A Danish pastry or Danish is a viennoiserie pastry, of Viennese origin, which has become a specialty of Denmark and neighbouring Scandinavian countries. (Courtesy: Wikipedia). One can find a variety of Danishes in terms of flavours as well as shapes. The actual recipe calls for eggs. But I chose to prepare the eggless version to benefit my vegetarian readers 🙂
Here isthe recipe of Danish pastry.
For the dough
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 - 1/4 cups Milk Cold whole
- 1 tablespoon Dry yeast
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 - 1/4 teaspoons Salt
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
For the butter square
- 1 - 1/2 cups Unsalted butter Cold
- 2 tablespoons Flour
For Egg wash
- 1 Egg
- 2 tablespoons Water
- In a bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Slowly add the milk and knead till you get a rough ball.
- Add the butter and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated.
- The dough will still be sticky, but should form a rough ball and mostly clear the sides of the bowl.
- If more sticky, add little bit of flour, a tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for an hour.
- For the butter square, place the pieces of butter on your work surface and sprinkle the flour over the top of them.
- Mix it well so that the flour blends well into the butter and is smooth. Gather in a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 7-inch square. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll it into a 8 x 15-inch rectangle.
- Place the square of butter on the bottom half of the rectangle. You can use your hands to align the dough and the sides of the butter square.
- Fold the top half of the rectangle of dough down over the bottom half so the square of butter is now enclosed. Press together the edges of the square to seal in the butter. Use your hands to even out the square.
- Use your rolling pin to gently tap the dough, starting in the center and going outward, until the rectangle gets larger and the butter begins to soften slightly.
- Fold one side of the dough to the center and then bring the other side up and over it u2013 basically, youu2019re folding the dough like you would a business letter.
- This is also called a u201cturnu201d of the dough.
- Complete a second turn by folding the top half of the dough down to the center and then bringing the bottom up and over it.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for half an hour. Repeat the process two more times.
- Again, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. My friend Z, who is a pastry Chef recommends to place the dough in a freezer for a day, for best results.
- Thaw before rolling.(I took half the dough, wrapped the other half and placed in the freezer for later use. ).
- I tried a few shapes, which I will be sharing with you all.
- Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness. Cut out a 1/2" thick strip from the side. Twist the dough as shown in the picture.
- Holding one end of the dough strip down, drape the strip down and around the center point in a curlicue. Bring it around and tuck the last half inch underneath.
- Place on baking tray and cover them with lightly oiled plastic wrap for proofing.
- Once they have proofed and are soft and airy to the touch, make a deep depression in the middle of the Danish with the back of a spoon and lay in about a spoonful of any jam you like.
- Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 15-20 or until golden.
- Here is how you would make****Envelope Shaped Danish.
- Cut the dough into square. Fold the bottom half up to make a triangle, but donu2019t press down or seal it.
- Cut two slits in the dough, parallel to the outside edge, about two thirds of the way to the center of the dough piece and unfold the dough square. Turn it so thereu2019s a slit on either side.
- You may place a slice of fruit in the middle.
- Fold in the sides, tucking the left-side point through the gap in the right-side point. Keep for proofing. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 15-20 or until golden.
- Here is how you would make Pinwheel Danish.
- Cut the dough into square. Cut slits in the dough from outside corner to the centre making sure to leave some space.
- Bring up the right-side corner of each resulting u201ctriangleu201d to the center of the dough piece and press it down lightly. Keep for proofing. Make a deep depression in the middle of the Danish with the back of a spoon and lay in about a spoonful of any jam you like.
- Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden.