Sunday, March 20, 2016

Iced Raspberry Danish Braids

Plan ahead... needs to chill...twice...
Dough ready to chill

1/4 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. milk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold

Raspberry Filling:
2 1/2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used half raspberry, half blueberry)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. warm water
Rolling it out
2 tsp. cornstarch

Egg Wash:
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk

1 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk

Dough recipe makes 2 braids.

To make the dough: Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.

Cut butter into slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with flour. Pulse the mixture 10-12 times, until butter is fairly crumbled.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Be very, very, very gentle when you are folding the two together. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After 4-12 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the "rolling and folding" process.

Flour a work surface. The dough will be sticky, so make sure you have flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square.  From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. And roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold again into a business letter. You'll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.

Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.

To make the raspberry (or blueberry) filling: Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

Starting the braid
Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.  Stir and allow the raspberries to break down, about 4 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

After at least 30 minutes, take the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep chilled as you work with the first half. Roll out your dough on one of the prepared baking sheets to make a 12x6 inch rectangle.

Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end.

Spread 1/2 of the filling down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips (3/4 inch - 1 inch each) along both sides. I used a pizza cutter, but a very sharp knife would work. Fold the bottom end up to "seal" the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the egg wash: Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids.

Bake each braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly. Allow 10 minutes of cooling before drizzling with the icing.

To make the icing: As the braids are baking, prepare the icing by whisking all of the ingredients together. After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids with glaze and serve immediately.

I used two recipes from Sally for this. It was worth it. and
Ready to eat!

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