Baking: Veggie Danishes

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I haven’t been baking much lately because I have been super busy at work. No baking which means no blog posts. One week in February I worked 100 client hours – which is slightly ridiculous. Instead, I had some time this week to hang out with some friends and bake a bit.

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The veggie danish was an interesting pick for the Avid Baker’s Challenge.  I needed to figure out what I wanted to put into it. I knew I wanted to make my own pesto since it wasn’t that hard to make. I had some left over shallots from my newest adventure into Blue Apron that has gotten me cooking a lot more. Definitely needed some cheese and it was becoming similar to the recipe suggested on Weekend Bakery. Pesto, shallots, mozzarella, and spinach.

The whole recipe took up a lot of time – almost 6 hours of just proofing time overall. That’s a lot of time spent looking at my dough waiting for it to proof. But again, since I don’t make a lot of recipes related to dough, I just don’t have the kind of patience I know some people do.

I didn’t roll the dough up as tight as I should have. After it baked, the spinach shrunk down and had some space in it so I couldn’t eat it like a regular danish. It was still delicious though!

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Recipe:
(adapted from here and here)

Ingredients:
Poolish
200 g AP flour
200 ml water
1 g instant yeast

Homemade Pesto
4 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
90 g sweet basil
6 tablespoons pecans
3/4 cup olive oil

Veggie Danish Dough
Poolish
300 g AP flour
70 ml lukewarm water
50 ml olive oil
9 g salt
7 g instant yeast
Homemade pesto
3 shallots, chopped, small dice
Spinach
Fresh mozzarella

Directions:
1. Start by making the poolish – mixing flour, water and yeast with a spatula until well combined (about 30 seconds), cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to develop at room temperature for 4 hours.
2. Sometime while the poolish is resting, make the pesto. In a food processor or blender, process the garlic and salt until garlic is finely minced, scraping the bowl’s side a time or two if needed. Add the basil and pecans, process until both are in tiny still-distinguishable bits but not mushy. Add the olive oil – blend until all ready.
3. Scoop the poolish you prepared in advance in your mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Now add the water and mix in your mixer with dough hook until it comes together. Now add the olive oil. Knead for 8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick ever so slightly to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
5. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a rolling pin roll out into a rectangle of about 5mm or 1/5 inch thickness.
6. Generously spread pesto, shallots, mozzarella, and spinach on the dough.
7. Shape into a roll and cut into 10 pieces, turn the pieces on their side and cover with clingfilm and leave to proof for 30 minutes.
8. Pre-heat the oven to about 400 degrees F while the dough is proofing.
9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

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