Glaze: Mix 2-3 teaspoons of cream or milk with ½ cup sifted powdered
sugar. Place in zipper bag and cut off a small corner and pipe over warm
pastries. (I did not use a glaze).
To Make the Dough (You must start the dough 1 day ahead of baking):
warm water to a large bowl and add yeast. Whisk to blend. Dissolve for 5
minutes and then add milk, egg and salt. Whisk until well combined.
the flour to a food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and salt and butter and pulse about 8 times until butter is about the size of small
Add the flour/butter mixture to the liquid mixture and
blend with a rubber spatula just until flour is moistened. Cover with
plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, dust the
top of the dough with flour and turn out onto floured surface. Pat down
with your palm and then roll out into a circle (rolling from center
outward). Fold the outer corners inward like an envelope with a bench
scraper, making a rectangle, and pat down with palm again. Dust bottom
and top and roll again into another rectangle. Fold long ends toward
center again in thirds as an envelope and roll out into a rectangle.
Using bench scraper fold into thirds again from long ends and roll in
into another rectangle. Fold into thirds again, using bench scraper. Pat
down and cut in half. (Dough can be tightly wrapped and frozen at this
point, if desired).
Wrap dough halves individually in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and refrigerate again for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
For Braided Pastry:
Preheat oven to 400F
out one-half of refrigerated dough and and pound down with fist or
pound with rolling pin to soften. Roll to 16 x 10 inches on floured
surface. Place a piece of parchment under the rectangle. Cut diagonal
strips (about a 45 degree angle) along each edge approximately ¾”-1”
wide and about 1/3 of the way into dough on each side. Brush the cut
strips with egg white. Place a layer of jam down the middle between the
cuts, then add a layer of pastry cream. Fold strips over each other like
lacing up a shoe. Brush the top of the dough with egg white and
sprinkle with sliced almonds and pearl sugar.
Transfer on parchment to baking sheet. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, you may glaze the pastries with the option glaze now.
For individual pastries:
out one-half of dough and roll out on a floured surface into a 10 x 20
rectangle. Measure first then cut into eight 5” squares by making one
cut lengthwise and then cut into four squares on each side.
a rounded tablespoon of fruit filling in the center of each square of
dough and then add a rounded tablespoon of pastry cream on top. Brush
all edges with beaten egg white. Bring up corners and twist the top into
a top-knot. (The video clip above will show other shapes that can be
made). Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Brush tops with egg
white and sprinkle with sliced almonds and pearl sugar or coarse sugar.
Allow to rest covered loosely with plastic wrap for about 15-30 minutes or until slightly puffed.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden.
If desired, while warm, frost with glaze.
Makes about 1-1/3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cup of dried apricots, packed
1 cup water
2 T fresh lemon juice
½ tsp almond extract
Add the sugar, apricots and water to a microwave safe bowl. Mix
thoroughly and place in microwave for 10 minutes, stopping to stir 2-3
times, to keep sugar mixed well. Place mixture in food processor and
Add the lemon juice and almond extract and stir together.
Place in covered container/jar and refrigerate until ready to use. May also use on toast.
Fresh Berry Filling (or you may use a pre-made filling such as Solo brand pastry filling)
1 cup each raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, mashed down to make 2 cups
1 cup sugar
1 T lemon juice
Add sugar to mashed berries and mix well. Microwave for 18 minutes, stir 2-3 times during cooking.
Cool, add the lemon juice.
Microwave Pastry Cream:
1 cup whole milk or light cream
1-1/2 T cornstarch
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk (save egg white for sealing edges of pastry)
cream, cornstarch and sugar into a large microwave-safe mixing bowl.
Stir well to dissolve cornstarch and sugar. Place in microwave and cook
for 1 minute increments, stirring each time, until it begins to thicken.
This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl place egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine.
egg yolk mixture with a little hot cream mixture and stir quickly so
the egg does not curdle. Add the egg back into the cream mixture and
stir well. Place back in microwave for another 30 seconds to complete
cooking the egg. Whisk. Add another 20-30 seconds, if needed, to thicken
Allow to cool and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.