Apple Brioche Danish

March 29, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 16 Danishes
Author Notes

I’m a big fan of repurposing some of my favorite recipes—mixing them up to make new ones. One such recipe workhorse is brioche dough, and this recipe is a new favorite remix—individual pastries lightly sweetened and topped with thinly sliced apples. I cut the apples a bit like Hasselback potatoes, so they’re still connected at the base. As they bake in the oven, they open up a bit, sort of blooming into a particularly beautiful Danish that’s perfect for breakfast. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • Dough
  • 624 grams (5 1/4 cup) bread flour
  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) granulate sugar
  • 2 grams (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger
  • less than 1 g (1/4 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 10 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) instant active dry yeast
  • 15 grams (1 tablespoon) fine sea salt
  • 244 grams (about 4 large) eggs
  • 218 grams (3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) whole milk (cold from the fridge!)
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 255 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Topping
  • 4 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled
  • egg wash, as needed
  • 66 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 71 grams (1/3 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  1. Make the dough the day before you want to make the Danish. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the bread flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, yeast, and salt to combine, 15-20 seconds.
  2. In a container with a spout (like a 2 cup liquid measuring cup), whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla to combine. Add this mixture to the mixer and mix on low speed for 3 minutes, or until the dough comes together. (It will be relatively sticky.)
  3. Raise the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes more. During this time, gradually add the butter (about 1 tablespoon at a time, though no need to be precise—I just grab soft butter with my hands and throw it in willy-nilly).
  4. Once the butter is fully incorporated, transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate the dough for 10-12 hours (overnight).
  5. The next day, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2-inch of thickness. Cut rounds from the dough using a 3-inch round cookie cutter (or the rim of a large glass). You can re-roll the dough a couple times—just remember it will get tougher the more you work it.
  6. Transfer the rounds to parchment lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between each piece. Cover the dough circles with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
  7. While the dough rises, prepare the topping. Cut the apples into quarters, then cut away the core at an angle, leaving a flat surface on the base of the apple quarter. Thinly slice each piece of apple, but not fully, like for hasselback potatoes. Cut the apple 3/4 way through, allowing the pieces to separate at the top but stay together at the base.
  8. Just before the brioche pieces are done rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Egg wash the surface of each brioche evenly. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over the surface of each piece of dough.
  9. Place a prepared sliced apple quarter in the center of each brioche. Sprinkle dark brown sugar evenly over the surface of each apple.
  10. Place a small pat of butter (about 1/2 teaspoon) on top of each apple. Transfer the brioche to the oven and bake until the apples are tender and the brioche is golden, 17-22 minutes.
  11. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. They are absolutely the best served warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mary.ryherd
  • Suzie
  • Clare
  • Kathleen Sanderson
    Kathleen Sanderson
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

5 Reviews

Mary.ryherd September 29, 2019
These were delicious! The brioche is so soft and wonderful and lightly sweetened and spiced. A beautiful fall breakfast (or dessert honestly!). Would definitely make again.
Suzie October 25, 2017
With step 5, i think you simply weight dough out evenly and roll them flat?? this should reduce the reworking the dough and re-rolling them again and again...
Clare May 2, 2017
After adding the milk/egg/vanilla mixture, the dough was still very, very dry. Did anyone else have difficulties? This is my first attempt at brioche-- any guidance on how sticky the dough should be/how to course correct if it's too dry?
Kathleen S. April 2, 2017
Once you have assembled the danish could you put them back in the refrigerator overnight to bake off the next morning for a lovely breakfast treat?
Stephanie September 27, 2019
I wonder the same!