- Combine the flour, the sugars, the salt, the butter in cubes, the milk powder, and the dissolved yeast on speed 1 for about 5 minutes.
- Knead on speed 2 for 6-7 minutes to obtain a dough temperature of 24-25 °C. Let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Roll out into a 40 x 60 cm square and set aside in the freezer for 20 minutes. Then, put the dough in the refrigerator to reach a temperature of 3 °C.
- Laminate the butter into a 30 x 40 cm square, about 7-8 mm thick.
- Place the butter sheet in the middle of the dough and enclose it in the dough.
- Make an incision on the closed sides of the dough.
- Roll out and give a double fold and turn and continue with a second double fold and turn. In total there are 16 butter layers, which is the perfect layering for a pecan plait.
- Leave to rest and cool for 30 minutes.
Maple syrup and pecan filling
- Roast the pecan nuts for about 5 minutes at 170 °C. Let cool and cut them into small pieces.
- Set aside 70 g of the nuts. Ground the rest into a fine powder (do it slowly to avoid heating and losing oil). Let it cool down.
- Add the maple syrup and the sugar and combine. Add the soft butter and combine.
- With a piping bag and a round nozzle of 10 mm, pipe the filling in strips onto a baking paper.
- Lay another baking paper over the strips and press gently to flatten them a bit.
- Place them in the freezer. Once frozen, cut them to a 10 cm length (each strip weighs about 20 g). Keep frozen until needed.
Maple syrup for decoration
- Combine the water and the sugar.
- Boil for 30 seconds and take away from the heat.
- Add the maple syrup and combine. Apply when hot.
TIP : You can use the maple syrup pure, but it will be more expensive.
- Combine the egg yolks and the milk.
- Set aside until needed.
Assembly and finishing
- Roll out the Danish dough to a thickness of 4 mm and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- Roll out to a final thickness of 1,8 mm and cut in rectangles of 12 x 17 cm*. They weigh about 70-75 g each.
- Make short incisions, with a distance of 1 cm from each other, lengthwise the dough on both sides of the rectangle. Brush some egg wash on the obtained pastry strips on both sides of the dough.
- Place the filling crosswise in the middle of the dough.
- Lay the pastry strips over the filling. Start with one strip from the left to the right and the next from the right side to the left. Continue until the strips are folded into a nice plait. Place on a baking tray.
- Place in the proofer for about 70-75 minutes at a steady temperature of 26-28 °C maximum, and humidity set at about 75-80%.
- Egg wash the plaits, then bake them in a preheated ventilated oven at 175 °C for about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Heat some maple syrup to boiling point and use a small brush to apply on the freshly baked plaits. Decorate with some small pieces of roasted pecan nuts.
- Leave to dry in the oven for one more minute.
* The easiest way of working comes with longer dough sheets of 48 x 17 cm.
If you work with longer dough sheets, place the fillings, with some space in between, over the whole length. Afterwards plait over the whole length. Cut to size in between the fillings. That way your plait is more equal and the finished product too.
CHEF’S TIPS : - Change the filling and the decoration to create a different product. - This popular product is mostly produced thanks to a machine designed for this. Try to keep it as tide and clean as possible but it will stay a handmade artisanal product and there is nothing wrong with that. - Make sure the maple syrup, if you want to use it pure, is not too fluid. Boil for a minute to reduce the water in the syrup. It will make the pecan pieces stick to the plaits.