Apple and jam danish June 26, 2011Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit, Sweet things.
Although you may be surprised from the amount of sweet things I post here, I’m actually not a fan of super sweet desserts. Therefore, when I saw this recipe by Whisk Kid for a fruit-filled danish, I decided to adapt it and make a dessert more on the fruity side than on the sweet side. I was also interested to try the laminated dough, as my previous attempts had not been entirely successful.
If you’re not aware, laminated dough refers to the process of enveloping butter in the dough in distinct layers, rather than mixing it all in together. Then, as the bread cooks, the butter melts and releases steam, which means you end up with a flaky dough with almost distinct multiple layers. Probably the most famous type of laminated dough is croissant dough; puff pastries and danishes are also made using laminated dough.
I started while making a basic dough, and rolled it out in an approximate rectangle. I had previously mixed together room-temperature butter and a bit of flour, and I spread this over 2/3 of the dough.
Then the complicated process of folding began. First I folded the unbuttered part of the dough over the middle, and then the right hand side over the middle too, like folding a letter. I refrigerated the dough for 30 minutes, then again rolled it out into a rectangle and performed another series of folds. Then again back in the refrigerator, roll out again, another set of folds before refrigerating for 2 hours. Previously I had become confused in the folding and rolling and which way I was meant to fold the dough, but this time I was fairly confident I’d done it correctly.
After the dough had finished chilling, I again rolled out into a rough rectangle. This time, I measured the width and divided it into thirds, and then cut the outside thirds into 2cm strips.
In doing this, I was reminded of my braided bread and lamb filling I made last year – although this dough had a lot more butter in it! Next I added the filling. I decided to use some of my homemade berry jam, topped with apples tossed in a bit of lemon juice. I admit I may have been a bit optimistic regarding the amount of filling the dough could take…
I pulled the sides of the dough over the filling, alternating sides to create the braided effect. I then let it rise until it doubled in size – this took quite a while at room temperature (I left it for over 2 hours and could have left it a little longer). I baked it in a 200°C oven, reducing it to 180°C after 10 minutes. Whisk Kid’s instructions said to bake it for 10 minutes at 200, then reduce to 180 and bake for a further 20. However, I found after 10 minutes at the lower temperature (20 minutes in total), the bread was brown and flaky, and definitely done.
I served slices of the danish with some vanilla icecream.
One thing I noticed was that my danish was much more croissant-like and less bread-like than the photos by Whisk Kid. I’m not sure why this happened, but I definitely liked the result! The pastry was so flaky and buttery and I was so glad my laminated dough had worked. The filling was tangy, fruity and not too sweet, making it the perfect dessert for me. I will definitely use this recipe for laminated dough again, to create more not too sweet desserts.