Sometimes a moment of doing nothing, idly opening a blog, reading about a challenge, going over and checking it out on another blog is just that. Another moment. But there comes a time when that same chain of events leads to an innovated recipe that blows your hat off. This is that recipe. And it left me hatless and with a crooked bow.
The challenge was to innovate on a danish braid recipe, as explained by Julie of Willow Bird Baking. This is a cream cheese dough, laminated and then braided with a savory filling that just happened unannounced, like it does when you have the idea in your mind to do something salty and cheesy, and then pick up a spanish pork chorizo in the supermarket because it will go well with the mozzarella and parmesan, and then add some cherry tomatoes to the chorizo that is slowly cooking and rendering a bit of fat because you thought it needed something fresh. All this while the dough that has been folded in three a total of three times, similar to puff pastry, is having it´s final rest in the fridge before it becomes braided and baked to a golden color.
I could´ve eaten the chorizo and tomatoes for dinner right then and there, and leave the braid to it´s own resources. But there was no stopping the image in my mind of a warm slice of this danish, cheese oozing out with bits of red and green from the chives.
This cream cheese dough is easy to work with as long as you don´t overwork it. I followed the recipe to a T but then went on and treated it as for puff pastry or croissants. And then it went for an overnight nap in my fridge. This step is essential, since it relaxes the dough and makes the layered puffiness happen.
I think bacon might work just as well as chorizo. The greasiness is essential. This is not the time to skimp on calories; from where I stand you either plunge right into this buttery, greasy, cheesy and just plain unbelievably tasteful braid, or you make yourself a nice little green salad.
Isn´t it great when a recipe works exactly as imagined and you bake and post it on time? Check out Willow Bird´s Challenge and join in the fun if you want.
The recipe for the dough is found here, and the way to make the three folds is found in my danish braid post.
I made the dough as directed but after I made a shabby round, I put it in a plastic bag and refrigerated for 4 hours. It can be left like that for a day before you make the turns.
After making the three turns, I like to refrigerate it overnight. Then continue with the rolling and shaping as explained by our host in her base recipe.
For the filling:
I used a cup of chopped chorizo without the casings. Cook them in a clean skillet over low heat for about ten minutes. They should not brown much, but should render a lot of it´s fat. Add half a cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half and cook for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
Transfer this to a bowl or plate with a slotted spoon and leave the extra fat that collected in the bottom of the skillet behind. Let cool.
To assemble the braid, put about
6 oz (170g) diced mozzarella cheese first.
Add about half of the chorizo mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/3 to ½ cup grated parmesan cheese and
2 Tbs chopped chives.