Planet Food Scandinavia Recipe: Danish Pastries

Ingredients

• 150g sugar
• pinch of salt
• 200g yeast
• ½ litre eggs
• 1 litre of cold water
• 2.4kg flour
• 100g butter
• 2.5kg flour
• ½ litre of milk
• flavourings: almonds, jam, vanilla cream, chocolate

Method

1. Put 4 cups of flour into large bowl. Reserve the remaining flour for rolling. Make a well in center of bowl. Then, mix the yeast with the sugar and salt to make a syrup. Add egg yolks or whole eggs.

2. Pour yeast mixture into the well, adding one cup milk and 1/4 cup butter cut into pieces. Mix with fingertips, adding more milk as necessary to make a medium-soft dough. Knead the dough in bowl for 5 minutes, or until it is smooth but not elastic. Flour and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Whilst the dough is resting, form the remaining butter into a flattened brick. Using some of the reserved flour, on wax paper or pastry cloth roll out the butter into a square about 1/3 inch thick. Use plenty of flour under and on top of the butter to keep it from sticking. Loosen frequently as you roll. Cut the square in 2 pieces and place in refrigerator between sheets of wax paper.

4. Roll out dough on well-floured cloth to make a rectangle 3 times longer than wide and about 1/3 inch thick. Brush excess flour from dough and place a piece of butter in centre. Fold one end of the dough over butter and place the remaining butter on top. Fold the second end over the butter and press the edges together.

5. Turn the dough, changing its position so that the short ends are parallel with the edge of table nearest you. Roll out on a well-floured cloth, using a firm, even motion to spread the butter together with the dough. Try to work quickly, but check frequently underneath the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking.

6. Roll out a rectangle 3 times longer than wide, about 1/3 inch thick. Brush any excess flour from surface, then fold both ends of the dough to meet in the center. Press the edges together, then fold in half as if closing a book – this will make 4 layers of dough. Flour dough then place on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

7. Repeat, rolling and folding dough 3 more times, chilling the dough for 20 minutes between rollings. Be sure to change the position of the dough each time so that the short ends of dough are parallel with the edge of the table nearest you when you start rolling.

8. After the final folding, chill the dough for at least 3 hours before shaping and baking. Then, preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the pastry into a 30cm square and cut into 6 square.

9. Place a spoonful of the pastry cream in the centre of each square and spread over a teaspoon of jam. Fold the four corners over to meet in the centre.

10. Finally, place the pastries on a baking tray and place them in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes. Brush the pastries with the beaten egg yolk and place them on the top shelf of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

The pastries should be crisp and golden when cooked.