Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cinnamon Chip Danish

The yeast bug bit me again this morning and I knew that I had to bake something bread-y. I received my order from King Arthur Flour yesterday and amongst the goodies was a bag of cinnamon chips, concentrated cinnamon goodness in chocolate chip form. I hit the internet and Googled my morning away, finally settling on this recipe for cinnamon chip danish braid, found at Lady Bug's Sweet Treats. The only problem with this particular recipe was that it called for using ready-made frozen bread dough balls, and THAT wasn't going to happen, not on my watch. After all, I had a yeast itch to scratch! (OK, just ignore that)

For the dough, I ended up using the recipe below, but I did use the filling and glaze that was used in the original recipe. I also want to give credit to Jaime at Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats for posting her pictures and instructions on how to roll out and form a braided pastry. I never could have figured it out just by reading the directions; I completely needed to see it done in photo form.

The Filling

6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips, divided

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolk until well blended. Set aside three tablespoons of the cinnamon chips for garnish. Stir the remaining cinnamon chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.

The Dough

2 Tbsp orange juice plus enough milk to make one cup (warm to 100-110 degrees in microwave)
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour

Combine honey and warm milk in bowl. Sprinkle yeast over milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly. Add in oil, salt, wheat gluten, and flours. Mix until flour is incorporated. I used my new dough whisk (which is totally awesome, by the way.)

Now is when you get to decide if you're a kneader or a beater. If you're a kneader, you'll turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand until it is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. If you're a beater (that would be me,) you'd slap your dough hook onto your Kitchen Aid and allow it do all the work, letting it knead the dough for around 8 minutes. Turn dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (1-2 hours, depending on room conditions.) I preheated my oven to 100 degrees, then turned it off, and this is where I let my dough rise.

Punch dough down, then turn onto lightly floured working surface and pat into a ball. The original recipe uses the entire amount to make one braided danish. I chose to divide the dough into two balls and make one half the danish, and the other half I made into rolls. (practicing for Easter dinner, don't ya know.... and I do think they turned out rather nicely!)

If you're making the entire recipe into one danish, roll the dough into a 12x18 rectangle (mine was 12X9, therefore I only used half the filling as well.) Spread the cream cheese mixture lengthwise down the center third of the dough rectangle. Cut 1-inch wide strips from the edges of the dough almost to the filling. Begin the braid by folding the top row toward the filling. Alternately fold the strips at an angle from each side across the filling toward the opposite side. Fold bottom row toward the filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under to seal. Transfer to baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or you can use parchment paper to cover the baking sheet.

Brush the loaf gently with a beaten egg and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake loaf 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool.

The Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
enough milk to make of the desired drizzle consistency
Stir the powdered sugar and butter together in a small bowl. Add milk until you have the needed consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled danish and garnish with reserved cinnamon chips.
Wrap well in plastic wrap and this will still be quite soft and fresh-tasting even the next day. Yum!


finsmom said...

This is so beautiful! I wouldnt even want to eat it (although I would, because it sounds incredible!)

Thanks for sharing!

Mags said...

Thank you finsmom! It really was incredible, especially since it is so unlike me to have good results when baking this kind of thing. (can you tell I'm proud of myself?

Bob said...

Wow wow wow! Mag's you have every right to be proud!!! Lynn and I watched one these "works of art" being created at the King Arthur Flour baking presentation we attended. Congratulations and as always, another enjoyable blog to read!:)

Mags said...

Bob, I know! It's craziness that I could actually accomplish this! Thanks for all your tips. Did you see my new flour whisk??

Natalie said...

This looks really delicious and absolutely perfect!

Lynn said...

Hello Mags ~

My oh my ~ you are quite amazing with your "talent" and "love" for "cooking"! I can definitely see the "love and care" you put into your "creations". Our mouths water each and every time we see what you post! Well done Mags~ well done! P.S. Bob and I did take notice of the "dough wisk"... It really makes a difference in "mixing" eh...

Kindly~ Lynn

Mags said...

Natalie... thank you!

Lynn...thank you for your kind words. This bread making addiction has turned into a real learning experience for me, for sure.

Nanan said...

ok - mags - you have inspired me - I wanna make one of these beauties now!!!! - bookmarked! - but - half cinnamon - half dark chocolate????

Ana said...

Hi!!! thank you so much for your blog. It is amazing!! I just want to ask you if this dough is the same to make danish cream rolls.
Thanks again from Spain!

Mags said...

Ana: Thank so much for your kind words. I have no idea if this dough is similar or not to the dough used for danish cream rolls. Sorry.