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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cream Cheese Danish Coffee Cake

makes 4 loaves
recipe adapted from Thibeault's Table
prep time: 2 hrs (does not include proofing time) / cook time: 20-25 min

1/2 c butter (2 sticks)
* I used salted butter
1 c sour cream
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
* I omitted the salt
2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/2 c warm water
2 eggs, beaten
4 c all-purpose flour

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

2 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
1/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
sliced almonds

• Over low heat in a small saucepan, heat butter, sour cream, sugar and salt until warm and sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
• In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
• Mix sour cream mixture with yeast and add beaten eggs and flour.
* The dough will be very soft.
• Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to rise.
* This may be done the same day. Put in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours and proceed with the next step.
• Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead 6 or 7 times.
• Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece out to 12 x 8 inches.
• Spread 1/4 of the filling onto each piece and roll jellyroll style from the long side. Pinch seams and ends to seal.
• Place seam side down on buttered baking sheet and cut X's on the top, about 6 X's.
* I didn't care for the cutting of the X's on the top of each loaf. The two that I did using this technique did open up while baking exposing the filling. You might want to try cutting slits across the top instead.
• Danish should be slightly flattened and about 4 x 12 inches in size.
* I made two using the braiding technique, as seen in the pictures. Lightly score a 2 inch wide strip down the center of the dough with a knife and 1 inch strips on the outside edges.
* Spread 1/4 of the filling onto each piece, leaving a bit of room on the top and bottom for the filling to spread as you braid.
* Braid the dough by crossing alternate strips of dough over the filling from right and left, working from the top down. When you reach the bottom, press the dough to seal it, then tuck it under slightly.
• Cover and let rise until it doubles in size, approximately 1 hour.
• Bake at 375˚F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
• Let cool on wire racks.

• Beat together cream cheese with sugar.
• Add egg, vanilla extract and salt.

• Combine confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla extract.

• Sprinkle sliced almonds on cooled danish.
• With a fork, drizzle glaze over each loaf.

• The bread is super soft and best eaten the same day.
• When letting the loaves proof, do not place them too close together. I did not take that into consideration when I put the bread on the baking sheet and they ended up touching. The loaf got soft and was difficult to reposition.
• I found the glaze to be a bit too thick, so I added a little more milk to get a better consistency.
• The glaze recipe made way more than was needed, so consider cutting down the confectioners' sugar. I only used about 2/3 of it. If you like your pastry drenched in glaze, the amount the recipe calls for is perfect.

The coffee cake will keep unwrapped at room temperature for 1 day. For longer storage, double-wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour, then reheat in a 350˚F for 9-12 minutes, until the crust is crisped and the center is warmed through.




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