Easter Braided Danish (Co-Op Cook’s Challenge!)

28 Mar

It has been much, much too long since I posted but I have been overwhelmingly busy with the new job. Actually, starting the new job while still trying to finish up a few other things at the old jobs. I am totally exhausted but completely enthused!

So last weekend before things got too crazy I made this beautiful braided danish. I baked it to share with my grandmother, sister, and brother-in-law but I think it would make a perfect addition to Easter brunch. The recipe is another Davis Co-Op Cook’s Challenge and an excellent and informative instruction brochure can be found here.

Now get ready because this is a hell of a recipe! Useful, though, when you’re trying to impress your family who remembers when you would only eat peanut butter sandwiches…

You start by making dough – I got to use my dough hook for the first time!

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I also bought bread flour to the first time, too. I’m not totally sure what the difference is, but it seemed finer. I started by combining the flour, yeast, and sugar.

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Then I cut up the butter into little cubes.

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Next I added the milk and egg.

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Then I turned on the mixer and let it go to town! I was so impressed. At first the butter didn’t really mix in…

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…but pretty soon the mixture got smooth, but a bit sticky.

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Then, I scooped the dough out into a greased bowl, covered it, and let it rise for an hour (about double in size… although I couldn’t really remember what size it was to start with). After an hour you gentle fold the dough to deflate it, and then let it rise a second time over another hour.

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Towards the end of the second hour I made the filling, combining cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, some flour, and Lemon Curd. I didn’t soften the cream cheese so there were some lumps left. Next time, I’m going with something chocolate for the filling!

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After the second rise my dough was still kind of sticky so I sprinkled a little flour on top and kneaded it in a bit. I had been worried about it but it ended up being perfectly “dough” like – I was so excited!

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OK, then I rolled the dough out into a roughly 10 x 15 inch rectangle.

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At this point transfer the dough to a cookie sheet with parchment paper. As the Co-Op says, if you don’t, you won’t be able to move it after it’s filled!

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So now you have to divide the rectangle into thirds…

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…then spread the filling down the center.

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Next was the trickiest part for me – cutting strips about one inch apart down the length of the outer thirds. My cuts were not very clean and I had to kind of pull them apart making it a bit messy.

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Second to best part next – braiding time! First, cut off the strips at the top and bottom so you have a little flap to fold over. Then, lay one strip diagonally across the center, and  next fold the strip from the other side over.

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Continue down the whole length of the danish, tucking in the ends.

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Look how pretty!

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Now you have to loosely cover the danish and let it rise for a third hour! Finally, pop it in the oven. In the meantime, prepare the glaze (see my new pastry brush!).

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And the best part…. bake to golden perfection!

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Glaze the danish… have you ever seen anything so beautiful!?

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Normally I would post the recipe and instructions, too, but the Co-Op did such a good job that you should follow their guide.

OK Co-Op, I’m ready for the next challenge. Bring it on! I’m thinking chocolate souffle?

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3 Responses to “Easter Braided Danish (Co-Op Cook’s Challenge!)”

  1. Bonnie March 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    This looks amazingly delish – and so professional! Did anything stick out as the most challenging parts of the process? I really wish I lived closer to you!!

    • mmckenzie06 March 29, 2013 at 5:58 am #

      Nothing was overly difficult, it was just an involved process! It took a long time but it was totally worth it! Plus, I got to try out a few new things!

  2. Kelly April 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    That looks so awesome! And anything with that much butter in it HAS to be delicious!

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