I’m back! I am inspired, re-adjusted an very excited to get back into blogging because I sure have missed it. I’ll tell you all about what I’ve been up to later in the week but for now I am here to share something that as I bit into it I thought ‘it’s like biting into heaven, sweet, buttery heaven.’
One of the reasons I took a break from blogging is because for things like The Secret Recipe Club, I wasn’t searching for the best-looking recipes, I was searching for the recipes I could make the fastest which really isn’t the point.
This month I decided to challenge myself and make something that not only had I never made before, but something that had more steps than anything I’ve ever tried (apart from croissants but lets forget them shall we).
I was assigned to Grumpy’s Honeybunch. On Shelby’s about page she writes that she’s always up for a challenge so I think it was a sign that I needed to try something a bit different this month.
I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of steps involved but really, it’s not that difficult. Just as a side note, I didn’t quite catch on to how it was meant to be folded so mine looks more like a Danish slug but it was good, seriously, ridiculously good. I messaged Will after taking a bite and described it a croissant crossed with a scone only better. It’s all the delightful flakey, buttery goodness of a croissant without the pain-staking effort.
Seriously, look at those flakey layers. I’m right now mentally chastising myself for wanting to run straight to the freezer and grab a slice for afternoon tea.
It looks tricky to make but really, most of the time, the dough is resting in the fridge. There is probably 20 minutes hands-on time tops and it is totally worth it. I’m already dreaming up variations.
Even if you’ve never made pastry before, I really urge you to give this a go. If you’ve made bread then it will be a walk in the park and even if you haven’t, this will be a very rewarding challenge. Enjoy!
What about you? Have you made anything like this before? What did you fill it with. What would you fill yours with if you’ve never made it?
Strawberry Danish braid
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup full-fat (whole) milk
- 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 large free-range eggs, chilled
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3-1/4 cups plain (AP) flour
- 1 tsp salt
Butter block (Beurrage)
- 250g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plain (AP) flour
- 1 quantity dough as above
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 2 tbsp of milk or one egg, beaten
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the yeast and milk until just mixed together.
- Add the sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla, eggs and orange juice and beat until well combined.
- Swap over to the dough hook and add the salt then with the motor running, slowly add the flour.
- When all the flour is mixed in, increase the speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky (add a little extra flour if need be).
- Form the dough into a ball and place on a floured plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the Beurrage.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and flour together for one minute.
- Scrape down the bowl then beat the mixture for another minute or until it is smooth then set the bowl aside.
- When the dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take it out and turn it out onto a floured surface.
- Roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 35x25cm (18x13")and 1/2cm (1/4") thick.
- If the dough is still sticky, dust it with a little bit more flour.
- Mentally (or with a little cut in the dough, divide it into thirds then spread the middle and right thirds with the butter mixture.
- Fold the left third of the dough over the middle of the dough to cover half the butter (sorry if this is a lot of maths!) then fold the right third over to form an envelope shape. Place the dough on a floured plate or something flat, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- That was the first turn. This needs to be repeated three more times for a total of 4 turns with 30 minutes refrigeration between each one.
- Each time, place the dough in front of you so that the open ends are your right and left then roll it out to the same size as above but you won't add anything this time just fold the thirds over and refrigerate again.
- After the final turn, the dough will need to be refrigerated for at least 5 hours or over night. If you're not going to bake it the next day, roll the dough out to 1 inch (2cm) thickness, wrap the dough in two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 month. To defrost, place in the fridge over night.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 30x40cm (15x20") rectangle, 1/2cm (1/4") thick.
- If the dough keeps bouncing back, just leave it to rest for a few minutes then try rolling it again.
- When it is rolled to size, transfer to the baking paper.
- Along one lone size of the dough, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to make cuts 1/3 of the way across the dough leaving 2cm (1") between each one.
- Repeat on the other side of the dough making sure the cuts are aligned.
- Spread the filling down the middle, un-cut section of dough.
- Starting with one side, fold a flap down over the filling but on a light angle so it meets the start of the next cut on the other side, not the one it lines up with.
- Fold the first flap from the other side up and over it to cross it then repeat, alternating, all the way down the dough.
- Tuck in the ends.
- Use a brush to paste on the milk or egg wash.
- Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on the bench top and spray it with oil.
- Turn it onto the dough to cover it then leave it to rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- When it has nearly risen, pre-heat the oven to 180C (400F) fan-forced.
- Bake the dough for 10 minutes then take the tray out and turn it around and turn the oven down to 160C (350F) and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until golden.
- Serve warm from the oven or slice it up and toast the slices.
- I stashed my slices away in the freezer for quick delicious snacks.
What a great recipe to return on! This is my first month back to SRC since July, I must spend a bit more time this month rather than picking the quickest thing…
I think everyone does the same thing JJ. Reminds me I need to pick a recipe for next month!
There are a lot of steps to that recipe but I enjoy spending time in the kitchen. I too get in the rut that I’ve got to hurry or the blog post will be late. There’s something to be said for bloggers who do a lot of restaurant reviews. :)
Haha sure is! I like quick and easy recipes but a complicated one that’s worth it always has a place.
Welcome back Claire! And what a lovely looking bread to come back with too! There are so many strawberries around at the moment!
Thanks Lorraine! I got the biggest bargain on strawberries!
a danish slug! hilarious! this sounds really good. i’ve had danishes on my to-make list for awhile, so i need to try one soon :)
Haha Danish slug indeed!
That would definitely be a challenge for me to make, but it sure looks worth it. I can imagine all kinds of great fillings and variations.
Oh it’s totally worth it!
Look at those gorgeous folds of pastry, my mouth is watering. I am a complete noob when it comes to anything pastry-related but you’ve convinced me it’s time to get out of my comfort zone and give things like this a go.
Welcome back to blogging land.xx
Erin you really really have to try it. It is amazing and pretty satisfying too cause it looks so fancy and tricky. Thanks! x
Welcome back, Claire. Looking forward to hearing what you’ve been up to. I love the look of this Danish braid. It does look tricky but I’ll take your word that it’s manageable xx
Thanks Charlie! Oh you’d probably be able to do it with your eyes shut! x
It may be a slug, but it’s a beautiful slug. And I so want a piece right. now :)
haha it is a rather pretty slug!
This danish is so good! It is definitely work the time involved in making it. My sons loved it so much that my oldest had me make it for all the groomsmen the morning of his wedding! So glad you enjoyed it :) Also, I went looking for a lot of tutorials when it came to braiding the danish, I don’t think you did a terrible job. Practice makes perfect :) Thanks for baking from my blog!
That’s such a nice story! I think I’m going to try a variation for Christmas breakfast. It’s so worth the effort! I probably should have Googled before I made it though so I knew exactly what I was meant to be doing! Thanks for the recipe!
This sounds SO good, with its layered, flakey buttery crust – but daunting with the multiple butter block steps. Just slice me a piece or two, please.
On no not daunting at all I promise. It’s soooo not as hard as it sounds just a lot of steps. Happy to cut you a slice!
Yay! your back… and with a beautiful recipe! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing! Liz x
What a good recipe Claire and a great one for a chalenge ( and to eat). Wow you did a good job
Thanks Tania! Oh it was sooo good!
This looks wonderful. I love breads like this but never make them because then my husband and I would have to eat the whole thing. Glad you challenged yourself this month with SRC. I need to challenge myself more often with my posts too!
I have that danger too Stephanie. I sliced it up and froze some then gave the rest away.
This looks fantastic! Wow, what an impressive treat. :) Totally love it!
Welcome back, Claire!
Your Danish slug reference gave me the giggles. Yeast hates me, so if I tried making it, I’d end up with Danish flatbread ;)
Oh no I bet you wouldn’t! I promise you it’s worth a try at least.
Lovely to see you back Claire. I’ve missed reading your blog ❤️
Aww thanks Dale!
Wow what a GORGEOUS loaf of bread! This would make wonderful gifts during the holidays…but I doubt I’d want to give any away! :D ;) Lovely choice for the SRC! :D
Nope it would be hard to give it away!
Welcome back Claire! This looks amazing. You’re coming back with a bang!!
That danish looks delicious. I soooo wish I had a piece of it right now. Btw, I was assigned to your blog this month and had such a hard time choosing which recipe to make, that I went ahead and tried 8 of them. What can I say? Your recipes were simply irresistible.
I just saw you made the olive bread! It’s soo good! I have such a tough time deciding every month. Haha I’d love to know which other recipes you tried.
I made your Apple Parmesan Crisps, Honey Jumbles, Hokey Pokey Biscuits, Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Orange Stars, Condensed Milk Chocolate Chip Biscuits, and Chocolate Spiced Stars. I’ll be posting several of them throughout this month.
Oh wow! I’m so glad you like them all!
This looks yummy!
Welcome back Claire – I look forward to future posts. This recipe looks amazing but I’m afraid I’m a yeast coward!
Oh Diane you have to overcome your fear for this! Trust me it’s not scary!