Danish pastries

December 13, 2009

I’m a hopeless baker  but have a real sweet tooth so keep having a go at cakes and buns. I’m rather pleased with my recent attempt at Danish pastries. They take a while what with all the resting of the dough and that, but I reckon it was worth it – with a cup of costa rican (see November 19th post) they make an uplifting start to the day. 

This made around half a dozen – mix 250 g of strong flour with 25g of caster sugar and add 20g of yeast (I used Dove’s Farm quick yeast). Then add a large egg and about 100 ml of milk to create a dough. It will seem fairly dry at this stage but a good 10-15 minutes of kneading  and it will be smooth and springy. I don’t have a mixer but I think kneading is the best bit of baking anyway.  Then leave it to rest for half an hour.

So far so easy. Then roll out it into a 10 inch square, cut about 80g of  butter into smallish knobs and place around the centre of the square. Fold one edge towards the middle and then the other edge over (so the pastry is now  one third the size). Roll it out again to the same size sqaure – you’ll see the butter starting to spread within. Fold it again and leave it for 20 mins. Repeat this cycle two or three times. Finally roll it out  reasonably thinly and cut to the size of pastry you want.  Experiment with shapes and fillings  – the two pictured are one with a little raspberry jam, and the other is a little pear puree and sliced pear, sitting on some some almond paste (very simple – make as much as you want from equal quantities of ground almonds, caster sugar and butter creamed together). There’s a little bit of icing on them too. I’m also going to make others from  mincemeat and apple.  

 To bake they take around 10 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.  If you are baking a few together, keep an eye on them because unless your oven is very well behaved, you’ll probably need to move them around to make sure they bake evenly.

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