Danish pastry dough

Danish pastry dough
  • Serves icon Makes enough dough for 8 pastries
  • Time icon Hands on time 55 minutes plus resting and chilling

Make this Danish pastry recipe from scratch then, using it as a base, make chocolate and vanilla buns or classic almond pastries.

Ingredients

  • 15g fresh yeast, crumbled
  • 3 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 110ml whole milk, warmed to blood temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
  • 125g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading
  • 125g strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 110g unsalted butter, softened

Method

  1. Mix the yeast, 1 tsp caster sugar, 2 tbsp milk and the almond extract in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the milk and the egg, mix well, and leave for 10 minutes until the yeast has activated and bubbled up slightly.
  2. Sift the flours, remaining sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt into a large bowl, mix well and make a well in the centre. Gradually stir in the milk mixture until it comes together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, dusting with more flour until the dough is smooth and the surface is slightly springy to touch and not sticky. On a lightly floured board, roll out to a 5mm thick rectangle about 30cm x 40cm. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Place the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface, cover the top two-thirds of the pastry with teaspoons of softened butter 1cm apart (see picture). Leave a 1cm border at the top, bottom and sides clear of butter, so that it doesn’t spill from the sides of the pastry during rolling.
  4. Fold the butter-free part of the dough over the middle third, then fold the remaining, buttered third over to make a flat parcel (like folding a letter into 3 to put inside an envelope). Lightly press down the open ends to seal, then chill, covered in cling film, for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the cling film and lay the dough on a floured surface with the short side facing you. Roll out in one direction. You’ll get a very long rectangle – don’t worry as the next time you roll the dough it will be a more manageable size. As before, fold the bottom third of pastry over the middle third, then fold the top third over. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes more.
  6. Repeat the rolling and folding process 1 more time, but this time start the dough on the floured surface with the longest side facing you. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, so you’ve rolled the dough into a long rectangle 4 times.
  8. Wrap the dough with cling film and chill overnight until firm. Trim the edges; the dough is now ready to make any of the following pastries: Chocolate and vanilla buns, Cinnamon and raisin swirls or Classic almond pastries.

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