Danish Pastries, often
referred to as just Danish, are made with a yeast dough that's wonderfully
buttery rich and flaky. It's actually the same same dough used to make
Croissants. What's so fun about making Danish is that you can fold the
dough into many different sizes and shapes. The center of the Danish can
be filled with filled with a jam (used here), almond cream, lemon filling,
cream cheese filling, berries, or a pastry cream. Sometimes the baked
Danish are drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze (combine powdered sugar
with just enough cream so you can drizzle over Danish).
The dough used to make Danish is
a laminated yeast dough, which means you have two layers of slightly sweet
dough with a layer of butter in between. As you may be aware, once the
butter is encased in the dough it is rolled and folded into thirds, three
times, with resting times in the refrigerator between the second and third
fold. This process of chilling the dough firms up the dough and butter
plus it relaxes the dough. This does take several hours and it's important
not to rush the process.
Croissants, are not that difficult to make. It's really all about
precision and temperature. You must roll the dough to the required length
and width and the temperature of the dough needs to stay cool. Also, when
rolling and/or shaping the dough, if it gets too warm the butter will melt
into the dough which will affect the texture of the baked Danish. So if,
at any time, you find your dough is getting too soft or overly sticky when
rolling, then return it to the fridge until it firms up. If you're working
in a very warm kitchen, I find it helpful to rub an ice pak over the
counter to cool it off before you roll the dough.
A few notes on ingredients. The type of butter used will
affect both the flavor and texture of your Danish. For the butter layer
it's best to use a high fat unsalted butter (butter with 83% butterfat content)
as it makes a flakier Danish with a more pronounced butter flavor. In the
States this type of butter is normally labelled "European style"
While we used a low protein bread flour at the SFBI, it can be hard to
find so for this recipe I have used
all purpose flour to make the dough. There is also a little
(diastatic) powder which breaks down the starch and gives sugar for the
yeast to feed on. This is especially good for doughs, like this, that have a long
fermentation period. Malt powder also aids in browning and helps the
a good rise. I have used
SAF Gold instant yeast
in this recipe. This type of yeast is normally used by professionals as it gives a
good rise, especially when making sweet breads with long fermentation
periods. An added bonus is that since the grain particles are so small, you don't have to
proof it first. What's great too, is that you can store it in the freezer
and then just scoop out the amount you need. However, you
can substitute with 10 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast but I would
activate the yeast in the water, with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, before
making the dough.
to the Danish Pastries recipe page.......
Let's get baking!