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So yeah, I made danish dough twice this past two weeks and made a cherry cheese danish braid, a pork and onion pastry, and blueberry danishes with lemon sour cream icing.


Cherry-Cheese-Danish-Braid-00Cherry-Cheese-Danish-Braid-01
Cherry-Cheese-Danish-Braid-02Cherry-Cheese-Danish-Braid-03

meat-danish-00meat-danish-02
meat-danish-01

blueberry-danish-00blueberry-danish-01

I have a love/frustrated love relationship (I'd go with love/hate, but that really doesn't describe the frustrated fondness I feel accurately) with laminated dough. On one hand it's buttery deliciousness. OTOH, it's time consuming and makes you feel like you had to work for your pastry dough. And really part of the reason I liked making puff pastry and danish dough is that I feel like I put effort into this shit and I got results, but I wish I didn't consume a whole day plus of time.

Anyway, danish dough is a yeasted laminated dough, which means it's a dough made with yeast, folded over butter, and then folded a few more times to make delicious pastry. Since it's a yeasted dough and needs time to rise and then time to relax the gluten (because pastries ), it a good idea to either start the night before if you need it in the next evening or a day before if you need it earlier in the day.

I used the recipe from the Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft 2nd ed, which was for 10 lbs of dough - :O - so I scaled it down to 1.5 lbs.


Ingredients
10 lbs1.5 lbs
Bread flour1.81 kg272 g
Sugar206 g31g
Yeast, active dry or instant28 g4 g
Salt28 g4 g
Butter, softened170 g26 g
Eggs369 g56 g (~ 1 egg)
Milk840 mL126 mL
Butter, cold (use salted butter if doing a savoury filling)1.36 kg204 g


I have a scale so I used that for measuring most of the ingredients, but if you don't have one you can use this site to figure out how much of what you need in regular measuring instruments like measuring cups and spoon.

So the first step is to mix the dough, knead it, and let it rest for at least 8 hours in the fridge. I did this the night before and let it rest overnight, but you could also do it in the morning and finish it out in the evening so you have dough ready the next day.

Basically all you need to do is mix the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, softened butter, eggs, and milk with an electric mixer and a dough hook. There's really no need to separate the dry and wet ingredients and if you don't have a mixer you can do it by hand. If you're using a mixer it's about 2 minutes on low until the dough comes together and then 4 minutes on medium or until you get soft dough that isn't sticking everywhere*. If you're doing it by hand just go mix it until it comes together and knead until you get that consistency.

Then put it in a lightly floured bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature or until it doubles. If you want to speed the rising up to around an hour and a half and you have a microwave, run the microwave empty for 3 minutes and drop the covered bowl in there.

After that you just wrap the dough up in cling-wrap and drop it in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

danish-dough-00

Then it's fun butter rolling out time. The way I do it is that I cut the cold butter into slices that are slightly thicker than 1 cm, arrange them on a piece of cling wrap in a vaguely rectangular shape with the slices overlapping a bit, and wrap the cling wrap around them. Then I take a rolling pin and through a combination or rolling over the wrapped butter and some banging on top I soften it up until it's one piece of vaguely rectangular slab of 1 cm thick butter. Then I shape it up a bit and I'm ready to wrap the dough around it.

danish-dough-01

So for the dough, you just need to shape it into a rectangle and then roll it out so that it's slightly longer than the butter slab and slightly more than twice as wide.

danish-dough-02

Then you just put the butter slab on the dough, closer to one edge, and wrap the dough around. Seal the edges unless you want butter running out in later steps. Then roll the dough out a bit before wrapping it and letting it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Don't skip the resting because it keeps the butter from melting into the dough.

danish-dough-03

Roll the dough out so that it's around 1 cm thick and a long rectangle. Do a 4 fold and let the dough rest for 30 minutes:

danish-dough-04a

danish-dough-04b

Roll the dough out so that it's around 1 cm thick and a long rectangle. Do a 3 fold and let the dough rest for 30 minutes:

danish-dough-05a

danish-dough-05b

Repeat the last step and then you have finished danish dough that you can use now, refrigerate for around a week, or freeze for a couple of months.

I think I'm doing pie next week with friends? Right? I'm also probably going strawberry picking the morning before so it'll be some sort of strawberry pie creation. Maybe? :D?
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