Danish Pastry

Yipee did this. I have earlier tried this once, but it did not turn out that well, simply because I did not follow the basic rule, everything should be cold in making pastry dough. But this time I was determined to get it correct. Though the process of making this dough is long, the results at the end is worth the effort. As always, I believe homemade is always the best.

 

 
The crunchy, flaky texture and the layer’s were a treat to the eyes. Eating the pastries straight out of the oven is really a treat in itself. My tummy was full but I wanted to eat more. Yeh dil mange more 🙂 (As said in Hindi). My pictures are not doing justice to the pastry as we were in a rush and could not resist eating them.

 

 

 

 



This is the third recipe I am sending for my Scandinavia theme for Blogging Marathon. The earlier two, No-Bake Chocolate Ball (Chokladboll) and Spritz Cookies (Swedish Butter Cookies) were a hit in my family.
 
A Danish pastry is a multilayered, laminated sweet pastry in the viennoiserie tradition. The concept was brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers and has since developed into a Danish specialty. Like other viennoiserie pastries, such as croissants, they are a variant of puff pastry made of laminated yeast-leavened doughs, creating a layered texture. They are today popular around the world.  (Source Wikipedia)

 

 
Danish pastry is made of yeast-leavened dough of wheat flour, milk, eggs, sugar and large amounts of butter or margarine. A yeast dough is rolled out thinly, covered with thin slices of butter between the layers of dough, and then the dough is folded and rolled several times, creating 27 layers. If necessary, the dough is chilled between foldings to ease handling. The process of rolling, buttering, folding and chilling is repeated multiple times to create a multilayered dough that becomes airy and crispy on the outside, but also rich and buttery.  (Source Wikipedia)

 

 
In Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, the term for Danish pastry is wienerbrød/wienerbröd, “Viennese bread”. (Source Wikipedia)

 

 
The key to making pastry flour is everything should be cold from flour to butter to your kitchen. Yes the butter will melt in a hot or even a warm kitchen and you will not have the desired results. The butter will ooze out of the dough and then you will not have the perfect layers. The pastry should be flaky, crunchy and with hundreds of layers. I tried to roll the dough in rectangle shape as much as I can, but used to making round chapati’s/breads/rotis, it is very difficult for me to get a shape which is not round J. But if you can get a rectangular shape it is best as then it will be easy to laminate the butter in it.
Okay, no more talking and straight to the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 250 gm All purpose Flour (Maida)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 60 gm (in the dough) + 130 gm (for laminating)
  • 3.5 gm fast action dried yeast
  • 30 gm granulated Sugar (The original recipe called for castor sugar)
  • 75 ml warm milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk for glaze
  • Strawberry or any type of Jam, Nutella, Chocolate syrup or anything you can think of for fillings

Preparation 

  1. Mix in the sugar, milk and yeast and let the yeast bloom for 10 minutes. (One can mix the yeast directly with flour if the packet instruction says so, but I always find it best to bloom it separately so if the yeast has died out we know)
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, butter, salt, yeast mixture, egg and  sugar. Gradually work the flour into the liquid making sure that the dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. With your hand, work the dough for a couple of minutes until it forms a rough ball. 
  4. Grease a bowl lightly with butter and place the dough in it. Wrap it lightly with a plastic wrap or just a clean muslin cloth on top should work.
  5. Keep it in a warm surface for 1-1.5 hours.
  6. Once the dough is double in size, roll it into a rectangle shape as much as you can. This is required as we would be laminating the dough.
  7. Transfer the rolled dough to a floured baking sheet, wrap it with cling wrap and let it refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  8. 10-15 minutes before you are ready to laminate the dough, take a parchment sheet and draw a rectangle(as a guideline, one can eyeball even). Cut your butter into thin rectangles and place in between the rectangle on the parchment paper.
  9. Fold the parchment paper to cover it from all the sides, taking care the butter should not ooze out. Like making an envelope or a parcel.
  10. With your rolling pin pound the cold butter if needed, to soften it a little. Then roll it in between the rectangle. At the end we should be able to get a rectangular sheet of butter.
  11. If the butter is soft at any time, place it in fridge for 15-20 minutes until chilled.

 

 

 

Rolling out or Laminate the dough

 

  1. The temperature of the dough, your kitchen and the working area is very important. Be sure everything is cold. If required run an ice pack on the working area.
  2. Remove the sheet of the dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the parchment paper from the butter and keep it in the center of the dough. 
  3. Wrap the edges of the dough over the butter so they meet in the center. Lightly seal the edges. Try to make the edges of the dough and the butter as even as possible.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. 
  5. With your rolling pin gently tap the dough and roll it into a rectangle again. 
  6. Keep lifting the dough in between so that it does not stick to the working area.
  7. Roll it into a rectangle big enough so that you can fold it into thirds. (3 folds)
  8. At any point of time if you feel the dough is getting warm or the butter might melt, stop and refrigerate.
  9. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 
  10. After 1 hour take the dough out and repeat the process from step 4-9 again for the second turn.
  11. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 
  12. After 1 hour take the dough out and repeat the process from step 4-9 again for the third turn.
  13. Refrigerate again for 1 hour. 

 

Sheeting & Shaping the Pastries

  1. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough in to a rectangle. Transfer it into a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough in to a rectangle, wide enough so that you can make equal size squares.
  4. Work with one square at a time. For pinwheel shape, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut four slits at each corner. Do not cut all the way to the center. Then take the right tip of each triangle and fold it into the center. Press the tips into the center to seal.
  5. Place on your baking sheet and repeat the remaining squares.
  6. One can try different shapes.
  7. The other shape I tried was simply rolled it with a dollop of nutella filled in it. (Pic below)
  8. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the egg yolks. Use a pastry brush , lightly brush the tops of each pastry. 
  9. Cover the baking sheet lightly with a cling wrap and let it proof for 1.5-2 hours at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Gently press down the center of the pastries to make an indentation or a small well.
  3. Fill with 1 teaspoon of Strawberry jam or chocolate or any other flavor.
  4. Again gently brush the pastries with egg wash.
  5. Bake in the center (or with two trays one at the upper rack and one in lower thirds) for 10 minutes.
  6. Rotate the baking sheet from top to bottom, and if only using the center, turn it around, I do it as my oven has some uneven heating.
  7. Reduce the temperature to 190 degrees C and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.
  8. They are best served on the same day.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#86

 

 

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