My first month as a Daring Baker, so exciting. The Daring Bakers groups is run by Ivonne and Lis, who both have fabulous blogs, do check them out please. The aim of the group is to challenge bloggers to push their baking comfort zone boundaries, and believe me they do.
Take for example this months challenge: Danish Bread, utterly gorgeous and very interesting but at the same time utterly terrifying, especially as a first challenge. I hope my efforts are up to Daring Baker standards.
The Danish Pastry is a member of the doughnut family, it is a sweet pastry which uses a laminated dough (in a similar way to croissants) and because of this they are classified as a viennoiserie.
Laminated doughs are those doughs in which butter is worked into the layers of dough to off moisture, and the resulting steam then causes the thin layers of dough to puff and rise, giving a light airy textured product. They are I have to confess rather a weakness of mine and now I know how (and have the confidence) to bake them they’ll become a regular part of baking repertoire.
So what changes did I make and why? Well I changed the orange juice and zest to lime because I think lime compliments cardamom so well it seemed a shame not to use it and because I didn’t have any oranges and I really didn’t want to have to go shopping again. I added a couple of handfuls of frozen blackberries to the filling too as I really love the combination of apples and blackberries, also they’re so a great colour that I thought they’d look fabulous if they did ooze out of the braid, which of course did happen.
Strangely enough the hardest part was the braiding of the dough, probably because I’m not the most dexterous of people and I kept marking the lines to close, too far apart, not long enough etc; but I got there in the end.
The presentation of the final dough wasn’t bad, although, I’d have liked it to look better, after all we eat with our eyes first. Done as a blind taste test though it would have been a great success.