Monday, June 30, 2008

My First Challenge - Danish Pastry

I am happy to report that my first Daring Baker challenge was a success! I have wanted to try a laminated dough for a long time so I was thrilled with this month’s recipe. Inspired by the wild blueberries that grow in my area, I switched the orange zest & juice to lemon and made an oozy blueberry-rosemary jam for the filling. I made two braids. The first one I filled with blueberries and ricotta, the second with blueberries and mascarpone.

Despite the urging of the recipe, I did *not* mix the yeast with cold milk. I warmed the milk to about 80 degrees and let the yeast and milk sit for a while before proceeding. I read that some people were having trouble getting their dough to rise and suspected that the lack of rise could be because the yeast wasn’t activated in the first part of the recipe.

The dough was actually a bit dry in the mixing. I ended up adding a bit of water during the kneading to keep it soft. My little kitchen helper stood by the whole time lending his ‘support.’

I made the blueberry jam with some cane sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprig of rosemary. I mixed vanilla in with the soft cheese in both the recipes.

The rolling out went okay. I had a tiny butter leak on one side, but it resolved itself after a turn or two. Do not be fooled by the perfect rectangle in the photo! I ended up trimming my dough to fit onto my tiny baking sheet.

A Note About the Small Oven: Being an apartment renter and a baker, I got so fed up with crappy unreliable ovens I got myself a fancy mini convection oven for Christmas. So worth it! It does bake things very fast though. Both my braids ended up being a shade or two darker than I would have preferred.

Aesthetics aside, the results were fantastic! I couldn’t really decide if I preferred the ricotta or the mascarpone; the latter was deliciously creamy but the ricotta was nice as well. I probably should have drained it though so it was fluffier. I made the second braid the next day and I found that the dough was much easier to work with after being in the fridge overnight. Not wanting to waste even the littlest scraps, I made teeny tiny little croissants.

Looking forward to the next challenge! :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, it looks very yummy - I love blueberry! - and that's one sexy kitchen-aid beast you've got there :)

Dolores said...

Both of your blueberry fillings sound promising; I'd have been hard pressed to choose between the two.

And as for your kitchen assistant, he looks like he's really good at helping clean up anything inadvertently dropped on the floor. :)

Jen Yu said...

I can't decide which is cuter, your pup or the little croissants! But your DB challenge came out wonderfully. Congrats!!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful looking braid and your fillings sound yummy. Hope you enjoyed your first challenge!

Button said...

Thanks everyone! I loved seeing how everyone approached this challenge. :)