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How to Make Danish Pastries

Originally brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers, the popular Danish pastry is a light, fluffy and sweet treat made from buttery puff pastry. Usually enjoyed at breakfast time or accompanying a coffee, these flaky pastries are usually filled with jam, custard, or even chocolate. This all-time classic is sure to please the whole family; check out these recipes to learn how to make Danish pastries!

Puff Pastry Ingredients:

  • 250g of Unsalted, Chilled Butter
  • 500g of Strong White Bread Flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 10g of Instant Yeast
  • 10g of Salt
  • 80g of Caster Sugar
  • 125ml of Lukewarm, Full-Fat Milk
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 90ml of Cool Water

Danish Pastry Ingredients:

  • 500g of Puff Pastry (pre-made or shop-bought)
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 8 tbsp of Jam (fruit of your choice)
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting)

Puff Pastry Equipment:

  • Electric Mixer (with dough hook)
  • Plastic Food Bag
  • Rolling Pin

Danish Pastry Equipment:

  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp Knife
  • 2 x Baking Sheets
  • Pastry Brush

PROCESS 1: Making Puff Pastry

  1. In an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, sugar and salt to one side of the bowl, and then add the yeast to the opposite side. Add in the eggs, water and milk, then turn the mixer on a low speed for 2 minutes. Increase to a medium speed and leave it to mix for 6 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, tip out the dough and form a smooth, round ball. Put it in a clean plastic bag and leave to chill in the fridge for an hour.
  3. After an hour, retrieve your dough and it roll out on a floured surface, forming a square that measures approximately 50cm x 20cm and about 1cm thick.
  4. Flatten your chilled block of butter and form a rectangle of 33cm x 19cm.
  5. Lay your butter onto the rolled out dough; allow it to cover two thirds of the bottom, and make sure it spread out to the edges.
  6. Fold the exposed dough at the top down over a third of the butter. Now, gently cut off the excess butter; be careful not to cut through the dough. Put this on top of the dough you’ve just folded down, and then fold the bottom half of the dough upwards.
  7. You now have a sort of sandwich consisting of two layers of butter and three layers of dough. Seal in the butter by lightly pressing the edges of the dough. Put the dough back in its plastic bag and place it in the fridge to chill for one hour.
  8. After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge, remove it from its bag, and then place it down on a lightly floured surface, with the short end towards you. Roll the dough out to another rectangle, measuring the same as before (50cm x 20cm).
  9. Next, fold up the bottom third of the dough, and then fold down the top third over the top – this is called a ‘single turn’.
  10. Put the dough back in the bag and chill it in the fridge for another hour. Then, repeat the ‘single turn’ method twice more, putting the dough back in the fridge between turns.
  11. After you’ve completed all the necessary turns, your dough now needs to chill in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight. This will allow your dough to rest and rise slightly.

PROCESS 2: Making Jam-Filled Danish Pastries

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit/Gas mark 6)
  2. Take your freshly-made (or shop-bought, if you skipped process 1!) puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a large rectangle measuring approximately 40cm x 20cm.
  3. Trim the edges and cut the rolled pastry into squares, measuring about 8cm x 10cm.
  4. Splash a little cold water onto two baking sheets, and then place your pastry squares onto them.
  5. Put a small spoonful of jam in the centre of each square, dab the corners of each with a little beaten egg, and then fold each corner in until it just about meets the jam.
  6. Brush the rest of the beaten egg over the pastry to glaze. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes; they should rise well, look crispy, and be golden brown in colour.
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