Sunday, June 29, 2008

My first challenge

After being impressed by the baked goods all over the internet, I joined the Daring Bakers this month. My first challenge was a Danish Braid. I was a little nervous since yeast and I don't usually get along. And I should never do anything requiring kneading. I have warm hands and dough always get really sticky requiring way too much extra flour. My mom never let me help knead for this reason, and I've never gotten comfortable with it. But I went for it anyway.

Step one of this challenge was of course making the laminated dough. This involved making the dough (and learning that the dough hook of my KitchenAid does most of the kneading for me and eliminated the warm hands problem) and the butter block (learning that my KitchenAid can handle cold butter straight from the fridge). Then rolling out the dough, covering two thirds with butter, and folding into thirds. Then came the first of several rests - letting the dough sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling and folding again. After four turns and folds the dough looks like this - see the layers?


After all this folding and rolling, it's time for a break. At least five hours in the fridge to rest; I left it in overnight and resumed the following day. Now to pick a filling. I made a cream cheese filling - super simple with cream cheese, sugar, an egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. After rolling the dough nice and thin again, I spread the cream cheese over the middle third then topped with some raspberry preserves. The comes slicing the sides and making the braid.


After 2 hours to proof it's into the oven and this beauty comes out.


It smelled amazing! And tasted pretty darn good too. My only complaint about this recipe is that it didn't rise much. Remember that yeast problem? It reared its ugly head and my braid didn't double in size during the proofing time like it was supposed to. But this tasted so wonderful that I'm going to give it another shot. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks to Kelly of Sass & Veracityand Ben of What's Cookingfor this challenge. I never would have tried this on my own, but now I realize that it's not so scary. Head over to Kelly's site for the recipe and step-by-step pictures. And check out the other Daring Bakers' work.

9 Comments:

At 8:34 AM, Blogger HoneyB said...

You did a terrific job - obviously the it didn't matter that your yeast decided to misbehave! It looks delicious!

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Cynthia's Blog said...

This was my first time too. It was fun and it was a challenge! Yours is really pretty.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous breadchick said...

Your braid is lovely. And btw, your yeast did exactly what it was suppose to do in this recipe. This dough was not a big riser.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger Claire said...

Great job! Aren't the layers created amazing? BTW, it appears you are a pediatric resident (?) somewhere. I am an M4 in MS and planning on doing pediatrics! Kind of fun to "meet" someone doing what I want to do randomly though DB's!

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Claire said...

Okay...maybe med-peds! :-) NICU and MICU...gotta be!

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Lis said...

Cream cheese & raspberry preserves *swoon* I wish I had some of your braid in front of me right now! :)

My braid didn't rise very well either, but it was very tasty. ;)

Welcome to the group!!

xoxo

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger silverrock said...

Wow! beautiful braid, I love the combination of raspberry and cream cheese... so simple, yet so ingenious! Way to go on your first DB challenge :)

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Ben said...

That is one good looking braid. Welcome to the group and thank you for baking with Kelly and I.

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Lunch Buckets said...

Welcome to the group! For what it's worth mine didn't double during the final proof either...

 

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