Roasted vegetable Danish braid

Oven roasted vegetables filling a flaky, savoury Danish pastry crust.

roasted vegetable danish braid

Yes, this is quite time-consuming, but I needed to bake something. I’ve been off my game a bit, too burdened with work to spend much time in the kitchen. I decided to seek inspiration and, apparently, binge-watching The Great British Bake Off can have a serious effect on your family’s eating habits… If you aren’t keen on several hours prepping dough, feel free to use store-bough puff pastry or even pizza dough.

Serves 4 (main) to 8 (appetiser or side)
Dough: 3 hours
Filling: 1 hour + cooling (during the dough prep time)
Baking: 30 minutes
Notes: If you want to spread the dough-making out over two days, you can refrigerate it overnight after the first rise or at either of the chilling stages – just cover it tightly so it doesn’t dry out.
If at any point in the rolling process the dough splits, brush the split with flour, and if the butter becomes too soft, put the dough in the fridge to chill for a few minutes.

Dough

115g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
20g (2 rounded Tbsp) all-purpose (plain) flour

250g (2 cups spooned and scraped) bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp fine salt
freshly ground black pepper
120ml (1/2 cup) milk, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp tomato paste (concentrate)

Filling

Note: I used about 250g (roughly 1/2 pound) of each of the vegetables. I’ve listed the ones I used, but I imagine that sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli… would be great, too

2 large waxy potatoes
1 small eggplant (aubergine)
1 medium red pepper (capsicum)
1 large zucchini (courgette)
4 – 5 cloves garlic
30ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
120ml (1/2 cup) tomato passata
2 tsp mixed dried herbs such as marjoram, parsley, basil, sage, thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dry breadcrumbs as needed

1 egg beaten for egg wash

Dough

Use a fork to mix the softened butter with 20g (2 rounded Tbsp) flour until well combined. On a sheet of plastic wrap, use a spatula to spread out butter mixture into a 10 x 15cm (4 × 6”) rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate until firm while you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together 250g (2 cups) of bread flour, yeast, salt and plenty of pepper.

Add the milk, egg and tomato paste and mix until smooth.

Knead you have a smooth dough, at least 5 minutes. It will start out sticky, but it will become soft and smooth as you knead. If it’s still very sticky after 5 minutes, add another tablespoon of flour and knead again.

Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, about one hour.

On a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 15 x 25cm (6 × 10”) rectangle.

Place the butter rectangle on one half of the dough and fold the other half over it. Pinch edges of dough together and roll it out again to a 15 x 25cm (6 × 10”) rectangle.

Fold the rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and roll out the dough again to a 15 x 25cm (6 × 10”) rectangle and then fold it in thirds again.

Wrap the dough loosely in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

After chilling, roll it out again to a 15 x 25cm (6 × 10”) rectangle, fold in thirds, roll again and fold again.

Chill for at least another 30 minutes, loosely wrapped in plastic.

Filling

While the dough is proofing and chilling at various stages, prepare the filling.

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6.

Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and slice the garlic into matchsticks, place in a large baking tray and toss with olive oil. Roast until everything is soft, about 45 minutes.

Allow to cool, then toss with tomato passata, dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

If the mixture is at all watery, add a couple of tablespoons of dry breadcrumbs, adding more as needed.

Baking

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6.

Roll the dough out on a sheet of lightly floured baking paper into a rectangle about 25 x 35cm (10 x 14″).

Spread the filling down the long centre third of the dough rectangle, packing it quite tightly and leaving about 2cm (roughly 1″) at each end.

Use a sharp knife to cut the sides into strips about 1.5cm (roughly 1/2″) wide at about 45°, cutting from about 1cm (roughly 1/4″) out from the filling.

Fold the ends up over the filling and criss-cross the side strips over the filling. You can remove one or two strips at the end you are folding towards.

Slide the baking paper onto a baking sheet, brush with egg wash and place in centre of oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, until deep golden brown.

Transfer to a wire to cool a little before slicing. Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

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