Danish Braid

"This recipe is very special to me. I made this several years ago as one of my first pastry-making attempts. If you follow the directions this recipe is foolproof. Patience is a must. From Baking with Julia."
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Loribee photo by Loribee
photo by Loribee photo by Loribee
Ready In:
48hrs 20mins
2 danish braids


  • Danish Dough

  • 14 cup water, 110 degrees
  • 2 12 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 12 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 12 cups unbleached flour
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Danish-almond filling

  • 1 cup blanched almond
  • 12 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Danish-Berry Jam Filling

  • 2 cups fresh berries, crushed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (up to 2 tbl depending on sweetness)
  • Other Ingredients

  • 1 large egg white
  • raw sugar or crushed sugar cube
  • sliced almonds, garnish
  • 4 -6 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Danish Dough: Pour water into a large bowl, sprinkle over.
  • yeast and let soften for a minute.
  • Add milk, egg, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk to mix. Set aside.
  • Put flour into food processor, add butter and pulse (8-10 times) until butter is cut into pieces 1/2 inch diameter- no smaller.
  • Empty contents of food processor into the bowl with the yeast mixture.
  • Very gently turn the mixture over with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Butter must remain in discrete pieces.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight (or up to 4 days).
  • Lightly flour work surface, turn the dough out and lightly flour the dough.
  • Pat into a rough square.
  • Note: If at anytime the dough becomes too soft, cover with plastic and chill.
  • Roll out to 16" x 16".
  • Fold in thirds like a business letter and turn so that the closed fold is on your left.
  • Roll again to 10" x 24".
  • Fold in thirds again, turn so the closed fold is on your left.
  • Roll into a 20" x 20" square.
  • Fold the square in thirds and turn so that the closed fold is on your left.
  • Roll into a 10" x 20' rectangle, fold in thirds again.
  • Wrap dough in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days).
  • Dough can be frozen for 1 month.
  • Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
  • Danish-almond filling: Put almonds, sugar and butter into food processor.
  • Process until almonds are finely ground, scraping bowl as necessary.
  • Add almond extract and 2 Tbsp of the beaten egg white.
  • Process until mixed.
  • Store in airtight container in the refrigerator until needed (up to 1 week).
  • Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Danish-Berry Jam Filling: Stir berries and sugar together in saucepan.
  • Cook on low, stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed and filling is glossy.
  • (Can be done in microwave) Stir in lemon juice.
  • Scrape filling into a small container and cool to room temperature.
  • Seal container and chill.
  • Will keep refrigerated for 1 week.
  • Danish Braid assembly: Divide Danish dough in half.
  • Roll each chilled danish dough half on lightly floured surface to a 10" x 16" rectangle.
  • Lift on to a parchment lined half sheet pan.
  • Spread some of the fruit filling down the middle third of the dough.
  • Top with some of the cream or almond filling.
  • Note:you may not need the entire amount of either filling Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 12- 14 slanting lines down each side angling cuts from the center to the edge and cutting strips about 3/4 inch wide.
  • Fold strips of pastry into the center, crisscrossing the filling by alternating strips from each side.
  • Lightly press ends to seal and run your hands along the sides of the pastry to straighten.
  • Brush with egg white, sprinkle with sugar and almonds.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until it looks and feels puffy.
  • About 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake in center of oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  • Cool slightly Stir coffee and powdered sugar together to produce a smooth shiny glaze.
  • Spoon glaze into a zip-loc bag, seal top and snip corner with scissors to create a pastry bag.
  • Squeeze squiggles of glaze over pastry and allow to set.
  • Serve.
  • Notes: you can use other Danish fillings as well.
  • Such as:

  • Danish- Cream Cheese Filling (recipe #54153).
  • Danish-Prune Filling (recipe #54152).
  • Danish-Confectioners Cream filling (recipe #54151).
  • Danish-Apricot Filling (recipe #54150).

Questions & Replies

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  1. Filling Can I put Cream Cheese in this recipe .
  2. I just made this today after reading the recipe in the book and I cannot believe I have made it. I didnt have butter so used shortening instead and the resulting pastry is so flaky and just melts in your mouth. I used the cream cheese filling mentioned by a reviewer and fresh berry jam mentioned in the book. I will definetly be making this again with different fillings.
  3. Fabulous! This was my first time making a danish and I was very pleasantly surprised with the finished product. The instructions were very easy to follow and with a little faith, it turned out fine. I was surprised to find a very wet dough after refrigerating it the first night. I added a lot of flour while rolling it out to keep it from sticking everywhere. I have to admit I was very nervous about that aspect. It turned out just fine though. The danishes looked great and tasted wonderful. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
  4. Yikes! This is amazing. This is my first stab ever at a pastry, and with this recipe I feel I have nothing to be ashamed of. I chose this recipe because it didn't require chilling in between the rolling and folding steps like other pastry recipes. To my delight, it came out as flaky and airy as I could have wished. I halved it, making it hard to estimate the sizes during the rolling. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. The dough was slightly sticky, but that may have been because it's hard halve an egg. If you're thinking of halving it, I would just go ahead and make the whole batch, freezing half for later. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps. It's not that hard. For the fillings, I used the Danish- Cream Cheese Filling (recipe#54153) and homemade olallieberry jam. Oh, heaven! I'm going to have to take it into work just to get rid of the temptation. My braid was just a tad messy, but with a little practice I don't think it will be too tricky
  5. I'm not one to easily give 5 stars, but this recipe is worth it. I made Danish pastry once and I swore I'd never do it again. This recipe changed all that. It *is* a lot of work, but you can do it a bit at a time, and Mean Chef's directions make it so easy to understand. I didn't follow the size measurements for rolling out the dough, but my Danishes still turned out well. Even though I got confused with the number of turns I made, these still came out flaky and almost as good as the ones from those fancy breakfast buffets.


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