Danish Pastry Dough
This recipe is for the leavened, laminated Danish pastry dough that can be shaped in to anything you want and filled with whatever gets your juices flowing - in the Spandau recipe I used almond cream and jam, but you could substitute this for pastry cream, cinnamon butter, the homemade chocolate hazelnut spread I've written about, even something more savoury. Don't be afraid to experiment.
2.5tsp dried active yeast
150ml whole milk
50g caster sugar
50g softened butter
350g strong white flour mixed with 1tsp salt
1 egg plus 1 yolk
250g cold butter
1. Heat the milk to 37c and whisk in the yeast. Cover and leave to activate for 20 mins.
2. Add the milk, sugar and butter to a food mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix in half of the flour followed by the eggs, then the rest of the flour. Mix the dough for 6 minutes.
3. Scoop the dough in to a separate bowl if necessary, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
4. On a floured surface, knock back the dough and knead until you get a nice workable dough. Roll out to a square of 35cm.
5. For the butter filling you want to create a square measuring about 30cm, arranged at an angle of 45 degrees to the dough. You have a couple of options: slice thin slices of the butter and arrange in a square, or put your block of butter between two sheets of baking paper and bash it with a rolling pin to a square. Fold the corners of the dough up to cover the butter and seal the edges.
6. Start rolling out the dough. We'll be going through three separate cycles in order to get 27 layers of butter. It's important that the dough and butter doesn't warm up otherwise it might start leaking out of the dough or mixing in to it - you want to maintain separate sheets of butter and dough. Therefore don't be afraid to put the dough back in the fridge to firm up during the process. For the first roll you're looking to make a rectangle 30 x 50cm.
7. With the short side closest to two visually divide the dough in to three, fold up 1/3 then fold the top 1/3 over the bottom. Place on a baking tray and chill for 20 mins
8. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll out to another rectangle and fold the dough as before. Place in the fridge to chill and then repeat the rolling and folding process for a third time. Rest the dough in the fridge again.
9. The dough is now ready to shape in to whatever you want to bake. You can store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 3 months.