Cinnamon Apple Braid

Products Used

Ingredients

Danish Dough

  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour* or bread flour*
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 7/8 cups all-purpose flour* or bread flour*
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 packets + 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) preferably European style butter
  • 1 large egg for brushing dough

Apple Filling

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg

Icing

  • *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.

Directions

  1. In bowl of a stand mixer (or mix by hand in a large bowl) combine yeast with lukewarm water and mix in first listed flour. Once well combined cover bowl with plastic food wrap and place in a warm area for 1 hour.  
  2. Meanwhile bring milk and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and place in freezer to chill until very cold.
  3. After 1 hour, dough will have risen significantly. Remove plastic and add chilled milk and vanilla. Place remaining flour on top as well as salt and soft butter.
  4. Combine remaining yeast with lukewarm water and place on flour (but not touching salt).
  5. Using a dough hook (or by hand) mix dough until smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Dough should feel very firm.
  6. Shape dough in round ball, cover with plastic food wrap and place on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile unwrap butter and pound it with a rolling pin into a 6 X 8-inch square. Place in refrigerator to become cold and firm again.
  8. Remove dough from fridge. Cut an 'X' in center and press center corner of 'X' outwards to create a square.
  9. Roll dough into an 8 X 12-inch rectangle. On left side of dough place chilled piece of butter. Fold right side of rolled dough over to cover butter plaque. Place in freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Using as little flour as possible, roll dough 8 inches wide and 18 inches long. Fold dough in same manner as a 3-page brochure. Cover with plastic food wrap and place in freezer for about 30-45 or until cold and firm.
  11. Position chilled dough with side that does not contain a seam towards you.
  12. Roll dough once again to 8 X 18 inches. (Side that does not contain seam needs to expand to 18 inches). Fold dough once more as a 3-page brochure.
  13. Cover with plastic and place in freezer for 45 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile prepare apple filling. In a large saucepan place butter and sugar (brown sugar comes later) and set aside.
  15. Peel apples and cut in 4 wedges. Remove core and cut each wedge lengthwise in 4 slices.
  16. Heat saucepan until butter is melted, add apples and stir for about 5-7 minutes or until apples are al dente.
  17. Remove from heat and add cinnamon and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  18. Roll dough once again to 8 X 18 inches. (Side that does not contain seam needs to expand to 18 inches). Fold dough once more as a 3-page brochure.
  19. Cover with plastic and place in freezer for 30 minutes or place in refrigerator instead and continue next day.
  20. Set aside a large cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. A standard cookie sheet (not an insulated cookie sheet) is recommended as it will ensure bottom of pastry is thoroughly baked.
  21. Roll dough in a 13 X 14-inch rectangle. To make it fit, place diagonally on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  22. Arrange apple filling in a long narrow row in center of dough strip. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  23. On both sides, using a French knife, cut slanted slits, 1/3 inch apart about 2 1/2 inches away from apple mixture.  
  24. From left to right braid pastry overlapping each other. Press to seal both ends very well.  
  25. Brush a thin layer of beaten egg on pastry and cover loosely with plastic food film and set aside.
  26. After about 90 minutes, turn oven to 350°F. Allow braid to rise until doubled in volume.  Colder homes will require a longer time.
  27. Place in oven and bake for about 28-33 minutes or until a light golden brown
  28. For icing combine ingredients and drizzle on slightly cooled or cold Danish. Sprinkle with pecans.
Dixie Crystals Insight

Select flour with 4 grams/protein on nutrition facts label.

This dough can be made and partly finished the fist day and finalized the next. In fact, this method is utilized by professional pastry chefs. Leaving dough overnight in fridge deepens flavor and creates a better tasting product with a flakier crust.

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