When I learned that this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was Danish dough, the first thought that went through my mind was, “how in the world am I going to be able to keep my son home for at least 4 hours straight so I can roll the dough?”. And then my second thought was, “I better lower the air conditioning right now!”. So yes, in that sense this was a true challenge.
It has been a while since I have made laminated doughs. As a matter of fact, I believe this is the first time that I have ever made laminated dough at home. Laminated doughs require a cold environment, cold surfaces and a long, long time. I had to reserve this task for a weekend so I could have some help with my little boy. He will not stay home all morning or afternoon so I can bake, so having an extra set of hands was crucial for me to finish this challenge.
Since timing is everything I decided to start about mid-afternoon so I could let the dough rest overnight and shape, proof and bake the following morning. It has been hot, hot, hot here lately so I had to make sure the air conditioning was turned down and that no cooking needed to be done while I was rolling the dough. I worked as quickly as I could and given that this was a small batch, it was not too terrible to handle. I remember the large batches of croissant dough that I had to make in past lives and that’s when I really had to work fast so the dough never got warm. But I also had a sheeter back then.
This dough is soft and very, very aromatic with all that orange zest, vanilla bean and of course, cardammon. I struggled during the rolling process trying to keep the lock-in butter cold. It was getting sticky at times. Streching the dough so it relaxed was difficult because my hands were melting the butter a bit, but I finally made it.
I divided the dough in half and decided to make a large braid and some individual pastries. I filled the large braid with hazelnut frangipane and some black cherry preserves that I have from back home. With the other half of the dough, I made some mini cinnamon sugar snails that I topped with pistachio crumble and some frangipane diamonds that I topped with fresh strawberries.
Thank you very much to Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’? for hosting this month’s challenge. Please visit their blogs for the recipe. For other Daring Bakers’ creations, please visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll.