Danish Pastry Dough

So while I was in my baking class, we made cute little danishes. We ended up using a pre-made frozen dough, it was fast and easy. Since I have time though, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making the danish dough so that I can get used to it. I've made croissants before, which is very similar because you're laminating the dough... I found that this time around I'm having an easier time.

Danish Pastry Dough
Recipe from Essentials of Baking {William-Sonoma}

5 teaspoons active-dry yeast
90 g sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
60 g butter, melted
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
545 g all-purpose flour

Butter Package:

250 g butter
45 g all-purpose flour

  • In a small bowl, dissolve that yeast, a pinch of the sugar and the water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl using the paddle attachment, add the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the yeast mixture and then add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix just until the dough clings together in a rough mass. {If it's still very soft, add up to 1/4 cup of extra flour}.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Place on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.
  • To make the butter package, using a rolling pin or heel of your hand, beat or knead the butter on a work surface to flatten it and warm it to about 60 degrees.
  • Sprinkle the butter with the flour and gently beat the butter with the rolling pint to press the flour into the butter. Shape the butter into an 8x7 inch rectangle. If the butter had become too warm, wrap and refrigerate just until firm but still pliable.
  • To laminate the dough, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10x16 inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, place the butter on the lower half, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides. Fold over the upper half to cover the butter and press the edges together to seal. Then, with a folded side to your left, roll out the dough into a 12x20 inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold the bottom third up, then fold the top third down, as if you're folding a letter. This completes the first turn. Return to the pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Return the chilled dough to the lightly floured work surface with a folded side to your left and repeat the process to make 3 more turns, rolling, folding and chilling the dough each time. You will end up doing this 4 times total. After the final turn, refrigerate the dough for at least 1 1/2 hours or for up to overnight before shaping.

Here are some of the various shapes that you can form from the dough, we learned how to do them in class. I'm not going to bake them yet though, they are just going into the freezer for a morning that I want little pastries.



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