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.
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.