Sunday, June 29, 2008

Daring Danish Braid

Daring Bakers is a member's only baking group that has one month to bake the assigned challenge following strict rules of silence. Then, all the members will post about their experience on the same day world wide. For fun right? My own little secret society! But you can join too, if, you click on the orange logo on my blog and agree to the rules.


For my first Daring Baker's Challenge we were given the Danish Braid from that Famously Famous Pastry Chef Sherry Yard of the Spago and Wolfgang Puck family. You know how when you go into a French Patisserie and smell that wonderful smell, and you think your nose is having orgasm's? Well that is how my house smelled for the first week of June. We are talking olfactory climaxes all over the place kids. But I digress.
  • The Danish Braid is a Beurrage-laminated detrempe, or simply put; a layered with butter yeast-dough. That is where you roll and turn (fold) the dough with specific layers of butter in between. It is a process that should result with a baked braid with the texture resembling that of a Challah bread and a Croissant in one; according to pastry chef Nick Malgieri. Not too flaky and not too yeasty. This was the hardest part of the challenge for me. I almost needed a diagram to turning and rolling.
  • The Sherry Yard recipe was chosen because of her philosophy that if we learn basic techniques, we can build upon them and create even more recipes. True, I would never have attempted this recipe on my own. But I will post later on one other creation that came from this one recipe.
  • Strict temperatures in rising were necessary, certain strokes with the rolling pin were recommended, the dough had to rest between turns and it was expensive to do. It called for vanilla beans. Mine were pricey coming in at about 19.00 for two pods. Luckily I had the cardamom on hand and, that saved me about 15.00.
  • We were allowed to use our choice of filling. I used Sherry Yard's recommended apple filling because, I like to follow a recipe exactly to the tee the first time I make it. I want to taste the food exactly like the author intended. I also felt apples would not overpower the cardamom and orange flavoring of the delicate pastry. However I did use my own raspberry freezer jam, and almond icing on the second and third braids I made.


That all being said kids, it was a great learning experience for this old chicken, bird, hen whatever. I lament the 6 pounds I gained that week. No kidding.. at the Weight Watchers weigh in I was up 6 freaky-deaky pounds!!! This was really good, but seriously it was NOT worth 6 pounds. I guess I shouldn't have eaten half of a braid all by myself.
The recipe is really long and it took me four pages to print it out so if you want the recipe, leave a comment and I will email it to you.

Lookie, the cookies I made with the extra dough! Palmiers extraordinaire!

30 comments:

Michelle said...

Wonderful braid but the palmiers are FAN-tastic!

Welcome to Daring Bakers!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Love those Palmiers Cynthia! It really is a wonderful dough for changing into many different pastries!!
I've never understood the craze about vanilla beans. I'd buy those like it seems you did from a grocery store and was underwhelmed. Then a friend (CookieBakerLynn) gave me a package she'd won. Now I am totally won over. Worth double the money. You can order them on line and they are so much cheaper!
Beautiful braid!!

BC said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers! Your braid and palmiers are gorgeous.

Miss Ifi said...

Congratualtions on your first challenge and tahnk you very much for dropping by my blog.
Your braid looks amazing!!! and you are soo right the smell was just soo good.
And those palmiers just look soo lovely could I have one for my tea??

Julie said...

Hi Cynthia!

Great job on your first challenge! I still have the second half of my dough to work with, and those palmiers that you made are great inspiration for this weekend. Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Julie

Beth said...

Palmiers! I am unbelievably jealous. Great job!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Welcome to the daring bakers!! Your braid looks absolutely gorgeous =D

Peechy said...

yummmm!!! your braid is sooo scrummie looking, no wonder you ate so much. my weigh in is later..... must find ultra light clothing:o)
and OMGosh!! those palmiers are to diet break for, I love palmiers what a fabby idea.

onespicymama said...

Wow - how pretty! I feel your pain about the weight gain. I'm afraid to get on the scale! Congratulations on a great first challenge!

Divya said...

Wow gorgeous braid and palmiers ..great job Cynthia !!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Wonderful job on the laminating! Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

GamecockDoc said...

Beautiful braid. And the palmiers look amazing! What a great idea for the remaining dough.

Lesley said...

wow, you sure did this right!! Excellent job!

Madam Chow said...

Those palmiers look great! And I can relate to the whole weight issue - I am now doing an hour of cardio, 4 to 5 times per week, just to MAINTAIN my weight!

Tara said...

Looks good! I love palmiers too... should have done that!

lynne said...

congrats on your first challenge: everything looks great! Now I'm going to go research palmiers for the next time I make this dough!

silverrock said...

Ooo... the braids look beautiful, and what a smart idea to use the excess dough to make palmiers! I'll have to give that a try sometime. Way to go on your first DB challenge!

Shandy said...

Ooohhh! THe cookies! They are adorable AND so yummy looking! Welcome to the Daring Bakers and your braid, photos, everything is perfect. =D

Emilie said...

Palmiers! Oh, wow, they look great. What a good idea!

Sara said...

It did smell amazing, didn't it? Great job!

Jordanian Princess said...

Mommy! The braid looks way awesome :-) Everyone at work loved it...they can't wait for somemore!!!!!

Dana McCauley said...

welcome to the DB - your braid and palmiers look fantastic!

I hope to see you baking with us again next month!

mimi said...

i love palmiers, these look fantastic!! wow, i wish i had thought to make these too! and thanks for visiting my blog, and no i don't shoot in RAW. i actually shoot in one of the lowest JPEG quality/resolution on my camera (which is just fine for online photos)!

Barbara Bakes said...

Very impressive - especially for a first Daring Bakers!

Meryl said...

What beautiful little palmiers! And your braid is lovely too!

Jen Yu said...

Gorgeous braid. I especially love the palmiers! You did such a nice job on this challenge - congrats and welcome to the Daring Bakers :)

Claire said...

Great job on your first challenge! And I love how you used the leftover to make palmiers...wonderful idea!

Tartelette said...

Cynthia, I love what you did with the challenge! The palmiers are so cute!

Lunch Buckets said...

Great job! And welcome to the group :)

Selfhuggingjack said...

The dough looks gorgeous. Great job!

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