Danish Pastry Dough

Saturday, April 20, 2013

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Ever walk into a bakery and see their pastries? 

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past 100 years, you have.
Ever buy some of their divine calorie laden danishes and bring it home only to be horribly disappointed in their lack of taste and dryness that only dunking them in coffee makes them edible?  


I have…


And more times than I like to admit, I buy them again… hoping that this time will be the time they taste as good as they look.

I often cruise by the bakery.. looking at their cherry and cheese danishes… mouth watering at the sight of their bear claws…

Pondering why can’t they taste like I want them too..


I can’t promise that this recipe will make you pump out some picture perfect goods…

But it will make them taste picture perfect..


That’s all that really matters in home cooking right? That it tastes like it should be in a magazine?


Reminds me of a insult I heard once…

 “She is so beautiful… she could model socks on the radio”





Like 95% of my recipes… we start off with some butter…




They remind me of soldiers… lining up in formation… ready for war…
Only these guys are going to war on your thighs.  




Slice them in half, length wise… saving one half aside for the dough




In between two sheets of wax paper roll out your butter… you want a pretty good size of a butter slab.


Set aside and start working on the dough….




In a mixing bowl add your flour, sugar, salt and yeast
With your hands or a spoon, mix well…





Remember that butter we put aside? Well we are going to mix this in… it helps make a even more flaky crust…



 



I use my hands, because a pastry cutter is to hard to use… ( flash backs of my childhood and having to make pie crusts) smoosh all together till butter is the size of pea’s…




In that we add… eggs




Milk and water




And with a dough hook mix until dough is smooth




Will look like this.. let it rest 10 minutes…





While you have one project going, start dinner (pasta dough starting here)…. I  find that it really helps me to have 20 irons in the fire so I can fall behind and start up the unnecessary screaming at the passerby’s…




Wrap up your second project and pat out your dough in a rectangle…






Roll it out in a bigger rectangle… make sure it is more even than mine…



Butter slab that was set aside… cut it in half..








Lay it in the middle of your dough… attempt to smear it more evenly… give up and fold over one side of the dough..
Place second half of butter on dough like so….. and fold over




"Hi"
Butter peeking out…. Cover him up… we want all the dough covering the butter…






Like so…

Now… roll out again..

 
Fold… and roll out the second time.. place in fridge for 20 minutes to let the dough relax and the butter to harden back up… repeat the whole roll out, fold, roll out fold cycle again. 



I like to divide dough up into three equal “ sheets” like the puff pastry you get in the store… wrap them each in wax paper and then into a plastic sealed bag into the freezer… this way if I only need one sheet ( most of the time two) there isn’t a ice pick and a mallet involved.

Just place in fridge over night to thaw.

So what do you do with this dough??? 



 Mexican pastry's

 Spinach stuffed pastry's
  
And Jam pastry's




Recipes coming soon...

      


 Danish Pastry dough
    2 cups salted butter, at cool room temperature
    5 1/2 Flour
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    4 teaspoons instant yeast
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt  
    1 cup cold milk
    1/2 cup lukewarm water
    2 large eggs
Begin by cutting 1/4" butter off the end of each of the 4 sticks in the pound; you'll have about 4 tablespoons butter. Set them (and the remaining butter) aside. You'll be using the 4 tablespoons butter immediately, but won't need the remaining butter until after you've made the dough.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the 4 tablespoons cold butter, working it in with your fingers until no large lumps remain. This step coats the flour a bit with fat, making the pastry a tiny bit more tender.
3) Add the milk, water, and eggs. Mix and knead to make a cohesive, but quite sticky dough.
4) Scrape the dough into a ball, and transfer it to a floured work surface. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the butter.
5) Cut each stick of butter in half lengthwise, to make 8 long rectangles. On a piece of floured parchment or plastic wrap, line up 4 of the butter pieces side by side, to form a rectangle. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
6) Gently pound and roll the butter until it's about 6" x 9". The pieces may or may not meld together. If they do, great, they'll be easier to work with. If not, though, that's OK; don't stress about it.
7) Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of butter. You should now have two butter rectangles, about 6" x 9" each.
8) Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12" wide and 24" long. Don't worry about being ultra-precise; this is just a guide, though you should try to get fairly close.
9) Place one of the butter pieces onto the center third of the dough. Fold one side over the butter to cover it. Place the other butter piece atop the folded-over dough, and fold the remaining dough up over it. You now have a rectangular "packet" of dough-enclosed butter. Pinch the open ends and side closed as best you can.
10) Turn the dough 90°, so a 12" side is closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10" x 24" rectangle (approximately). Fold each side into the center; then fold one side over the other to make a rectangular packet about 6" x 10".
11) Dust the surface of the dough with flour, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
12) Remove the dough from the fridge, and again roll it into a rectangle about 10" x 24". Fold it into a packet as you did in step #10; it'll be about 7" x 12". Roll one final time, fold into a packet, and flour the dough lightly. Wrap loosely (but completely) in plastic, and chill it for 2 hours, or up to 16 hours. Or in fridge up to three months.

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