Today´s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is a very pretty Danish Braid. The recipe for this traditional breakfast treat was contributed baker Beatrice Ojakangas.
Like other viennoiserie pastries, such as croissants, Danish pastries are made of laminated yeast-leavened doughs, creating a layered texture similar to a puff pastry. Usually, the traditional method of making these pastries is somewhat laborious and quite time-intensive. Today faster recipes such as Beatrice Ojakangas` version of Danish pastry dough are fairly common. Many of the "newer" recipes combine the butter into the détrempe rather than adding it in the folding process and following that common method, the laminated dough in today´s recipe was made in the food processor and then folded.
After an overnight rest in the refrigerator, the well chilled dough was ready to be shaped and filled. Danish pastry dough is very versatile and keeps well in the fridge for at least 24 hours and up to 4 days.
For the filling the recipe lists different choices such as fruit or berry jam filling and confectioner´s cream or almond filling. I opted to make two fillings using seasonal ingredients.
First I made a spiced pear compote with some fresh pears, ginger, cinnamon, half a vanilla bean and a bit of sugar. While the pear compote was cooling, I made a chestnut purée with the chestnuts from the tree in our garden. For the purée, I used whole milk, a pinch of sea salt and about 100 grams of fresh chestnuts – after about 20 minutes, I forced the cooked chestnuts through a food mill and let the purée cool as well.
After the fillings had cooled and the dough was rolled out, I spread the pear compote down the middle third of the dough, then I made a small well in the compote and spread the chestnut purée down the well. Then I cut the dough strips in slanting lines down each side of the filling and folded the strips of pastry into the center, criss-crossing the filling.
For a final touch, I brushed the Danish braid with a beaten egg white and sprinkled some pearl sugar and slithered hazelnuts over top and baked the Braid for a good 20 minutes.
Using Beatrice Ojakangas basic Danish Pastry dough, you can bake pretty impressive and delicious Danish pastries at home, so long as you apply just a little patience and care when making the dough. It is a time-consuming pastry to make but the outcome is quite delicious and if you decide to make one of the lovely Danish Braids, you will certainly not regret it. Personally, I believe that adding seasonal fillings to your homemade pastry will take your Danish pastry from ordinary to excellent.
Even one of our many bunnies (this one is called Leo) dropped by and took a curious look at what I was serving for teatime today…This Danish Braid is excelllent when enjoyed while still warm and fresh from the oven. The warm spices in the pear compote harmonized quite nicely with the creaminess of the chestnut purée. The pearl sugar and the slithered hazelnuts were a nice final touch, looked pretty and tasted just right as a topping for this Braid.
To see an array of more Danish Braids, baked by the other members of the Tuesdays with Dorie group, please click here.
Pears and chestnut are so wonderful ideas! Have to try especially the chestnut version!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your nice comment - these two fillings are seasonal and delicious and together they work beautifully in this Danish Braid!Delete
Hi Andrea, shame on me! Lately I've been sooo neglecting our fantastic TWD baking group!ReplyDelete
I wish I had made the danish dough :-( after seeing yours I began to cry: chestnut in dessert is one of my favourite filling! Marron Glacés, Vermicelles, Chestnut puree (I must have chestnut in my vain!!) ....
You've really baked a beautiful dessert.
PS: If you have some spare time, please visit my blog and read the post I've published today. I'd like to hear your opinion very much.
Carola, I will make sure to take the time today and leave a comment - I have been a little bit slow these days with leaving comments as I was a tad busy but things are looking up now!Delete
No reason to cry though, dear friend, chestnuts will still be available for a while and there is still plenty of time to prepare a dessert with chestnut purée, I am sure.
Ganz herzliche Grüße in die schöne Schweiz, liebe Carola!
Beautiful! What wonderful work - so neat and perfect. Brava!!!!!ReplyDelete
Cara Adri, grazie mille per il complimento! Sei molto gentile!Delete
Incredible flavour combination Andrea, can I have a piece... please :) Btw I really like your photo's especially the one of the chestnut.ReplyDelete
Karen, you can certainly have a piece! Anytime! The combination of spiced pear compote and chestnut purée seem to work quite nicely for this recipe - I was just looking for something with that sesaonal touch that I so appreciate!Delete
Oh my! Great looking pics! And I loved your post.ReplyDelete
Sandra, thank you very much for the comment - so glad that you enjoyed this post!Delete
Ooo, this is one amazing combination! You are so lucky to be growing your own chestnuts...I bought vacuum packed chestnuts and I am planning on making sweetened chestnut puree. Do you happen to have a recipe that you have tried and liked?ReplyDelete
Thank you for the lovely comment - I will hop on over to your blog and let you know which recipe for the chestnut purée is really nice.Delete
Spiced pears...chestnut puree...gorgeous dough...goodness Andrea, you are making me so very hungry here. I loved this post. Not only does the braid look delicious but I loved seeing those beautiful nuts! Thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
Monet, I am sure that you would enjoy this flavor combination as well - these are warm and mellow flavors that seem just right for the season!Delete
Interesting filling choice - spiced pears and chestnut puree... you are very inventive. The recipe for the braid was good... :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, my dear, glad that you enjoy this flavor combination of mine - seasonal and not too sweet! That´s the way we like our desserts, be it cookies, cakes or viennoiserie pastries such as this one.Delete
If I had to choose between the pear and chestnut filling, I would have to choose both! They must be so different form one another, that I can easily imagine them side-by-side on my plate. I have not yet made this kind of dough, but it seems like it will be worth trying! As I said on Facebook, I love the plates and the photos of the chestnuts are just perfect! Tchüß! ~ DavidReplyDelete
David, no choosing...I did add both fillings into one Braid, first a layer of Spiced Pear Compote, than a bit of Chestnut Purée in the middle - alas, the Purée disappered into the Compote somewhwt, you cannot see it on the pictures but it was definitely there. I just know that you would enjoy a nice slice of the Danish Braid with a bit of both fillings, dear friend! Lieben Dank für all deine wunderbaren Kommentare! By the way, the English plates were the only vintage ones with a brownish design that I have been able to find so far - I keep looking, though.Delete
Presentation... Love from MN. xx btw, I really dig pears.
Kim, thank you my dear - pears are a wonderful fall fruit - I love using seasonal fruits for my baking and got them a few days in advance so that they would ripen a bit more before being turned into compote.Delete
I love your comment on my page about your female role model. Beautiful. Thank you for your in-depth input. xxx KISS
Andrea - I am so jealous of your backyard chestnut tree! Both your filling choices sound amazing!ReplyDelete
Cher, thanks so much - the fillings were nice, a bit different from the usual - but then what else is new, I am always looking to make things "a bit different".Delete
what a sophisticated Danish. i'm so impressed by homemade chestnut puree. you have a lovely setting for teatime. and oh my gosh--I love bunnies!!ReplyDelete
Steph, thanks for stopping by! Bunnies (would you believe we have eleven) and Braid were both nice and enjoyed by all in the rather late Tuesday afternoon sun.Delete
Your braid is spectacular, Andrea!!! I'm loving the pear compote...perfect for fall and so delicious!ReplyDelete
Liz, so glad that you like the look of my Danish Braid - I was quite happy with the way it turned out although in the very beginning I was not too sure how it would look like. All is well that ends well.Delete
Aaaaahhhh, ich bin sprachlos. Absolute Perfektion in Geschmack und Backkunst und dann diese traumhaft schoenen Fotos in der Nachmittagssonne. Danke fuer diesen herrlichen Blog !!! Wie huebsch die Natur ihre Früchte verpackt, die Marone in ihrer Hülle, so schön.ReplyDelete
Ich habe gerade einen Apfelstrudel gebacken, der sieht richtig bloed aus :-).
Wally, wunderbar, ich freue mich über den tollen Kommentar!!! Und es freut mich wirklich sehr, dass der Blog gefällt! Kastanien sehen schon toll aus, so in der Hülle und so - ich finde immer, man sollte nach den Jahreszeiten kochen, immer und dann schmeckt Alles auch richtig gut. Ich sollte mich übrigens auch mal wieder an einen Apfelstrudel wagen - ist schon etwas her und ich weiß, dass es eine wahre Kunst ist, einen schönen Apfelstrudel zu backen.Delete
Ganz liebe Grüße aus Bonn - ich freue mich immer sehr über deine herzlichen Kommentare!!!
such a gorgeous Danish braid...and with spiced pears...an awesome treat just in time to celebrate holidays....thanks so much for sharing this wonderful loaf...brilliant idea :-)ReplyDelete
Kumar, thanks so much, dear - spiced pears are wonderful whatever shape or form you choose to use them in - here they played a starring role in this lovely sesonal compote which was just right as a filling, certainly worth a repeat.Delete
Love your fillings! Beautiful work.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much - the fillings were seasonal and everyone enjoyed them quite a bit!Delete
Once again brilliant !ReplyDelete
Thank you, my dear! Nice to know that you like my blog posts! Always appreciate your comments!Delete
What a beautiful loaf of bread! The pear compote sounds like it would be quite wonderful on its own. Have a great weekend, Andrea!ReplyDelete
Beth, thanks so much - this is more of a Danish pastry than a bread but it was delicious nonetheless.And the pear compote is fabulous on its own - I often make it with left-over ripe pears that have been in the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter for a while.Delete
Very impressive. I really wish I can taste this!!ReplyDelete
Trishie, thank you - I am quite sure that you would enjoy a nice little slice of this Danish Braid, preferably warm! Hope all is well with baby Alexander!Delete
this looks so beautiful! what a wonderful flavor combination - so perfect for fall - really gorgeous presentation :)ReplyDelete
Mary, dear, thank you very much - this is quite a perfect combination of flavors for fall - we liked it a lot and I think I might make another one of these Danish Braids soon.Delete
Fresh chestnuts! Lucky you! Love the photo of the single chestnut and the bowl of chestnuts. This flavor combination sounds fabulous, Andrea. With my extra dough in the freezer, I'm hoping to make a pear-cranberry version. Stunning photos as usual.ReplyDelete
Cathleen, thanks oxu so much - chestnuts are rather photogenic and I loved putting everything together for this post - I am sure that your pear-cranberry version will taste delicious, dear friend!Delete
Yes, I can see Leo is impressed. He's probably thinking that now you've removed the spiky shell from the chestnut, maybe he might try a bit. Interesting info on the change of method for this pastry. I have made Danish pastries the old-fashioned way and it was a lot of work. Going to try this method, especially seeing what beautiful results you got.ReplyDelete
Hester, oh these bunnies, always hungry, always wanting to be feed...The method for "braiding" in this recipe is easy and so fast, yet the results are quite nice. Thank you for the lovely comment!Delete
Simply gorgeous Andrea. And I don't have a chestnut tree, but do have a jar of purée, and it's such a perfect idea for a filling!ReplyDelete
Paula, thanks so much - we were lucky this year as we got about five kilos worth of chestnuts from the tree in our backyard.Delete
Beautiful!!! We would have had a hard time cutting into it because it just so prettyReplyDelete
Thank you so much - this recipe was fabulous, it was easy to make this Danish Braid look pretty! Thank you for the lovely comment!Delete
This just sounds incredible! The pear compote and chestnut puree both sound delicious, and I bet they were a great combination.ReplyDelete
Jora, they were indeed a wonderful, seasonal combination - we would have loved both on their own but they seem to taste even better together . A nice way to enjoy Danish Braids in fall.Delete
this looks really delicious, especially for these cold winter days that are upon us. i would be interested to try this with some sort of meat filling as well.ReplyDelete
Dear Rae, I just too a long look at your wonderful blog - terrific writing and photography! Thank you so much for visting my blog - I shall hop over to your blog again now for comments!Delete