Danish Braid

Danish Braid
Recipe from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
Notes: A recent apple picking trip left me with over 30 pounds of red apples (either Empire or Macoun, we didn't keep the bags separated!). I've been making a lot of apple pies, both the Cook's Illustrated deep dish one and the apple-cranberry one. I borrowed one of those apple peelers but found that it peeled the skin far too deeply, so I've been peeling the apples by hand and then using the gadget to core and slice.

For a bit of a change, I decided to make an apple danish. I thought I had made this recipe before but it turned out to be new to me. The dough is flavoured with orange juice, vanilla and cardamom and is quite easy to work with. Mixing flour into the butter block and beating it seemed to help it from leaking out everywhere as I did the turns. I let it refrigerate overnight before making the braid on Saturday. Getting it rolled out to 15"×20" was a bit of a challenge as it resisted quite a bit and I was worried about squeezing the butter out. My fringe strips were about 2 cm wide so I had a nice tight “braid”. After egg washing it twice, I baked it in the oven. Dr. S' oven runs a bit hot, so the bottom was a bit burnt. Fortunately, there are 81 layers in the pastry, so it's easy to peel off the blackened ones.

As I expected, the danish was a bit too bready as I couldn't roll out the dough to the recommended ¼ inch thickness. But it was extremely tasty and beautiful as well. Next time, I would make two smaller danish braids, so that it fits more easily on a smaller baking sheet, and so that I could roll it thinner. This is a good danish dough, so I'm sure I will be using it in the future.

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