2:52 pm - I'm making half the apply filling. I wanted to try other fillings made with local fruits, like avocados, bananas or mangoes but I thought it best to start with the original recipe first to see how it will turn out, then I can tweak it.
3:17 pm - I want my Dad who's diabetic and my sister who's watching her sugar intake to be able to enjoy this bread, too (provided it does not end in a disaster). So, I'm substituting the sugar called for in the recipe with Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking. We don't have lemons so I'm using orange juice instead.
3:23 pm - Mixed the cinnamon with the sugar instead of dumping it directly on the apples. This way it will be evenly distributed, no clumps. I hate clumps. All the ingredients are ready now. Will start cooking it.
3:29 pm - The smell of apples and cinnamon is filling the house....hmmmm...smells like home.
3:31 pm - This apple mixture reminds me of Reuben's Apple Pancake. Yummy.
3:44 pm - Apple filling is done and cooling. I'm now debating whether I should make the Danish dough now or if I should make it tomorrow.
3:46 pm - Okay. I'm making it today but I'll do the turning and rolling tomorrow. Found some green cardamom beans in our pantry. Now, how am I going to make this into powder?
3:47 pm - Ding! Light bulb.
3:53 pm - Pounding the life out of the cardamom seed's seed.
3:59 pm - Dad comes in the kitchen looks at the apple filling cooling on the counter and starts to complain how he never gets to eat anything I bake because it has sugar. Told him I used Splenda. He smiles and goes away.
4:02 pm - Still pounding.
4:04 pm - This had better be worth it.
4:05 pm - Cardamom is fairly powdery now and smells good. It is worth it.
4:33 pm - Mixed the dough. I'm now ready to knead it.
4:47 pm - Just finished kneading the dough. It's now in the fridge, recovering from the massage I just gave it. It sort of looked spongy. And it's smaller than I thought! (I made half the recipe.) Will finish my Danish Braid tomorrow. Can't wait!
9:30 am - Mixed the butter and flour. Rolling out the dough. So, the instruction says to roll it out to a 18x13 rectangle. I don't think half a dough could roll out to that length so I'm making it into a 9x6 rectangle.
9:39 am - How do they roll it into a rectangle, anyway?! It looks more like an oblong trying to pass for a rectangle.
9:55 am - Spreading the butter. That's a lot of butter!
9:58 am - First turn done. The dough looks like an omelette.
10:32 am - Second turn. Butter is oozing with a vengeance! I don't think there would be enough of it left in the dough!
10:43 am - Just completed the second turn. Oh my goodness---it was so messy! Butter was oozing out of the dough. And air pockets were bursting and butter would come out. I know it's butter but.......ewwwww. My imagination is working overtime. Sometimes I hate my imagination.
11:35 am - Third turn. Less oozing. Thank goodness.
12:07 pm - Fourth and last turn. Now for the 5 hour rest.
8:40 am - Rolled out the dough, put the filling in the center and braided it. Proofing, 2 hours.
9:16 am - I'm looking at the picture I took and I realized I cut the braids on the left side on a wrong angle! No wonder it was a little weird when I was braiding it. I'm a little anxious now. My Danish Braid looks ok but what about the taste? I'll know in about 3 hours.
11:00 am - In the oven it goes!
11:11 am - Turning the pan as per instruction. Uh-oh. The braids came loose and the bread looks like a rib cage!
11:32 am - Kitchen smells wonderful and the bread is done! The braids are not braided. Oh, but it smells wonderful! I'm looking at the bread and it looks really flaky. I'm so happy. Now, to taste it...
11:44 am - At first bite, I was greeted by a mellow orange taste then by the sweet apples (they were not mushy, thanks goodness!). Orange and apples goes together pretty well. The cardamom gives it that taste/smell thatmakes people go, "What is it?". The bottom of the dough is crunchy and teh ends of the braids are very flaky. I can not get over how flaky the braids came out! They are just so puff pastry-ish!
12:58 pm - Family and I are enjoying the sweet fruits of my labor. My Dad is thrilled because it's sugar-free! (Well, mostly.) And Momi just loves how flaky it is. A sure hit! I can not believe I made this!
Questions and Answers:
So, will I make this again? Yes.
Is it hard to make? It's definitely not easy, it requires some skill but I wouldn't say it's hard either. I think amateur bakers can do it, just follow the instructions.
What did I learn from this experience? I should never be afraid of yeast because I'm bigger than they are!