Most americans knows what a danish pastry is. Going in to pastry shops in America, you'll find a cheese danish. But even though Danes like their cheese, they would never, as in Never Ever Ever put cheese in a pastry, or in a wienerbrød, as they are called in Denmark. Wienerbrød translated is a bread from Vienna. That style of pastry originates from Austria, and became very popular in Denmark. Danes like their sweets.
The Danish pastry is a laminated yeast dough much like the French croissant. There are many ways to make this lamination. The amount of layers are different from country to country and from baker to baker. You get the flaky layers by folding sheets of dough with butter.
There are different kinds of folding.
Letter fold: Dough folded in thirds, like you would do a letter going into an envelope. (I did that for this recipe.)
1. Turn: makes 3 layers of butter
2. Turn: makes 9 layers of butter
3. Turn: makes 27 layers of butter.
Book fold: Dough folded to the middle and folded again on the middle like a book. This makes 4 layers per fold or turn as they are called.
1. Turn: makes 4 layers of butter
2. Turn: makes 16 layers of butter
3. Turn: makes 64 layers of butter
Some people claim that any more layers than 3 turns using a letter fold, will make the dough like a brioche instead of providing the flaky layers. The 3 turns makes 27 layers. You can mix the folding methods to get the amount of layer you want.
I'm sure that it is possible to make the laminating with more layers. Even in a normal kitchen without special equipment. Next time I'll be making a book fold in the second turn, making it for 36 layers.
Makes 16 pastries. Recipe adapted from Kvalimad.dk.
- 375 g all-purpose flour
- 200 ml milk
- 25 g live yeast or 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 45 g sugar
- 50 g butter, salted and soft
- 1 egg
- 350 g butter, cold (use a european style butter, it contains less water, than the american butter)
- all-purpose flour for dusting
- 50 g butter
- 50 g sugar
- 50 g marzipan
- vanilla custard
- raspberry jam
- chopped almonds
- Icing (confectionary sugar and water, made into a thick paste)
Heat the milk to lukewarm (99℉/37℃). Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add the sugar. If using dry yeast, let the yeast wake up for about 5-10 minutes, until creating a foam on top. Incorporate the egg.
Mix in half of the flour, forming a sticky dough. Mix in the softened butter. Finally mix in the rest of the flour and knead the dough until you have at shiny, slightly sticky and elastic dough, for about 3-5 minutes.
Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper and one hand, work the dough into a round. The tension will build as the dough achieves to the surface as you rotate it.
Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, for about 60 minutes.
Place the cold butter on a well floured surface. With your palms press the butter a little flat. Using a rolling pin pound on the butter to flatten it. Fold the butte into its self, and keep pounding and folding until the butter has the same consistency as the dough. You want to end up with a 15x15 cm / 6x6 inch square of soft but still cold butter. If the butter is too warm or too hard, it will be hard to roll it out in the dough, and it might make holes in the dough, instead of the lamination.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface, roll 4 wings out from the center, leaving a center (15x15 cm / 6x6 inch), the same size as the butter block.
Place the butter block over the center, fold the wings over the butter, making sure not getting too much flour in between the layers. Turn the dough over, so the seams are facing down.
Roll the dough to a rectangle, 3 times as long as the hight. Keep it lightly floured so the dough do not stick to the surface. Make sure to roll the dough with straight edges. This will ease the folding.
1. Turn: Fold the rectangle in thirds, like a letter. Now you have 3 layers of butter. Place the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes to cool the butter again.
Repeat this 2 times, making 3 turns and ending up with 27 layers of butter. Let the dough rest on the kitchen counter for 10-20 minutes. (If your kitchen is warm, do the resting in the refrigerator.)
Now the dough is ready to use as a puff pastry for sweet or savory dishes.
If you want to make sweet pastries, you want to make the 3. Turn on a surface sprinkled with about 100 g granulated sugar, and sprinkle another 100 g granulated sugar on top. This will make the dough sweeter and more crispy.
Making Danish pastry/spandauer:
Mix the sugar and marzipan well. Add butter little by little until it’s just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix or the remonce will be runny when baked.
Roll the dough out to a 40x40 cm / 15¾x15¾ inch square. Try to make the edges as straight as possible. Divide the dough into 16 smaller squares.
Place a teaspoon remonce in the middle of each small square. Bring all four corners to the center and press down firmly on the top of the center of the dough. Each pastry has a small dent in the middle. Brush the pastries with egg wash (egg and water or milk, whisked together), and sprinkle with sugar. Place a heap teaspoon of custard or some raspberry jam in the dent, sprinkle some chopped almonds round the filling.
Let the pastries rise covered until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400℉ (200℃). And bake the pastries for about 20-25 minutes, until deep golden brown and crispy.
When cooled completely, drizzle some icing round the center.
This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting
The unbaked pastry can be frozen just, after shaping, individually, and can be baked straight out of the freezer, just add about 5 more minutes to the baking time.