Danish Braid

          

Ingredients:

For the dough (Detrempe):

 

For the butter block (Beurrage):

 

For the apple filling:

For the egg wash:

 

Preparation:

From the dough:

Combine in a bowl the yeast and the milk and mix it on low speed. Slowly add the sugar, orange zest, cardamon, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs and the orange juice and mix it well.

Add the flour 1 cup at the time, increasing speed as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured bowl and cover it with kitchen foil, refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

 

From the butter block:

Combine the butter and the flour and mix it for a minute. Then scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 1 extra minute or until smooth.

Set aside at room temp.

After the dough has chilled 30 minutes turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle from around 46cm by 33 cm and 1 cm thick.

Spread the butter mixture over the centre and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the dough to the right covering half of the butter, then fold the right third of the rectangle over the centre third.

The first turn has been completed. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in with kitchen foil and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough again and make a rectangle with the same size and again fold it like done previously. The second turn is completed so refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough again, make a rectangle with the same size and  fold it like done previously two more times for a total of four turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn of at least 5 hours.

The Danish dough is ready now to be used.

 

From the filling:

Peel, core and cut in pieces the apple. Add to it the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and the lemon juice, toss all this together in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add the apple mixture and sauté until the apples are softened for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Let this cool down before using.

Assembly:

Line a baking dish with baking paper. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 38cm x 50cm rectangle from 1cm thick.

Along one long side of the pastry make parallel cuts from around 13 cm long with a knife, with 2,5cm distance between each other.

Repeat the process at the opposite side of the pastry.

Spoon  the filling in the middle of the rectangle, start the braiding by the top and bottom.

Then fold the cut sides over the filling, alternating first left, then right, until finished.

 

Egg wash:

Whisk together an egg yolk with some oil, then brush the bread with it.

Once the braid is ready let it rise on a warm place for 2 hours.

Bake the bread in a previously preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.