Serves a Crowd

Bea's Cheese and Dill Danish

November  5, 2019
Photo by Andrew Scrivani
Author Notes

This recipe was given to me for my cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen, by Bea, an immigrant from Belgrade. After she makes a buttery dough, she expertly braids it over the creamy, dill and cheese filling. This recipe makes three, freezable danish. So, bake one for now and save the other two for a future appetizer or snack in less than an hour. —Anna Francese Gass

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 3 (13 in) danish
Ingredients
  • FOR THE DOUGH
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons AP flour
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • FOR THE FILLING + TOPPING
  • 2 7.5 ounce packages of farmers cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bunch dill, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon large-flake salt (for topping)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. FOR THE DOUGH
  2. Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar into the warm milk and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the flours and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the egg and the yolk, then the milk mixture. Mix until a soft ball just forms. Roll the dough into a large ball with your hands, place it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  1. FOR THE FILLING + TOPPING
  2. While the dough is resting, make the filling by combining all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into three equal parts and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 celsius) and remove the dough from the fridge. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Place two back in the bowl and cover.
  4. Roll the third out to a 9x13 inch rectangle. With the short end facing you, lightly score the dough vertically into three equal parts, careful not to cut through the dough.
  5. Cut 1/2 inch tips on a slant down each of the outer sections, leaving the middle section intact. Ensure you cut though the dough cleanly.
  6. Spread one third of the filling on the center section of the dough.
  7. Bring the top left strip across the mixture, then overlap with the top right strip. Continue alternating sides to create a braid all the way down the center strip, covering the filling. Press the top and bottom pieces of dough firmly over the ends to seal.
  8. Brush the top of the Danish with some of the egg wash, then sprinkle one third of the caraway seeds and salt over the top. Repeat the process to create two more loaves with your remaining dough and filling.
  9. Place the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches in between them.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, until dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

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