Danish pastries are among some of the most sought after treats, especially on Travel. They are also among some of the most intimidating in the eyes of novice bakers considering all the work and skill required to make the dough. However, Danish dough is actually quite simple to make especially thanks to some refined methods. Today's recipe is guaranteed to provide the simplest way to make this dough.

What made it hard

Danish pastries consist of laminated dough, meaning they're made by folding large amounts of butter into non-fat dough and rolling them together to form layers.

Additionally, the dough relies on yeast to aid in its rising. Hence it's a leavened dough type.

Traditionally, laminated dough like this would be mixed with a small portion of the butter. The remaining butter would then be flattened, placed on top of the flat dough, folded within it and rolled together three or four times. This would produce layers of fine dough. Leavened doughs like Danish pastries are given the same treatment but with the inclusion of yeast in the recipe; combining it with the liquid and sugar used.

What makes it simple

Nowadays, the method for making laminated dough has changed due to refinements. A quicker method for preparing the dough for Danish pastries is called the 'shortcrust method.' Similar to a pie dough recipe, the method incorporates all the butter at the start by dividing it into small chunks or cubes and adding them one by one to the dry ingredients during mixing. This allows the butter to blend more evenly and quickly with the other ingredients, saving time and effort.

Dough recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 sachet dry active yeast
  • 500g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 eggs for wash

Directions:

  1. Separate the dry ingredients from the wet ingredients. Pour the warm water in a small bowl and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the yeast to the water and let it sit for 15 minutes. To determine if the yeast is fresh, it will begin to bubble while floating in the water.
  2. Cut the butter into 8 small cubes and set aside.
  3. Put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add the butter cubes to the mix while pulsing one piece at a time, halting in between to allow each piece to incorporate fully.
  4. Transfer the dry mixture to a bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together and add to the dry mixture. Gently fold the two mixtures together until combined. Add the water a little at a time for adjustment. Keep folding the mixture until it forms a light, sticky dough.
  5. Brush the surface lightly with oil. Wrap the dough in cling and let it rest in the bowl in a warm, dry place for 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Roll out the dough into a rectangle and brush the surface with egg wash before garnishing. All danish pastries should be baked at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Pastries recipes

Cinnamon danish:

  1. Roll out the dough into a 12 x 18 rectangle with a rolling pin. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar across the surface and 1 cup of raisins.
  2. Roll the dough up into a cylinder from the short side of the rectangle by hand. Pinch to seal. Cut into slices 3/4" thick.

Turnovers:

  1. Roll out the dough into a 12 x 18 rectangle 1/4" thick. Divide the dough into 4" squares.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold the squares into triangles by pulling one of the points inward over the opposite side.

Pinwheels:

  1. Roll out the dough into a 12 x 18 rectangle 1/4" thick. Divide the dough into 4" squares and make a cut at each corner almost to the middle.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold each point into the center.
Don't miss our page on Facebook!