easy, and sure it tasted good?

Angela said...

Your braid looks gorgeous and I love the sound of that filling. Yum!

~Amber~ said...

Beautiful looking braid and roll. Your filling sounds awesome. Congratulations on your first successful DB challenge!

Patti said...

Awesome . . . your filling sounds fabulous.

Jen Yu said...

What a wonderful braid you made and such a sweet thing to do for your father on Father's Day :) Congratulations on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers.

breadchick said...

All those berries! How wonderful. Well done on the challenge.

Miss Ifi said...

Congratulations on your first challenge and welcome to the group, I hope that you enjoy your experience with us!!!
Your filling sounds sooo yummy I love rhubarb and that roll with chocolate looks delish as well!
yum yum yum

silverrock said...

Mmmm... berries and rhubarb, lovely combo! The braid looks beautiful, and I love the idea of using the extra dough to make a giant danish streudel-like pastry. Way to go on your first DB challenge!