It seems as if I have alternating success with the Daring Baker challenges. It was a miracle this month I even made it. I have been extremely busy with a trip to Sweden, work, and another trip to D.C, and just plain catching up.But I did manage to squeeze in time and make the challenge, if not to successfully.Kelly and her co host Ben decided this month on Danish Braid based The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard .Years ago as curious teenager I had actually made puff pastry. The version I made seemed different from this recipe. I don't recall yeast and remember adding the adding the butter without mixing it with flour. It also seemed as if I folded it more. But that was years ago.Anyway I was torn between my feelings. Since this is quintessentially Scandinavian, I decided to use some Cloudberry Jam BH gave me with a semi sweetened Farmers Cheese.
I also made some smaller shaped versions with pistachio paste and raspberry jam.
Unfortunately my shaped didn't hold when baked up.But the smell was delicious and I enjoyed a slice right out the oven.
Certain Someone tried some the next day. It was a little soggier. He commented that it was rather dry and the layers should have been thinner and flakier. "A true Wienerbrod is more flaky and buttery. So try again." He was just being honest.I wonder if leaving out the juice and sticking to more traditional dough makes a difference.I didn't find them that bad and but the batch in a freezer for consumption when I need a little sweet with my tea.
Please note I didn't use the filling in the orginal recipe. We were given the options of changing the filling to be either sweet or savory. Be sure to check out the mouth watering creations of the numerous and international group of the Daring Bakers.
Sherry Yard The Secrets of Baking
Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough
IngredientsFor the dough (Detrempe) 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast1/2 cup whole milk1/3 cup sugarZest of 1 orange, finely grated3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped2 large eggs, chilled1/4 cup fresh orange juice3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt
For the butter block (Beurrage)1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter1/4 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 zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange 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 zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange 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.
Makes enough for two braidsIngredients4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces1/2 cup sugar1 tsp. ground cinnamon1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped1/4 cup fresh lemon juice4 tablespoons unsalted butterToss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.
Makes enough for 2 large braidsIngredients 1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.Egg WashWhisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.Proofing and Baking1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.Good luck and remember, any questions you have about this post, or recipe should be addressed in this thread. Above all else, have fun. This is a completely lovely dough with a fragrance that is to swoon over. And when it's baking? My oh my.
Servings Per Recipe: 3
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 10.8 g
Cholesterol: 67.5 mg
Sodium: 299.0 mg
Total Carbs: 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 24.3 g
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 312.6 mg
Total Carbs: 15.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Protein: 2.3 g
I'm back. A delayed arrival due to spending the night stranded yesterday in JFK. Sleeping in airports is not fun. Certain Someone had a direct flight back and was ensconced cosily at home waiting for me when I called to tell him of the cancellation from JFK to Chicago. Due to my work ,rates, etc. we had booked separate flights . Have you ever slept in a cold airport on a bench with a bunch of stinky grouchy people?People fighting for personal space and peace.Grumpy airline workers getting attacked by frustrated passengers.I felt homeless almost or like Tom Hanks in that movie Terminal.Anyway I'm home. 20 hours of delays, missed connections, and incompetence going to Sweden and over 24 hours of the same coming back. Mother Nature has been relentless in the Midwest. I wont name airlines but a certain national carrier is not very nice on the communication and customer service front. Finally after several tantrums I got a little something(some food vouchers) from my tantrums, especially as I witnessed my flying companion over from Helsinki and others getting vouchers . I understand weather issues, but they just f***** up my tickets,lost my bags, and other issues along the way causing more confusion.Broke, hungry , and stinky I plunged into a hot tub and slept when I got home. I prayed no one would see me. I actually saw a famous companion of a certain billionaire talk show/media queen in the wee hours at a gate leaving for Bermuda.I have a picture of us together at party from a while back.I need to get cooking again and catch up with all of you guys. Bear with me as I get settled this week. It's good to be home.Beautiful week in Sweden but lousy travel.I guess you cant have everything. But there are some angels out there looking out along the way .
Where to continue?This week has been spent running back and forth between Stockholm and Skärplinge with the move and other details. On the drive I fell in love with the beautiful historic churches I would see peep up from the vast vistas. I did manage to see Uppsala and the historic Cathedral and Castle on a quick drive by. I vow to explore that town some more. Another town I fell in love with was the ancient Gävle that sits alongside a river. It was once a major trade hub centuries ago . In the rural countryside I saw old American cars with Confederate flags. I guess they like The Dukes Of Hazard. I wonder if they know what the symbolism of a Confederate flag really means? Certain Someone and I spent an isolated 2 days and night in our new home (I like saying that).I worked on the kitchen and he hooked up his old computer. We have no Digital Box so no TV. Just the quiet of nature and some old MP 3's. I was amazed at the china and crystal collection Certain Someone had in storage. I have a well stocked kitchen for sure with weights, bowls, blenders, etc. I see a lot of baking bread and such up there.I want to plan a huge Midsommar bash for next summer. In the eerie country silence I saw a real fox looking back at me from the back yard and he jumped into the woodpile. Two country neighborhood cats came a calling. I think they thought the old owner was there with his cat. Our friends almost ran over a Moose near the house when leaving one night after the move. All this common up here. I walked to the sea as Certain Someone napped.The beach is a stark rocky patch that looks so beautiful.Finland awaits on the other side of the sea.I finally got used to the whole Outhouse thing. It wasn't to bad and actually quite cute inside with its yellow interior, candles, etc. It never really got to dark to make me scared to walk to it. The whole Midnight Sun thing going on. I admit I jumped whenever I heard a car . It's that's isolated and who knows what or who is lurking around. One of those places you wonder if a tree fell, would you hear it?
Not much to report on the food front. A lot of quick MAX burger , pizzas and kebab consumed. Swedish pizza is odd yet very good. Mostly run by Iraqis immigrants, it has wild non traditional ingredients. My favorite are banana chicken, ham,curry types. Some have kebab on top. Kebab resembles gyro meat. Thinly shaved aromatic lamb served with peppers, sauces,etc. Delicious. Certain Someones favorite is Palmyra.I would fly over for it , it's that good!
This trip would be my 3rd visit to Sweden. Once alone to meet my uncle and cousins, and the last few with Certain Someone for weddings, meeting friends,etc. Getting there this time around was challenging. I had a connection via London but arrived later due to weather delays.British Airways informed me that there were no more available direct flights to Stockholm. They rerouted me via Schipol in Amsterdam.Lots of waiting around,coveting the new shops in the controversial Terminal 5.From a professional perspective this has raised the bar in Duty Free shopping. Anyway I finally arrive in Stockholm, funky, irritated, but full thanks to a upgrade on the last leg(meals and wine, would you believe American tried to charge me $6 for wine !Used to be complimentary).I had been travelling 20 hours.Another fellow Chicagoan who had the same fate as me told me our bags were still in Amsterdam.I found one bad and waited with a mob to trace the other. They took my paper and said the other(with my dress for the wedding) would be delivered to me me.Certain Someone and our friends were waiting for me.I was never so happy to see him. Talk about weary traveller.