This Danish Pastry Dough is something that I have had up my culinary sleeve for the last few years. It is outstanding, both in it's deliciousness and in it's ability to effectively cut out the classic toil and bother of traditional danish pastry making.
Tip 350 grams flour, 250 grams butter, 1 tsp salt, 7 grams dried yeast and 50 grams sugar into your food processor making sure that the salt and yeast aren't touching.
Whizz until the butter is roughly 1 cm chunks. It is better to pulse so that you can keep an eye on the size of the lumps. You need the mixture to be quite pebbly.
Tip the floury rubble out into a mixing bowl. Mix 60 mls luke warm water (4 tbsp), 120 mls warm milk and 1 large beaten egg all together and pour into the mixing bowl. Mix the whole lot together using a wide bladed knife such as a butter knife until all the flour is absorbed. I also sometimes use a wide tined fork.
Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready for rolling out of the dough then get out your mixture and tip it out onto a heavily floured surface. Flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin. Roll it out to a rectangle the size of about 35 cm x 25 cm. Keep flouring if the butter breaks through and is soft and tacky. Fold the bottom of the dough up first by a third and then the top down over it exactly like a business letter. The theory is that you then turn the new rectangle so that the fold is to your left like the spine of a book and roll out and repeat another four times. I tend to wing it a bit more than that. My rectangles sometimes become square and so on. The important thing is to get the folds in.
If butter pops through then flour the spots well and carry on. When the last fold is complete cover and place the folded dough in the fridge for at least 30 mins or more.
When you are ready to cut out the shapes I roll out the dough into a big square as much as possible. The dough should be about ¼ cm thick. Cut off the raggedy edges with a pizza cutter and cut out about 10 cm squares. As many as you can get.
I make Pin Wheels by cutting diagonal lines from each corner of the square towards the centre. I then fold alternate points in and press them firmly into the middle to form the pin wheel star shape. See pics above.
Cover and leave somewhere warm to puff up and almost double in size.
Pre heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4. Mix the apricot jam and water together in a bowl.
Press the centres down gently and spoon your chosen fillings into the recesses. About ½ tsp of filling. Brush gently with egg wash.
Bake for about 10/12 minutes. Try not to let them get too much colour on. A pale golden colour is what you are aiming for.
Place carefully on a wire rack to cool. Brush the apricot jam over the warm pastries for added sticky shine. It does add another dimension to them.
Mix the Icing sugar and milk vigorously together before trailing fronds of beautiful icing over the top whilst still on the tray. I use a tiny whisk to trail the icing. I find it works perfectly.
Apply to Smug as Hell Face.
There are times when the butter seeps through the pastry and is sticky on the rolling surface and rolling pin. I care not. With a flourish of flour I cover the offending buttery patches and carry on regardless.
If the butter gets too warm when you are rolling the dough out then pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes.