And now for something completely different

As you may have noticed, I bake a bit of bread.

Bread works particularly well for me because the timing is fairly forgiving. No matter if I’m in Court all week, with meetings in the evening and more work afterwards, bread is forgiving. A good wild yeast artisan dough will last in the fridge anywhere from overnight to 4 days.

But sometimes, a treat (and a challenge) is in order.

Sour Cherry and Chocolate Cheesecake Danishes

These beauties owe their existence in large part to the best cooking show on television, the Great British Bake Off. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, you need to. It takes everything wrong with American cooking shows (like how you never see the actual cooking!) and makes them right.

Anyways, one thing that seems to constantly come up is ‘laminated dough’ – the kind used to make croissants, puff pastry or danishes.

I had some sour cherries from my parents’ garden which were begging to be eaten, and rather than just pulling out some puff pastry and making a galette or something (my lazy-man’s version of my mom’s sour cherry pie), I decided to try something new.

The short explanation is that you take a sheet of enriched dough, a block of butter half the size, and encase the butter block in the dough. Fold it like a letter into thirds, roll it out again, and fold it again. The layers of butter expand in the oven, puffing up the pastry. Or at least they’re supposed to. My first attempt collapsed slightly, but they were no less delicious.

If only the internet let you taste, as well as see!

As usual, the recipe, including the glaze and icing, are from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day.


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