Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Large Danish Braid

Week 48

It's my last week to host. It is really a bittersweet feeling. I have enjoyed baking this year and have learned so much. My husband even said I am turning into a cook like my Oma! If you know my Oma then you know how big of a compliment that was. On the bitter side it will be a relief to not have to bake every week. Now I can enjoy going back through everything we have baked and re-baking my favorites of just trying it again.

This week I decided to choose something that is not up alley. I flipped to the pastry section because that is one of my husbands favorite treats. I had three in mind and he choose the Large Danish Braid. Recipe on page 446 of our book.

Looks great! Of course it looks better in this photo then it did in real life. I love editing pictures it captures the moment and make it even better. :) All in all it went well and turned out looking really good considering that this was the longest recipe I have ever baked, EVER! Wow, I apologize to all my fellow bakers, I knew it was a long recipe but didn't realize it took 9 to 10 hours from start to finish. At least that is how long it took me. By the end I was really sick of my kitchen and the danish. So I am supper happy it was yummy and rich with creamy cream cheese, raspberries, and cherries, along a with flaky, buttery pastry bread. Topped with icing. It defiantly was a treat. Really good, but maybe a little to sweet for me to crave on a regular bases.

Now for the recipe:
Serves 6-8

If the dough becomes too warm and sticky to work with, cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator until firm. The Danish should be brushed with the glaze while hot, but drizzled with the icing after it has cooled.
  • 1 recipe Danish Dough
  • 1 recipe Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the Danish dough into a 14-inch square on a large sheet of parchment paper. Following the photos, spread the cooled filling down the center third of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the top and bottom edge. (As soon as I poured the filling on top of the dough I realized that my filling was way to running. I was really nervous at this point because it appeared that the danish was ruined but there was no going back now.)

Look at those cute little hands admiring my work.

2. Cut the dough on either side of the filling into diagonal strips about 3/4 inch thick. Discard the top corner of dough on either side, then, starting at the top of the Danish, crisscross the strips over the filling to form a braid. Slid the Danish, still on the parchment paper, onto a large baking sheet. (At this point I realized that the cream cheese was supposed to go on before the fruit filling. Crap...

It was a complete mess taking off the filling and putting the cream cheese on and the the fruit filling back on the pastry dough. The only good part of this step was it got rid of some fruit juice that wasn't supposed to be there.)

3.  Cover the Danish loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rises at room temperature until puffy, about 30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the Danish until golden brown, 22 to 26 minute, (I bake mine and 400 degrees for 22 minutes and then turned the oven to 375 degrees for the last 4 minutes.) rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

4.  FOR THE GLAZE:  Transfer the baked Danish to a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup.) Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and brush it over the hot Danish, Let the glazed Danish cool completely on the rack, about 1 hour.

5.  FOR THE ICING:  Whisk the icing ingredients together in a small bowl. When the Danish is completely cool, drizzle the icing attractively over the top. Let the icing set for 20 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead
Once Shaped and risen in step 3, the Danish can be frozen until firm, about 1 hour, then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Let the frozen Danish thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake as directed.


MAKES enough for 1 large braid or 9 individual Danish

When rolling the dough out, sprinkle extra flour over the counter and the rolling pin as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butte, cut into 3 equal pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1.  FOR THE DOUGH:  Mix the milk and egg together in a liquid measuring cup.

Combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and slat in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.

With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

2.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead the dough until it forms a sticky ball and becomes elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 5 minutes, the dough appears overly sticky and doesn't come together into a ball, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. (I added the full amount 1/4 cup of flour because my dough was really sticky.) 

Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

3.  FOR THE BUTTER SQUARE:  Lay the 3 pieces of butter side by side on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Gently pound the butter with a rolling pin until the butter is softened and the flour is fully incorporated, then roll it into a 5-inch square. 

Wrap the butter square in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and roll into a 9-inch square. 

Place the chilled butter square diagonally in the center of the dough. 

Fold the corners of the dough up over the butter square so that the corners meet in the middle and pinch the dough seams to seal.

5.  Using a rolling pin, gently tap the dough, starting from the center and working outward, until the square becomes larger and the butter begins to soften, Gently roll the dough into an 11-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle, then fold the rectangle in thirds to form a square. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

6.  Repeat step 5 and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 more hours before using.

To Make Ahead
The Danish dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let the dough thaw completely in the refrigerator, about 12 hours, before using.

You can substitute 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen raspberries for the cherries (eliminate the cornstarch).

  • 2 cups jarred or canned sour cherries, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

1.  Simmer the cherries, 1 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together in a medium sauce-pan over low heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl,cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, before using.

2.  Whisk the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon zest together in a medium bowl until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until stiff, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days, before using. Spoon the cherry mixture on top of the cheese filling when assembling the Danish.

A Tip & A Question:
  1. Plan a whole day to bake your Danish or use the make ahead options.
  2. Any tips for thickening the fruit filling. My guess is to drain and add more cornstarch.
I apologize for such a long post. I wanted to make sure all the recipes were posted so that anyone with-out the book could make the Danish. All pastries lovers should give this a try!


  1. Thanks for such a delicious pick!

  2. I did Cream Cheese & Cherries too. It was such a mess. Maybe I should have let my cherries thicken longer or added more cornstarch.

  3. Thanks for hosting this week. It was a great pick! We've had some pretty easy recipes lately so don't worry about picking a harder one. It was perfect. I bet your are right about straining more or adding more cornstarch. It looks like Valerie had the same problem with her cherries which makes me think it was the recipe and not you. :)