How to Make the Perfect Danish Braid

 

 

What’s not to like about the Danish braid? It is so flaky, so tender and it melts in your mouth. It is one of my personal favorites, although I tend to think that each time I think about one particular recipe, it instantly becomes a favorite of mine. While you may be taken a bit aback by the fancy appearance of the famous Danish braid, I can assure you that there is nothing to be worried about. You can do your Danish braid at home, and you can do so easily.

One of the things I highly recommend when working with the dough for Danish braid is that it needs to be chilled enough. So, I advise that you make the dough and you let it cool overnight in the fridge so you can work it properly the next day. Especially if you have big plans for a Sunday brunch, getting a little busy on Saturday is the way to do it right. I know people who even prefer to make their dough well in advance and keep it in the freezer until an occasion arises for them to cook their favorite Danish pastry.

Now, let’s get to the recipe, and I will give you a few more tips later. For the pastry, you will need two and a half cups of flour, one quarter of a cup of warm water, one standard package of dried yeast, half a cup of milk (make sure it is at the room temperature, and not directly from the fridge), one egg (should be at room temperature, too), 14 tablespoons of butter (the unsalted variety), a quarter of a cup of sugar and half a tablespoon of salt.

Mix the yeast with the water in a bowl and let it react. Add the milk, the egg, sugar, and salt. In a different bowl mix the butter and flour. Use a food processor for best results. Bring the two mixes together and combine them with gentle moves. A good trick for making great Danish braids is to leave the butter in small chunks. Once you obtain the dough, wrap it in plastic and send it to the refrigerator until the next day.

Take the dough out of the fridge, and began rolling it, making sure you have plenty of flour around since this is quite a sticky type of dough. The trick is to roll and fold three times, making sure to obtain a rectangular shape. Leave the dough to rest wrapped in plastic for at least half an hour in the fridge. The amount used in this recipe is good for two braids, so you need to cut the dough in half, and keep the one you are not working on in the fridge until it is its turn.

Cut the corners and create slanting strips. Pour the filling in the middle and bring the strips over, alternating. Bake everything in the oven preheated to 400F. If you want your Danish braid to have that amazing, beautiful sheen, make some egg wash from one egg and a bit of milk and brush it over the braid, once you see it turn it golden in the oven.

Homemade Churros – A Recipe

 

 

I honestly believe that there is no easier dessert to make at home than churros. The Mexican recipe is straightforward, easy to make and incredibly delicious. The fact that churros work best when dipped in chocolate practically raises this pretty simple dessert to a degree of decadence that I doubt many other desserts can dream of.

 

Today let’s see how churros can be made at home. I bet you have tried churros at a Mexican restaurant and thought they were heavenly. This recipe is easy to make, and that is why I recommend anyone who wants to start cooking at home, to try out this specific Mexican delight, because their efforts will be quickly rewarded and they will fall in love with cooking right away. The only thing you need to worry about is adding inches to your waistline if you plan on making churros too often. But, what spells comfort better than enjoying a few churros next to a cup of hot cocoa on rainy or cold days?

The recipe I am going to present to you is a very close version of the original, and it is intended for making 16 churros (that you can split with your loved ones as you see fit). For this recipe, you will need a cup and a half of water, a bit of salt, one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of olive oil, one cup and a half of flour, and one teaspoon of baking powder. I will tell you more about the chocolate sauce a bit later. Now, let’s get to making churros.

Use a small saucepan to mix the water with salt, sugar and the tablespoon of oil. Place the pan on the medium heat and bring the mix to a boiling temperature. Remove from the stove and add the flour and the baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to avoid burning your hands. Use extra oil for frying. A pot with a thicker bottom is recommended for the frying part of this recipe.

I recommend using a pastry bag with a star tip for creating churros with the same pattern as those you see in restaurants. Of course, you may want to experiment at some point. Just place the dough you obtained earlier in the pastry bag and squeeze medium size strips into the heated oil in the frying pot. Let the churros turn golden, and flip them from one side to another, without leaving them for more than a couple of minutes on each.

Place the fried churros on some paper towels over a plate, so that excess fat can be easily absorbed. Spread some sugar for dusting. If you like dipping them in chocolate sauce, mix half a cup of heated heavy cream with four ounces of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Dunk your churros in this chocolate sauce and enjoy the heavenly taste.