Raisin Pecan Couronne {breakfast danish}

Raisin Pecan Couronne {breakfast danish} | In Jennie's Kitchen

I’d never heard of a couronne before watching the Great British Bake Off. Regardless, it wasn’t my first encounter with yeasty layers of cake, wrapped around a sweet raisin and nut filling. See, growing up in Brooklyn, we simply called it a danish. A few people I know have also called it coffee cake—for me that’s something entirely different (see here, here, here, and here).

The moment Virginia saw this on an episode of GBBO, it’s all she could think about. She asked countless times if I would make it. Before setting out to make one, I found myself visiting a friend in Brooklyn, and bought a walnut & raisin danish ring at Caputo’s Bakery in Carroll Gardens. She was hooked from the first bite.

It is impossible to not fall in love with a couronne, danish, coffee cake (whatever) if you adore breakfast pastries. Admittedly, I’d much rather have it mid-morning, or mid-afternoon with a cup of tea, than for breakfast, but that’s a tiny detail in my book.

The original version from GBBO had apricots, walnuts, and I think a few other ingredients. I just remember I didn’t have them on hand (and my kids wouldn’t have liked them either). Another fun fact: I used my homemade raisins in the filling! Of course, store bought is fine, and you can even use currants, chopped dried cherries, blueberries, or leave them out all together—people have strong opinions about dried fruits!

Raisin WRaisin Pecan Couronne {breakfast danish} | In Jennie's Kitchenalnut Couronne {breakfast danish} | In Jennie's Kitchen

On occasion, I swap out the pecans, and use walnuts, my favorite. The last time I made one, I gave a wedge to the school bus driver, a chunk to my neighbor, and sent the girls into school with a few pieces  for the front office staff. My next hope is to make individual couronnes for a small batch recipe—thoughts about that? Any suggestions of other types of fillings you’d like to see in future danishes?

I should mention this is much easier to make than you might imagine. After all, it does look quite fancy. It’s really like a big cinnamon roll that you slice down the middle and twist—that’s it, so easy. While it might feel ambitious thinking about this on a random Wednesday, tuck it away for Friday evening. Make it before you go to bed, and you’ll wake up to a wonderfully delicious weekend on Saturday.

Raisin Pecan Couronne {breakfast danish} | In Jennie's Kitchen

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Five years ago: Blackberry Conserves, Thoughts on a Clear Blue Day, and Homemade with Love Photo Shoot (see how the cover photo was shot).
Four years ago: Apple Breakfast Bars, Hazelnut Thin Crisp Cookies, Prosciutto & Fried Egg Tartine, and Postcard from Paris.
Three years ago: Sunday Evening Thoughts and When Life Imitates Art.
Two years ago: Whole Grain Concord Grape Muffins (dairy-free, too), and Honey Spice Cake.
One year ago: Honey Chamomile Spice Cake, Turmeric & Ginger Roasted Cauliflower, Oatmeal Banana Muffins, About a Girl, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Basil Cashew Pesto, Salted Thyme Chocolate Chip Cookies, and How to Dry Fresh Herbs.

Raisin Pecan Couronne {breakfast danish}

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • 2 cups (250grams) all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading & rolling out
  • 2 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • Scant teaspoon (5 grams) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15grams) granulated natural cane sugar
  • 3½ tablespoons (50 grams) butter, softened & cut into small pieces
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) milk
  • 1 medium to large egg, lightly beaten
  • For the filling
  • 6½ tablespoons (90 grams) butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) molasses
  • ¼ cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
  • 60 grams raisins
  • 65 grams pecan halves, chopped
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
  • To finish
  • 50 grams apricot jam, strained & warmed slightly
  • 150 grams Confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, milk, and egg to a deep bowl. Using your fingertips, stir to combine, then knead it a few times until it comes together into a shaggy dough.
  2. Dust a counter with flour. Drop the dough onto the counter, and knead until it forms a smooth dough—this takes 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Coat a deep bowl with oil or cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, and cover tightly. Set in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 60 to 75 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine the butter, sugar, and molasses in a medium bowl. Beat with a wide-wire whisk, or use a hand mixer, until well blended. Stir in the flour, raisins, pecans, and zest. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. Once dough has doubled in volume, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll into a 13-inch by 10-inch (33cm by 25 cm) rectangle.
  7. Spread the filling evenly all over the dough. Roll it up, lengthwise, with the filling wrapped inside, into a cylinder. Cut the dough, leaving it intact at one tip, into two long strands. Twist the strands of dough into a rope, then form a circle, like a crown. Snip the tip that was intact, and weave it into the ends of the other strands to close the circle.
  8. Place the couronne on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, until deep golden.
  9. Set on a wire rack (place the parchment from the pan underneath for easy clean up).
  10. Brush the loaf with the warmed apricot jam.
  11. Combine the Confectioner’s sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the couronne. Let sit on the rack until cooled completely, and the glaze had firmed up. The danish stays fresh, wrapped tightly in parchment paper for up to 2 days.

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