Homemade danish pastry made with Red Star Yeast braided around a cream cheese filling and fresh summer berries is a breakfast treat sure to impress everyone.
When it comes to breakfast, I am definitely a sweets kind of gal. Is that really any surprise?
I reach for pastries with far more enthusiasm than I do with savory items like bacon and eggs. Any excuse to have dessert for breakfast. But I don’t often make pastries at home, they’re more of a coffee house splurge. Until now!
I think I’m going to put this homemade danish braid on regular weekend rotation.
There’s no frozen puff pastry in this recipe. Instead the dough is completely homemade with yeast and lots of butter. It does take a bit more effort and time, I’ll admit, but the difference is noticeable and will have you sticking to homemade from here on out.
The pastry is sweet, buttery and slightly flaky, and the filling is the perfect treat for this time of year. Feel free to change up the fruit with whatever you happen to have on hand. Cherries, strawberries and even sliced peaches or plums would be incredible.
To save time, start the dough the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Then all you’ll need to do the next morning is roll it out, add the filling, and braid it up.
baking tip:How to create a mock braided bread
A danish pastry isn’t really braided. Instead, a single piece of dough is cut and folded to look like a braid. It’s a quick and easy shortcut, and here’s how to do it:
1. Score the rolled out dough so that it is divided into thirds lengthwise, careful not to slice all the way through. You will use this as a guide.
2. With a sharp knife slice the outer thirds into 1-inch strips at a slight angle.
3. Remove the 2 segments from the top and the bottom of the dough, leaving behind little “notches”.
3. Spread the filling into the middle.
4. To braid, fold one top strip up and over the filling at an angle. Repeat with the top strip on the other side, slightly overlapping the first. Repeat with remaining strips all the way down.
Summer Berry Danish Braid
For the dough:
- 1 cup warm whole milk (250 ml)
- 1 envelope Red Star Active Dry Yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter , cubed (113 grams)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water , for egg wash
For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese , at room temperature (226 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 large egg
- Approximately 2 cups berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
For the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar , sifted (227 grams)
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
To prepare the dough:
- Combine the warm milk and yeast and stir slightly to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas.
- Whisk together the yeast mixture and the egg yolks and add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until it forms a sticky dough. Do not knead.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Dump the chilled dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 15 inches wide. Fold the dough in thirds like you would a business letter, then roll it out again. Repeat 2 more times.
- Fold the dough in thirds again and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
To assemble the danish braid:
- Cut chilled dough in half and roll each out into an approximate 12x6-inch rectangle. Transfer to 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Use a knife to score each rectangle into thirds lengthwise. Cut the outer thirds into 1-inch strips.
- With either a mixer or by hand, beat the cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth.
- Spread into the center of each dough rectangle. Top with berries or desired fruit.
- To make a braid, take one top dough stip and fold it over the filling. Fold the dough strip from the other side over the top, overlapping the first one slightly. Repeat all the way down.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Brush with egg wash and bake until crust is golden about, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
To make the icing:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk or cream until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled danish braid. Serve and enjoy!
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Red Star Yeast. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are 100% my own, as always.