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In the Kitchen - April 2020



This is a recipe for real Danish pastry. It is a lot of work, so set aside a Saturday afternoon and just enjoy the process.

1 sachet dry yeast (10g)
150 ml milk - finger warm: no more than 36°C
50 g castor sugar
50 g soft butter
350 g white bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 egg plus 1 yolk

Butter Filling
350 g butter slightly softened (not too soft)
25 g flour
A lined baking sheet/pan lined with baking paper

1. Pour the milk into a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly.

2. Pour into a mixer with the dough hook attached.

3. Stir in the sugar and softened butter, then mix the flour with the salt and start to add, bit by bit. Add the egg halfway through together with the remaining flour. Keep mixing with the dough hook for a good 5 minutes. The dough should still be a little bit sticky.

4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead through, adding more flour as needed until you have a stretchy, workable dough and then roll the dough out into a big square 35 x 35 cm.

6. Now make the butter filling. Mix the butter with the flour into a just mouldable ball using your hands. It’s important this mixture ends up being a similar consistency and workability to the dough – this will make it easier to roll. If your hands are too warm, use a rolling pin and beat the butter flat between two sheets of baking paper. Flatten the butter out to a square around 25 x 25 cm, then place this butter square onto your dough at a 45-degree angle so that the dough corners can fold back in to cover the butter.

Carefully fold the dough corners over the butter until you have completely enclosed it – a bit like making an envelope!

Dust with flour and very carefully roll out the package to a rectangle around 30 cm x 50 cm.

7. Fold the layers the short way twice so you end up with a rectangle approximately 30 x 15 cm (3 layers of dough with butter inside). It is important that you roll carefully so that the butter always stays inside the pastry package.

Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help the butter chill so you can keep working it.

8. Repeat the folding process: roll out the chilled pastry package again to 30 cm x 50 cm and fold back on itself. Rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, then repeat the rolling and folding process again so you end up with yet another rectangle in 3 folds with 9 layers of dough in total. Repeat once more to have 27 layers of dough. After a final rest in the refrigerator, your pastry is now ready to shape into whatever pastry you want to bake.

9. At any stage during the making of Danish pastries, if your hands or the dough get too warm, step back and cool things down a bit, as this can spoil your end result.
10.You can now go crazy with your fillings; this pastry is fantastic for jam fillings or custard fillings. Danish Pastry baking time varies depending on your pastry size, but you bake it at 200°C until flaky and golden brown.

Janina Clinning
Cell: 081 450 0190

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