Monday, June 30, 2008

DANISH BRAID - THE DARING BAKERS

It's really unbelievable. Lately time has been passing so fast that I never got to make this month's "Daring Bakers" recipe until this very weekend! Thankfully, on Friday and Saturday, I was able to squeeze a few hours of baking into my overloaded planning in order to get that wonderful challenge done... Phew, it was really tight!

This month is being hosted by kelly at "Sass & Veracity" (USA) and Ben at "What’s Cookin’?" (USA) who had the "viscious" idea to make us work with 100% homemade, yeasted laminated dough. In that way, they could put our skills, nerves as well as our courage to the test...

There is no need for me to tell you t
hat, as usual, I panicked and stressed at the very sight of the recipe and at the idea of the task that awaited me. I broke out in a cold sweat, my knees started to shake and feel weak ! Oh my God, was I really going to overcome my terror? My enemy number one is butter-laminated dough/pastriy (layered dough created by sandwiching butter between layers of dough) to which I'm totally phobic. Although, I am quite an adventurous and experienced baker, that is one of the only things which I am totally afraid of. Thinking about that makes my heart skip a beat!

As it was the case with all challenges until now, I was able to keep cool, not listen to my inner demons and to detach my mind from what I was making. Thankfully, my zen attitude made me get a hold of the delicate situation, helped me overcome all of my ungrounded fears and realise that, in fact, "Danish Pastries" are much easier to make than I had anticipated/thought...

I must say that, although making laminated dough is quite finicky and extremely time-consuming, especially if the weather is hyper hot (30° C/86° F) and the kitchen has limited space, everything went very smoothly and I encountered no major problem. Strangely, I stayed cool during the whole process and was highly organized as well as motivated, even if I was petrified with fear. Generally, I tend to run in all directions, I am very messy, I get angry and I swear a lot! Maybe "The Daring Bakers" have made me become a better person and helped me to deal with things in a more relaxed way? Who knows...

As recommended by Kelly and Ben, I
made one "Danish Braid" and experimented with "Danish Pastries" with the extra dough (leftover dough). For the filling, I though that apricot puree (half way between apricot jam and compote/the apricots were cooked with very little sugar and cornstarch was added as a thickener, then I pureed the mixture in a mixer and added some cinnamon) and pastry cream (made with milk, egg yolks and flavored with Australian vanilla paste) would be ideal and would go perfectly well together. For the decoration, I decided upon sprinkling sliced almonds on the top of my braid and then drizzling some almond essence icing (1 cup confectioner's sugar with 2 tbs hot water and a few drop almond essence) over my "Danish Braid" and "Danish Pastries", just after having removed them from the oven.

Although I really enjoyed all previous challenges, I must say that, so far, this one is one of my favorite ones as it combines the delightfulness of yeast dough with the exhalirating sweetness of the fillings. And, as I am a big lover of bread and viennoiseries, it was impossible for this luscious recipe to not make me shiver with pleasure while eating that gorgeous "Danish Braid" and those heavenly little "Danish Pastries"!

Guess what. I LOVED those specialities as they are so refined, addictive, versatile, fragrant and terribly delicious! Both the "Danish Braid" and the "Danish Pastries" t asted and looked better than the highly disappointing, dry, tasteless, bland, grainy-textured and ungratifying bakery-bought ones which I have come across until now. I know that it sounds extremely pretentious, but I'm speaking the truth... Most of the time, I've discovered that homemade bakery items are much more soul-uplifting than what you can find in a ny or at least in mostr "boulangeries/pâtisseries"...

Both the "Danish Braid and the "Danish Pastries" were smooth and at the same time. crispy, flaky and puffy. The dough was perfectly laminated. Taste-wise, those delicacies had a complex savor thanks to the dazzling flavors of butter, vanilla, bitter almond, cardamom, orange, apricot and of cinnamon which intermingled exquisitely together. To die for!!!

Thanks to Kelly and Ben for having chosen that marvelous recipe and for having cured my phobia, made me aware of my potential and made me realize that there's no need to be fearful of laminated doughs/pastries!!!

~ Danish Braid ~

From Sherry Yard’s "The Secrets of Baking".

DANISH DOUGH

Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

Ingredients for the "Dough/Détrempe":
1 Ounce (30g) Fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 Cup Whole milk
1/3 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 Tsp Ground cardamom
1-1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 Large eggs (~ 57-60g), chilled
1/4 Cup Fresh orange juice
3-1/4 Cups All-purpose flour
1 Tsp Salt

Ingredients for the "Butter Block/Beurrage":
1/2 Pound (2 sticks/240g) Cold unsalted butter
1/4 Cup All-purpose flour

Method for the "Dough/Détrempe":
1.
(Without a standing mixer) Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk.
2. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well.
3. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain (
Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even).
4. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain.
5. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges.
6. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes (
You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky).
7. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Method for the "Butter Block/Beurrage":
10. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
11. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free.
12. Set aside at room temperature.
13. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
14. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick (
The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour).
15. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough.
16. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter.

17. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third (The first turn has now been completed).
18. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally.
19. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
20. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface (
The open ends should be to your right and left).
21. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
22. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third (
No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough).
23. (
The second turn has now been completed) Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
24. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns (
Make sure you are keeping track of your turns).
25. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight (
The Danish dough is now ready to be used).Remarks:
If you are making the "Dough/Détrempe" with a standing mixer, here's the method: Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky.
How to freeze the "Danish Dough":
If you will not be using the finished (after step 24) dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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APPLE FILLING

Makes enough for two braids.

Ingredients:
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 Cup Fresh lemon juice
4 Tbs Unsalted butter

Method for the "Apple Filling":
1. Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes.
3. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes (
If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape).
4. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid.

Remarks:
If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.
They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet.
After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

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DANISH BRAID

Makes enough for 2 large braids.

Ingredients for the "Danish Braid":
1 Recipe "Danish Dough" (see below)
2 Cups Apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)
Ingredients for the egg wash:
1 Large egg
1 Large egg yolk

Method for the "Danish Braid":
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick (
If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again).
2. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
3. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart.
4. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
5. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle.
6. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. 7. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling (
This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling).
8. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished.
9. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Method for the "Egg Wash":
10. Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.
Method for the "Proofing and Baking":
11. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
12. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 200° C (400° F). Position a rack in the center of the oven.
13. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350° F), and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown.
14. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Remarks:
The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to a month.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with a dollop whipped cream, some custard and/or a ball of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Etant donné la longueur du texte original, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!!! Je vous suggère de vous rendre sur les blogs mentionnés ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française:

Chez Marion de "Il En Faut Peu Pour..." (France)
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)
Chez Anne de "A Foody Froggy In Paris" (France)

Fore more "Daring Bakers" recipes, click here...

99 comments:

  1. looks delicious. And, i wished I had some right now. Sadly, I ran out of time this month to be a daring baker.

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  2. Your danish turned out absolutely beautiful - it looks delicious!! I had such a blast making this, I can't wait until I have the chance to do it again :) Nicely done!

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  3. Rosa, you are very talented and I totally admire your zen attitude!

    Btw, how about send me one of this danish pastry? Please?

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  4. Beautiful braid and danishes Rosa!

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  5. Your pastries look absolutely awesome!!! When I was a child we had factory danish pastries once a month at school on first Friday, and I detested them, but I can see that these are going to be wonderful. Mine aren't finished yet, because I'm waiting for our 100 degree day to cool down a bit before I bake them.

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  6. It amazes me how many accomplished bakers join me in an abject fear of laminate dough. I join you in thanking Kelly and Ben for curing that phobia. Your braids are beautiful.

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  7. Bravo, you really did a spectacular job. You are a pro for something you feared. Much better than the store purchased ones.

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  8. Ah... je suis la première ;-P Bravo! C'est une belle réussite, encore une fois! Je ne m'y suis pas attelée, toute occupée à vider l'ancien frigo et installer le nouveau... la prochaine fois, peut-être... Bon dimanche, Rosa

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  9. Paresseuse que je suis, je n'ai pas tout lu.Je vais aller chercher la traduction chez Marion. J'aime bien celui en forme de moulin à vent.

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  10. please let me stop laughing!
    your inner demon was also mine!
    and we have the same enemy in laminated dough!
    but your result is one of the best I saw as usual :D

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  11. It looks just perfect Rosa! beautiful!

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  12. It looks just perfect Rosa! beautiful!

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  13. huum qu'est ce que c'est appétissant!! ça doit vraiment être un délice!

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  14. Your danishes and braid look beautiful, I liked this challenge too.

    Cheers,

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

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  15. U..la..la... that looks so delish...love the almonds and glaze

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  16. Beautiful braid and pastries... .love your photos!

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  17. Those look beautiful! I especially like your pinwheel one!

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  18. c'est super réussi et que les photos sont belles !

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  19. Your braid looks delicious, and I love the apricot idea for sure, yum!

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  20. Sure looks like you've conquered your fear to me! You did a fantastic job on all of your danishes. They look amazing!

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  21. Your pinwheels look fantastic, all the worrying was definitely unfounded!

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  22. I too, am relutant to try working with puff pastry ... but your recipe makes it look like I should give it a try. Maybe when the weather cools down. It has turned very hot here as well!

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  23. Looks truly yummy indeed. I had the same problems with the heat and small kitchen, but it looks like yours turned out well!

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  24. The braid and individual pastries look beautiful. You managed to capture the flaky layers perfectly in your photos.

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  25. Olala bravo ! Tes photos donnent envie, j'adore ça en plus lol. Je ne passe pas à la bonne heure, j'ai faim là !

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  26. You've done it again! Your pastries and braid came out gorgeous - and I love the apricot filling idea! Wonderful!

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  27. Your braid and pastries are gorgeous! Very nice photos too. I'm impressed you made it in two days... I stretched mine to two weekends!

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  28. This looks just beautiful Rosa and I love your choice of filling! Apricots just ROCK!

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  29. It looks so delicious! Those pictures are amazing!

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  30. Well, you beat me to it, as I only finished my braid today! Your braid and pastries look absolutely delicious!

    Greetings,
    Tiina

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  31. Beautiful braid and I love the extra pastries you made - they are so cute :) The picture of the oozing filling is making me hungry!!

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  32. Quel travail...et quel résultat! Bonne soirée.

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  33. Quelles gourmandises! Bravo pour ces jolies "viennoiseries" danoises.

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  34. i too panicked! your work paid off, they look delicious and better than any pasty at a shop

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  35. Your braid looks great and so do the pastries!

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  36. A beautiful braid, tastefully decorated with almond slices and icing! Congratulations on getting over that laminated dough fear you had.

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  37. I am so curious right now, who else get to enjoy this Rosa :D enough for the family & friends? How about me? heheheh...looks yummy!

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  38. Both your braid and pastires look delicious! I like the way you described them in your blog. We are trying the ice cream on top fo dessert (after having the plain for breakfast this morning). Enjoy! Liz

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  39. Awesome job! It all looks so delicious!

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  40. félicitations!!
    Ta tresse et tes patisseries sont tellement appétissantes Miammmm
    Et tes photos sont superbes!

    Sakya xx

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  41. How pretty! Your braids look absolutely scrumptious and the little pastries are just perfect!

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  42. Delicious and very appetizing...I loved doing pinwheels as well...

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  43. Your Danish looks beautiful! You did a great job, as always:)

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  44. J'ai déjà vu quelques-unes de ces belles choses chez tes copines et je dois dire que tu as fait un magnifique travail !
    Quelle photos, en plus !
    Bisous


    Hélène

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  45. Bravo, c'est splendide, quel travail pour un grand régal c'est sûr !

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  46. OMG! this Danish Braid look so awesome beautiful! I would have ordered some if you were near by! Truely heaven!

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  47. Très gourmand et très tentant !

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  48. Félicitations, très bien réussi! J'adore le glaçage blanc, ça rend la tresse encore plus gourmande!

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  49. mais non tu n'es pas pretentieuse, je suis certaine qu'elles sont meilleures que chez bien des patissiers tes viennoiseries. Joli challenge cette fois-ci.

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  50. Rosa, What lovely Danish pastries! Thanks for coming over to my blog - I've discovered your's now and will be over often!

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  51. I thought these things were reserved for bakers and confectioneries! I didnt know that these things could be made at home! Kudos......these look absolutely phenomenal!

    How long did it take for you to complete all the delicacies?

    Once again, marvelous stuff!

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  52. Oh I did not know you were a Daring Baker too, I alwalys find it interesting what they come up with month for month. :o)
    Looks so lovely, now I am craving soemthings sweet - oh my!

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  53. Great photo's your danishes look divine!

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  54. What a beautiful Danish Rosa...& what a most delicious challenge this was. I enjoyed it thoroughly too (after firmly squashing my demons as well) & agree with all you write. Nothing to beat the home-made taste...love the apple filling & serving suggestions!! YUM YUM Rosa!!

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  55. Both your braid and the danish pastries look fantastic Rosa! I wish I had your cool in the kitchen :)

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  56. que de belles photos !!!!
    il n'y en a pas une qui ne me donne pas envie de mordre dans ces beaux et moelleus délices

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  57. Wow-beautiful pastries! Your photos are amazing. I wish I had put some glaze on mine.

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  58. Wonderful job on this challenge! All of you pastries look amazing!

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  59. Ces petits pains dégoulinent de gourmandises, j'adore!!

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  60. This came out so wonderfully, hard to believe you were afraid of it!

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  61. Your braid and Danish pastries look fabulous.
    Its hard to believe you were so worried about the challenge looking at them.

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  62. Il n'y a pas photos ! C'est bien meilleur fait de tes mains. Il faudrait un jour que je me lance.
    Encore bravo, le défi est relevé.

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  63. Fabulously done. Your pastry is perfect!!!

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  64. Pour quelqu'un de paniqué et stressée, tu as plutôt fait du bon travail!! Ces danishes ont l'air moelleuses comme j'aurais aimé que les miennes le soient un peu plus!!
    Superbe challenge!

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  65. Oh Rosa the braid and pastries look extremely delicious and beautiful. the photos are fantastic too

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  66. Double gold star, Rosa! You conquered your fears and turned out some beautiful pastries!!! :)

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  67. These look delicious, and I love your photos. I must say, you sound like the type of baker I am - usually disorganized and stressed, but for this one, I was really calm, too!

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  68. Tout ce que j'aime! C'est magnifique............

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  69. your pastries look so professionally made! good job on overcoming your fears! :)

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  70. Great job! I, too, added a glaze to my Danish but yours 'take the cake'!

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  71. Yummy, yum! I also like the star-shaped pastry.

    I've tagged you for a meme. ;-))) Please stop by my blog. It's totally optional.

    Paz

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  72. I agree... once you understand and see the dough process, it's really quite easy... We may have to start just making this to have on hand... Your pastries are quite lovely and delicious-looking!

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  73. je n'ai pas encore mangé et je bav edevant ces merveilles dégoulinantes de sucre fondant !! Je file de ce pas voir les recettes en français ;-)
    bizzz

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  74. juste pour info, le 1er lien doit être changé et les 3 autres marchent pas :-(
    bizzz

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  75. Don't you just love being a Daring Baker :)
    Your braid and pastries look delicious!

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  76. Hard to believe you were scared of this recipe. Your results look delicious!

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  77. I'm very impressed by your bravery and your delicious-looking Danish bread. You can uplift my soul any day with your homemade pastry creations! ;-)

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  78. I am in such awe of your baking skills, I need a lesson! I could eat this for breakfast right now.

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  79. Rosa you did such a fabulous job!! Look at all those wonderful pictures. :) Thank you for sharing them with us!

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  80. Je n'arrive pas te faire un commentaire en anglais pour mon incompétence dans cette langue, j'espère que le français ça ira: pour te dire que cette recette est absolument sublime et que j'essayerai de la suivre pas à pas pour apprendre à faire ce délicieux danish braid...? yummm yummm :-)

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  81. That is one of the lightest, flakiest doughs I've seen. Just lovely, Rosa.

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  82. Rosa, your works are always so artful and I draw great inspiration. Your production for this Daring Bakers Challenge is magnificent.

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  83. Gorgeous pics! I had to get Zen on the dishes afterwards. ;)

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  84. Wow ! this is the most thorough post I have ever read...Bravo ! Thanks for sharing :)

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  85. Rosa! Your beautiful pastries are a work of art! I think they look better than most bakeries make. You should feel very, very proud. And the pictures as amazing. Great job!!!

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  86. MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR KIND COMMENTS!

    CHEERS,

    ROSA

    ***********************************

    MERCI POUR TOUS VOS GENTILS COMMENTAIRES!

    BISES,

    ROSA

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  87. Oh, that looks so delicious! I especially like the glaze and almonds on top.

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  88. 89 comments! WOW! You are rockin' and rollin'! Of course, I'm not the least bit surprised... you have such a terrific blog!

    Blessings and congratulations!
    Lacy

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  89. All your pastries look delicious! Great photos.
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

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  90. meme si c pas en francais les images parlent d elles meme!!!
    ca a l air divin!

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  91. What a wonderful job! The pastries look delicious!

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  92. this is beautiful rosa!! great job for last month's challenge!

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  93. I think a lot of DBers freak out when they read the month's challenge for the first time. This challenge didn't make me groan, because I couldn't wait to try it out. I've stopped stressing about the baking now. If it comes out fine, great. If it's a flop, whatever. It's a shame to waste ingredients and time when trying out a new recipe, but I'm definitely not going to lose my sanity because of it. ;-) You did a great job!

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  94. HOW DO YOU JOIN

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  95. ANONYMOUS:
    To join go here: http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/

    You'll find all the information needed in the blogroll...

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  96. Hi, I really wanted to try this recipe and even writing this is hard because of the music some people will not like, i'm not being nasty or picky but i think you should maybe adjust the colouring to be more readable and not put people off with the efforts of trying to see what it says, and maybe not having music on that doesn't give people any choice but to listen to when it's not their liking. i hope you take this advice without being offended, i'm trying to help xxxx

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  97. ANONYMOUS: Thanks for passing by and for the comment. I have now changed the color of the text (black), but still have to change it in the old posts. Regarding the music, well everybody has the choice to turn it off or leave it on (press "pause"), so I am forcing nobody to listen to it... :-) Kind regards. xxx

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