Prep time 2.5 hours Cook time 8-10 minutes Makes 36
things you need
454g irish butter
85g all purpose flour
100g castor sugar
10g sea salt
21g dried yeast
1000g all purpose flour
5g lemon juice
5g almond extract
In a mixer cream the butter and 85g of flour and divide this mixture in 2. Between two sheets of cling film, shape each half into a flat sheet about 15cm x 30cm and refriger-ate till later.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, put the yeast and flour. Warm the milk to luke warm and add to it the sugar and the salt. With the mixer on slow pour the milk into the flour and add the eggs, lemon juice and almond extract kneading the dough until it comes together cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should appear smooth rather than raggy.
Allow the dough to rest covered in a clean, lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size, about an hour. When ready, weigh the dough and divide into two pieces for ease of handling. Keeping one half covered, roll each half in turn into a sheet about 40cm x 40cm. Place a cold sheet of butter on each dough sheet and fold the dough over it like a book cover, pinching the edges to seal them. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 45cm x 30cm and fold it into thirds. Wrap each piece in cling film and refriger-ate for about 30 minutes.
One by one, roll out each piece of dough and fold it in three again, repeating the process before rewrapping and returning the dough parcels to the fridge. If the dough warms up too much at this stage, it will become difficult to manage so work quickly to keep the temperature down.
To make the individual pastries, roll and shape as required and add the filling of your choice. Bake the pastries in an oven pre-heated to 220OC for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on a wire tray for as long as you can bear it before glazing and enjoying!
four to try...
rum & raisin
maple & pecan
the sell your soul bit...
Apricot simmer 8 apricot halves in 50g of peach schnapps, 30g of sugar and 50g of water over a medium heat for about 8 minutes until a skewer easily pierces all the way through. Allow to cool and pat dry when ready to use on your pastry. Save the poaching liquid to glaze your finished pastries.
Cut pastry into squares and fold two opposing corners into the center to meet plac-ing a half apricot gently in each of the unfolded corners. Brush with a little egg wash. Bake!
Raisin the night before you need them, pop a handful of raisins into a jar with a good dash of dark rum and given it a good shake. Turn it upside down a couple of times when you think of it and the raisins will plump up absorbing the rum.
Roll your pastry into a rectangle to a depth of about 1cm and brush the surface with the unabsorbed rum, or a little water if there’s no rum. Generously sprinkle the rum en-gorged raisins on the pastry and roll either into a short fat, or a long narrow, tight roll, depending on what size pastries you are looking for. Slice into rounds. Brush with a lit-tle egg wash. Bake!
Cinnamon mix a good teaspoon of cinnamon with three good table spoons of brown soft sugar. Roll your pastry into a rectangle to a depth of about 1cm and brush the surface with a little water. Generously sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mix on the pastry and roll either into a short fat, or long narrow, tight roll, depending on what size pastries you are looking for. Slice into rounds. Brush with a little egg wash. Bake!
Pecan mix together 100g of chopped pecans, 120g of maple syrup and a tea-spoon of ground cinnamon. Spread this on your rolled rectangle of Danish pastry and roll tightly and cut into rounds—if you are feeling adventurous you could try plaiting individual pastry rectan
drizzles & glazes...
Danish pastries are all the more delicious when drizzled or glazed with something sweet. Try mixing some icing sugar with a little boiling water to create a thick paste which you can drizzle from the end of a teaspoon. This works well for cinnamon, raisin and pecan pastries. For the apricot pastries, re-duce the poaching liquid over a medium high heat by two thirds. Use this to glaze the baked pastries. If you didn’t poach your own fruit, then glaze with a little warmed apricot jam mixed with a teaspoon of water and sieved.