by Lacey Lee Berry, CookingwithLacey.com
Danishes are one of the best pastries, especially warm out of the oven. Unfortunately, most of us are not at the bakery when these come out of the oven and they can be quite expensive. I have developed the prefect recipe for the home baker. These will take some work but will not disappoint.
15-20 oz unbleached all-purpose flour (3-4 cups)
3.5 oz sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon yeast
11 oz whole milk
2 large eggs
12 oz unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Make the Dough: In a Bosch mixer using the dough hook, place 12 ounces of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Incorporate. Next add milk and eggs. Use the rest of the flour to make sure that the bowl scrapes clean around the edges. Knead for 4 minutes on speed 1. Remove and place dough on a pastry cloth and shape into a rectangle just using your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour. Make the butter square during this time.
Make the Butter Square: On a clean surface chop the butter with a Pastry Bench Scraper/Chopper into 1/2–inch pieces. Sprinkle with the flour. Use the bench scraper to combine the two by scraping back and forth. Pat into a 7–inch square and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the dough and place on pastry cloth. Roll into a large square. Place the butter square diagonally in the center. Fold each corner over to the center of the butter. Turn over, seam side down. Roll into a large rectangle working quickly so the butter does not become soft. Fold into an envelope by folding one of the short sides in half and then folding the other side over it. This is one turn. Take the rectangle letter and fold it in half, making a square. Wrap and place back in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Repeat the last step and do two more turns. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Remove the dough and place back on the pastry cloth. Roll out into a large rectangle about 1/8–inch thick.
Shape as desired. Spray with an egg wash. And place fillings in (see below for filling suggestions). Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
When removed from the oven, immediately brush with apricot glaze. (apricot jam mixed with water, brought to a boil)
Popular Filling Ideas:
• Bear Claw:
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powered sugar
In a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, or in the food processor, cream the almond paste, butter, and sugar together until well blended and smooth. Store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use. Allow to return to room temperature before using. Makes about 1 cup. Use cookie scoop to place on Danish. Top with almonds.
• Cream Cheese:
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sugar
Cream the cheese and sugar together and add the egg. Use a cookie scoop to place filling in the center of the Danish.
• Blueberry, Cherry, or Lemon Cream Cheese: Place canned blueberry or cherry pie filling, or lemon curd over the cream cheese
• Cherry Pie filling – canned
• Apple Pie filling – canned
• Peach Pie filling – canned
Yield: This recipe makes about 25 full size danish and 50 mini ones.
Recipes: Bread, Sweet Yeast Dough, Danish, Dairy, Kosher