Danish pastries are light & flaky delicacies which make delicious morning coffee and afternoon teatime treats always. There is a wide range of fillings and toppings as well as shapes and sizes to choose from, which can make the preparation of these pastries almost as much fun as eating them!
To make Danish pastries at home, it is extremely easy if you follow the method very carefully. You can even cut the squares, lightly flour them so that they do not stick to each other when they are stacked, cover in a foil or cling film & freeze them to be used whenever you would like to bake!
In Pune, pastry dough is not available in the stores, bakery or super markets across the counter so you have to make your own pastry dough! It may seem a little tedious, elaborate & time consuming but with practice you can easily make your own fresh batch of pastry dough. Besides, there is no limit to making your own special, unique fillings & toppings.You can do your pre-preparation in advance & make your own at a short notice.
These pastries look so pretty & presentable. When you serve your family or your guests, they will be delighted at your effort. It is very easy to pick up these ready to eat pastries across a bakery counter but if you love baking like the way I do, you will find it a fun activity especially if you involve children or family to make these.
I enjoy making this lovely treat & I hope you will give it a try… 😀
- 225 gms. Maida
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 175 gms. Butter
- 1 Egg
- 15 gms. Fresh Yeast
- 1 cup Milk (lukewarm)
- ½ tsp. Salt
For the Seal & Glaze:
- Beaten egg mixed with a little milk
Sieve the flour & salt in a bowl & stir in the sugar.
Blend the fresh yeast with the milk, stir in the beaten egg & mix with the flour & sugar.
Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth & elastic.
Place the dough in a plastic bag & allow it to rest in the fridge for about 10 mins.
Shape the butter into a flat square.
Roll out the dough to a 1inch (30 cm) square, place the butter in the centre & wrap the dough neatly around it, pinching the edges well together.
Roll out the dough to a large rectangle about twice as long as it is wide.
Fold the short sides to the middle, then fold in half again.
Seal the edges by pressing them together with the rolling pin.
Return the dough to the plastic bag & chill it for a further 10 mins.
Repeat the rolling & folding process, chill for 10 min., repeat again & chill for 20 mins.
Roll out 1/3rd of the pastry at a time, rolling each third to a 9 inch(23 cms) square.
Cut each square into nine inch (7.5 cm) squares & brush each with beaten egg before shaping & filling as desired.
This dough is enough to make about 20 Danish pastries.
Place the prepared pastries on a greased baking tray & brush with beaten egg to glaze.
Leave in a warm place until well-risen & puffy. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220Cfor about 10 mins until cooked & golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack; decorate as desired.
Serve the pastries cold.
Here are some shapes & fillings which I made & you may like to try…
Remember to brush the squares with beaten egg first to make sure that they keep their folded shapes.
Windmill with Jam:
Take 225 gms. of Danish pastry dough & roll it into a rectangle. Cut into small squares. Make a diagonal cut from each corner of the square to within ½ inch (1 cm) of the centre. Fold alternate cut corners to the centre. Brush with egg-milk mixture. Keep it aside to prove till double in size. Bake at 220C for 10-12 mins. When the pastry is cooked & cooled, spoon or pipe out the jam in the centre & brush with melted apricot jam or with glace icing.
Cut a border, ½ inch (1 cm) wide in the square, leaving it intact at two opposite corners. Fold the cut corners of the border over to the opposite corners of the central square. Fill the centre with fruit mince, jam or confectioner’s custard and brush the finished pastry with glace icing.
Cream 1 egg yolk with 2 tablespoons caster (fine granulated) sugar until thick and pale. Blend 1 tablespoon each flour and cornflour (cornstarch) with a few drops of vanilla essence and a little milk taken from (150 ml) milk. Heat the remaining milk until almost boiling and pour on to the egg mixture, stirring. Return to the pan and stir over a low heat until the mixture boils. Stiffly whisk 1 egg white and fold into the custard. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and cool before using.
Place 1¼ cups icing (confectioners’) sugar in a pan with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and stir over a very gentle heat until the mixture is transparent. Use immediately to brush Danish pastries.