Saturday, April 17, 2010

Braided Strawberry Danish

From the time most of us are little girls (if this is indeed your sexual orientation), we are taught to braid. We braid our Barbie's hair, our mommy's hair, our friend's hair. Most of us even learn to braid our own hair. So, why then have I been so intimidated to braid a little dough?!?! I have neglected fascinating recipes such as this one, due to the fact that I would have to try to braid the dough.  I can braid just fine, and thankfully I took it upon myself to step out of my little comfort box on Easter morning to try this braided coffee cake. Thank heavens it only took me 30 years (+/-) . To be honest, its really not even braiding, its just overlapping. I've wasted so much dough braiding time! But, No more....
Anyways, this recipe was wonderful. The pastry dough was out of this world! Just make sure you don't overwork it. Many a delicate pastry have met a tough demise due to being overworked. Just mix it until it comes together. No need to work your frustrations out on this fine recipe :) You will end up with a flaky, rich dough that is worthy of your finest breakfast companions. Enjoy!

 Braided Strawberry Danish
adapted from Luna Cafe
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk vigorously to distribute the baking soda and salt.
  2. With a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers, cut the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Quickly and gently blend in the milk.
    Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead VERY LIGHTLY for 4-5 strokes.
    NOTE This is the step at which you can ruin the coffeecake. If you overwork the dough, the pastry will be tough. Just gather the dough together and don’t worry about making it smooth. It will still look a little rough. That’s perfect.
  4. On waxed paper, roll the dough to an 8- by 12-inch rectangle.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and remove the waxed paper.
  6. Measure and mark the dough lengthwise into thirds.
  7. Spread preserves down the middle third of the dough, keeping it about ½ inch from the mark on both sides.
  8. Make 2¾-inch slight diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals on each the long sides. Do not cut into the center jam-filled area.
  9. Fold strips, first one from one side and then one from the other side in a rotating fashion, over the filling. The coffeecake will now resemble a braid.
  10. Bake in a 425° oven for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the top is lightly browned.
  11. In a small glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the coffeecake.
  12. If desired, sprinkle on the toasted sliced almonds while the icing is still wet.

    Serve warm.

    *Luna Cafe has a wonderful step by step tutorial on cutting and folding the strips to form the braid. You can see it here.
Makes one 8- by 12-inch coffee cake.


Lucie said...

I was just about to run out and get some strawberries--this is such an appealing treat!

MaryMoh said...

Looks beautiful and delicious.Love the filling...mmm

Leslie said...

Looks delightful. I made a danish braid a while ago and it was delish.

Snooky doodle said...

this surely looks sinful :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

This danish looks sooo delish and it looks so perfect with a cup of coffee

Kim said...

I had the same fears about braiding dough, but it turns out that it is easier than braiding hair (which I still can't do well)! I love a danish like this and the cream cheese definitely sells me on it:D

Krista said...

"Many a delicate pastry have met a tough demise due to being overworked. Just mix it until it comes together. No need to work your frustrations out on this fine recipe" Well said! This looks amazing! Luckily, I've been braiding dough since my pre-teens...good ol' 4-H projects. : )

This danish looks SO good!

Tickled Red said...

Beautiful. It makes me want to run on over to the strawberry farm :)

Susan said...

This looks deluxe, but there's no ingredients for the dough!

Angie's Recipes said...

The bread looks so delicious and beautiful.

Mary said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful. I love both the pastry and the filling. It looks and sounds delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Elle said...

made a similar braid with yeast dough...this looks much simpler and quicker...and totally delicious!

Diana's Cocina said...

What a beautiful dessert! Great job!

sanjeet said...

Looks beautiful and delicious
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Valerie said...

This looks so pretty and I sure wish I had some right now. Glad I found your blog with all its yumminess!