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!


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.


Then I cut up the butter into little cubes.


Next I added the milk and egg.


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…


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


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.


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!


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!


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

IMG_8095     IMG_8094

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!


So now you have to divide the rectangle into thirds…


…then spread the filling down the center.


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.


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.


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


Look how pretty!


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!).


And the best part…. bake to golden perfection!


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


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?


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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