What we have here are the beginnings of a housewife (gasp!) courtesy, in part, to the Daring Bakers.
It must be a nesting instinct, this desire of late to organize, learn to knit, and bake from scratch. Not to say this desire always comes with impetus mind you, but that’s why I joined the DB’ers in the first place. The monthly baking challenge feels like a delicious obligation.
This month’s challenge was for Danish Braid and I was happy to oblige:
Which isn’t to say things went off without a hitch. Did I even know what laminated dough was when Ben and Kelly hosted such a thing this month? Um, no. I’d never worked with any kind of dough, period.
Which is maybe why my piece of rolled dough looked more like the Blob than an actual rectangle. Or why my cardamom replacement (cinnamon and nutmeg) played hostile flavor takeover. Is the braid supposed to be this bready? I wouldn’t know. When you fold the butter in and unfold out after the fridge, should the dough stick madly to itself like Ralphie’s tongue to a pole a la A Christmas Story? Probably not.
And yet…and yet. Even though it looked like there was hardly any dough to work with in the first place (having halved the recipe from the get go) and even though it never proofed like it should have and though, I’ll admit, I patched holes in the braid with leftover non-rectangular dough, in fear that my delicious guava and cheese filling would seep out and put me over the edge, this braid was damn good ladies and gentlemen: damn good. Next time, it may be out of this world.
Maybe what we taste is tied to our hearts after all. Last month, during the miscarriage, the Opera cake seemed like an overly sweet apology that could never make amends. This month, working leftover dough resulted in a tiny piece of heaven:
Let’s hope it is prophetic. 🙂