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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Recipe: Maple Glazed Apple and Bacon Danish

Recipe: Maple Glazed Apple and Bacon Danish

Baked 08.15.14

This take on a Danish, one of the many pastries traditionally categorized as Viennoiserie, brings together a sweet apple compote, crispy bacon and a maple glaze in a flaky pastry.

Viennoiserie are yeast-leaven, butter and sugar enriched delectables that also include croissants,  turnovers and brioche. They are typically served for breakfast. I believe they are 24-hour appropriate.

For this incarnation, I've tried to stick with tradition, building the Danish around an extremely flaky pastry dough. This texture may come as a surprise to some in the U.S. where danish have evolved into denser, more cake-like pastries (particularly mass-produced, packaged varieties). Those are still delicious, but they certainly are not the original.

Overhead of Glazed Danish


Apple / Maple / Bacon


This may come as a surprise, but I'm actually not on 'Team Bacon'. Yes, the flavor of bacon is incomparable, and meaty lardons can do amazing things to a dish when used in the right way.

But bacon soap? Bacon bowls? Bacon neckties? Honestly, it's too much of a good thing.

So I was a bit hesitant to baconize this week's creation. But I'm happy to report that it was a success. The addition of bacon to an apple compote and a maple glaze satisfied my two 'must-haves': a balance of sweet and salty... and a textural contrast between smooth and crispy.

Overhead of Plate of Danish

- The Recipes -

Apple Compote with Bacon:

I like to think of apple compote as 'al dente' apple sauce. Diced apples are simmered to the point where they begin to soften but still retain their shape. The addition of bacon is that extra something special.

YieldAbout 3 Cups  - enough to fill 12 Danish

Prep Time
  • Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 1 hour

  • Apples - 500g (about 4 large apples)
  • Sugar - 100g (0.5 Cup)
  • Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp
  • Lemon - Juice from 1/2 
  • Cinnamon - 1 Tsp or to taste
  • Water - 2 Tbls
  • Bacon - 12 oz, thinly sliced


1. In a frying pan, cook 1/3 of the bacon until crispy. Place the cooked bacon on a paper-towel lined plate and retain the melted bacon fat. In a microwave, cook the remaining bacon until it is extremely crispy - approximately three minutes for batches of four slices. The bacon can be cooked on a microwave safe plate lined with a paper towel. Place an additional paper towel on top the bacon to prevent grease from destroying your microwave.

Chef’s note: A microwave produces excellent crispy bacon, perfect for crumbling into bits. The actual cooking time will vary by microwave, so keep an eye on things.

2. Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/4" pieces. In a medium pot, combine the apples, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cinnamon and water. Add up to 2 Tbls of the reserved, melted bacon fat. Cover the pot and place over medium heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the apples begin to turn translucent. Give the apples one stir and continue to heat, uncovered, until the apples are fork tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  

Chef’s note: Do not overcook the apples. They should not turn into applesauce.

3. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the compote to a heat resistant container. Place the compote in the refrigerator to cool - approximately 1 hour. As the compote cools, crumble or cut the cooked bacon into small pieces (think bacon bits). Once the compote has fully cooled, remove it from the refrigerator and add the bacon.

Maple Glaze:

Quick. Simple. Maple.
.. awesome!

Yield0.5 Cups 

Prep Time
  • Active: 5 minutes

  • Confectioner's Sugar - 180g (1.5 Cups)
  • Maple Syrup - 3 Tbls


1.  Stir the maple syrup with the confectioner's sugar until smooth. Use more or less maple syrup to adjust the consistency as desired. Using less maple syrup / more confectioner's sugar will create a harder glaze when dried.

Chef’s note: Only use real maple syrup. Artificial syrup or 'maple flavored' syrup will not produce a strong enough maple flavor in the glaze.

"Detrempe" / Puff Pastry Dough:

Detrempe is a light, flaky, unleavened dough into which solid fat is layered through a process of repeated folds. The flaky texture is produced during baking when the layers of solid fat melt and steam is produced. The more layers of dough and solid fat that are folded before baking, the flakier the final product.

For Viennoiserie such as croissants and danish, the base dough is leavened with yeast, giving the end product slightly more chew than an unleavened puff pastry. 

I've experimented with a number of different detrempe recipes ranging from basic flour and water mixes to highly enriched doughs with milk, eggs, butter and sugar.

The following recipe has been modified from one by Joanne Chang of Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe. The base dough is an enriched version with a modest amount of milk, eggs, butter and sugar. A series of long cold-rises and resting periods definitely adds to the flavor of the dough. Definitely check out her cookbook, "Flour" for a number of great recipes. 

Yield12 Danish

Prep Time
  • Total Time: Up to 36 hours given multiple resting periods
  • Baking Time: 20 - 25 minutes

  • Whole Milk (warmed to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) - 270g (1 Cup plus 2 Tbls)
  • Yeast - 7g (1 packet)
  • All Purpose Flour - 315g (2.5 Cups plus 2 Tbls)
  • Bread Flour - 100g (0.75 Cup plus 2 Tbls)
  • Salt - 2 Tsp
  • White Granulated Sugar - 50g (0.25 Cup)
  • Butter (at room temperature) - 28g (2 Tbls / 0.25 Sticks)
  • Butter (cold) - 228g (1 Cup / 2 Sticks)
  • Whole Egg - 1 Count

Chef’s note: The original recipe in "Flour" states that 2.25 Cups of All Purpose Flour weighs 315 grams - the equivalent of 140 grams per cup. That is WAY denser than any All Purpose Flour I have ever encountered. All Purpose Flour typically weights 120 grams per Cup. With this recipe, I found the amount of flour cited in grams worked best; the equivalent measurements by volume have been corrected.


1. Dissolve the yeast into the warm milk and let the mixture rest for two minutes. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the milk, all purpose flour, bread flour, salt, sugar and 2 Tbls warm butter on low speed until smooth - approximately three to four minutes. Place the dough on a parchment-lined sheet pan and loosely wrap with plastic. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours.

2. While the dough rests, form the "butter block". Lay out a piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour. Place the cold butter at the center of the plastic wrap and cover it with more flour - about 2 Tbls of flour. Cover the flour-dusted butter with another layer of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, beat the butter into a solid, 6" square approximately 1/4" thick. If the butter becomes shiny (a sign that it is melting), return the block to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before continuing. Once the butter block is formed, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator to chill.

3. Remove the dough and the butter block from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 8" square. Place the butter block on top of the dough as if it were a diamond (i.e. there will be four triangles of dough sticking out from under the butter). As best as possible, roll each of the exposed triangles of dough into square shaped flaps that are long enough to fold up and over the butter block (they should be 6" x 6", the exact dimensions of the butter block). Fold each of the flaps over the butter block so that butter is completely encased in the dough. This is known as laminating the dough. 

Chef’s note: Pinch and seal any seams as necessary to make sure that the butter is securely wrapped inside the dough. You do not want the butter to break through the dough as you begin to roll and fold.

4. Roll the square block of laminated dough into an 18" x 10" rectangle. You will need to use short, firm strokes to make sure the butter rolls out with the dough. You do not want to squeeze the butter to one end of this laminated dough package. You want to preserve an even layer of butter inside the dough.  

Chef’s note: If the butter begins to melt, it will not be possible to roll out even layers of butter inside the dough. Even worse, the butter may start to melt into the dough. Return the dough to the refrigerator for 30 minutes before continuing.

5. Complete two "turns". Fold the 18" x 10" rectangle of dough into thirds, like a business letter. Begin by folding the left third of the dough over the center, and then fold the right third of the dough over the center. In the end, you will have a rectangle of dough measuring 6" x 10". Keeping the seam on top, rotate the dough 90 degrees and once again roll it into an 18" x 10" rectangle. Complete the second turn by repeating the earlier process. Fold the 18" x 10" rectangle of dough into thirds, like a business letter. Begin by folding the left third of the dough over the center, and then fold the right third of the dough over the center. Place the 6" x 10" rectangle of dough on a parchment lined sheet pan and loosely wrap with plastic. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1.5 to 3 hours.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for two to three minutes to warm slightly.  Complete another two turns as in step 5. Place the dough on a parchment lined sheet pan and loosely wrap with plastic. Return the dough to the refrigerator for an additional 4 to 16 hours. 

7. After this rest, the dough can be used for any pastry you desire. For the danish, roll the dough into an 18" x 24" rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the square into 12 pieces measuring 6" x 6" (4 rows by 3 columns).  Place 0.25 Cup of Apple and Bacon Compote at the center of each square. Wrap the dough over the compote by folding two opposite corners of the square up and over the filling, pinching the dough together. Place the danish on a parchment lined sheet pan (no more than six per 1/2 sheet pan) and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Allow the danish to rise for 90 minutes. 

8. While the danish rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Before baking, make an egg wash by beating one whole egg. Gently brush the danish with the egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from danish from the sheet pan and cool on wire cooling racks. Once the danish are fully cool, drizzle with the maple glaze.

- The Finished Product -

Proofing Danish

Overhead of Baked Danish

Overhead of Tray of Baked Danish

Close-up on Apple in Danish

Close-up on Bacon in Danish

Overhead of Plate of Danish

Overhead of Glazed Danish

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