Figgy Braided Danish from The Faux Martha

Last month, between the pile-up of summer and the beginning of fall, between the first day of kindergarten and Hallie’s 6th birthday, between getting her first pet, Pearla the hamster, and losing her top tooth, I flew to Madison, WI for a cheese tour with Roth Cheese.    

Figgy Braided Danish from The Faux Martha

We bumped down a bumpy road from Madison to the Roth Cheese Creamery where cheese wheels are still flipped by hand and made from a recipe of only a couple of ingredients. A creamery where cheesemongers craft new varieties while preserving the classics. A creamery where flavor is added the good old fashioned way, by way of a little to a lot of time depending on the variety.

We bumped a little further down the road to a local dairy farm, where the cows moo and the milk is sourced within a 60-mile radius of the creamery, always fresh, always rBST-free. Can you spot Sarah Copeland?

How to braid a danish from The Faux Martha

While at the creamery, we learned how cheese is made, and how to cut it too. A wheel, that is. And how to store it, which I’ll share more about next month. And that most aged cheese is naturally lactose-free. I had no idea. (The longer a cheese is aged, the more lactose is broken down by the bacteria inside the cheese, in other words, the lactose in milk is converted into lactic acid during aging.) We learned about the most delicious figgy breakfast bread, homemade by the Roth Cheese team, by way of breakfast. With a little of their Grand Cru tucked inside the folds of the bread, it almost tasted like a danish. 

Braided Puff Pastry Danish from The Faux Martha

To commemorate the trip and give you a little taste of it, too, I made my own version of a Figgy Braided Danish. It’s super simple, compared to a traditional danish, made with only 4 ingredients: puff pastry, fig jam, Organic Grand Cru, plus an egg wash. The creamy drizzle is completely optional and so is the prosciutto, unless you’re a Monte Cristo lover like Kev. Don’t be scared off by the braid. It’s actually a simple yet foolproof way to fold a danish, keep the filling tucked inside without burning, and maintain the desired shape throughout the bake time. I speak from trying every danish fold in the book. Who knew braiding would end up being the simplest method? 

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Figgy Braided Danish from The Faux Martha

Figgy Braided Danish


  • Prep Time: 15 min.
  • Cook Time: 17 min.
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 4 braids, 12 servings 1x

Description

The base of this simple danish comes together in under 4 ingredients. Serve at breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or an after-dinner treat. The creamy, nutty Roth Organic Grand Cru stands in as the cream cheese, which is traditionally used in a cheese danish.


Scale

Ingredients

Braid

1 (14 oz.) sheet of puff pastry, thawed, plus flour for rolling
1/2 c. fig jam
1/2 c. grated Roth Organic Grand Cru
23 slices of prosciutto (optional)

Egg Wash

1 large egg
2 tsp. water

Glaze (Optional)

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2-3 tsp. whole milk


Instructions

  1. Divide the refrigerator-thawed puff pastry sheet into 4 sheets. Refrigerate remaining sheets to keep chilled or if freezing for later use, wrap in parchment paper and cover airtight. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. On a well-floured surface, roll out the sheet into an 8.5” x 7.5” rectangle and about 1/16” thick using a rolling pin. If any sticking occurs, sprinkle with additional flour. Using a knife or pastry wheel, make about 10 cuts on both sides angled down, leaving a 3” wide space for spreading the filling. The top cut will create a removable triangle to be discarded or used as a decoration. 
  3. Spread a thin, even layer of the fig jam, or another jam of choice, down the middle, about 2 tablespoons per braid. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese, about 2 packed tablespoons per braid. Add a couple of torn strips of prosciutto, if desired. With a little water in a nearby bowl or ramekin, fold over one stip first. Dab the end of the strip with water to act as glue. Then fold over the top strip from the opposite side. Again, dab the end of the strip with water. Fold over again, repeating and alternating sides. The final triangle strip can be braided and folded underneath to help keep the filling tucked inside, using a dab of water to help glue it underneath. Using a pastry bench or spatula, carefully transfer the braid to the prepared baking sheet.  If making additional braids, place in the fridge to chill before baking while assembling the others. 
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg wash ingredients until evenly combined. Using a pastry brush or something similar, lightly and evenly brush the braid with the egg wash. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm or cooled. If serving cooled, make the optional glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. For a thicker glaze, whisk in more powdered sugar. For a thinner glaze, whisk in a little extra milk until smooth. Drizzle back and forth over braid. Allow glaze to harden before serving. Danishes can be made a day in advance and stored uncovered or lightly covered, but not airtight. Each braid yields about 3 servings.  

Notes

This recipe can easily be halved or doubled or singled. Use it as a guide. The basic recipe goes like this. Roll out puff pastry into a rectangle that’s closer to a square, about 1/16″ thick. Make slits for braids on the longest side of the rectangle. The slits and the filling area are almost equally divided into thirds, with the filling area slightly wider than the slits. Add a thin layer of jam, then a thin layer of cheese. Braid and bake.

Roth cheeses can be found in your grocer’s deli case and online via Instacart and Amazon Fresh. To find Roth Grand Cru near you, head this way for the store locator. Note: Organic Grand Cru is only available in some markets, however, the regular varieties are more readily available.

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