Breads, Rolls + Donuts

Danish Dough

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Danish dough

Easy Danish Dough
From my book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book (affiliate link)

Notes: The dough does need to rest overnight in the refrigerator, so plan accordingly. It’s important for the Danish dough to come to room temperature before you roll it out, or the butter will not incorporate correctly. This dough can be frozen, but doesn’t rise quite as nicely as when it’s fresh. If the dough is not used right away after being out and turned, it will puff up in the refrigerator. This will make it a little harder to roll out, but you will still have good results.

3/4 cup whole milk, warm (100-110F)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (355g) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick | 57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks | 170g) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

Grease a large bowl.

In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, yolks, and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low. Add the room temperature butter and mix on low until it is incorporated into the flour and no pieces are visible. Add the cold butter and mix on low, until it is broken down and smashed a bit, but still in 1/2-inch pieces. Add the milk mixture and mix on low until combined. The dough will be very sticky and there will be visible lumps of butter. Using a spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days.

The next morning, transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Knead 10-12 times, until the dough forms a ball. Cover the top lightly with flour and cover with a tea towel, let rest until it comes to room temperature. Pat the dough into a 6-inch square and roll into a 16 by 20-inch rectangle. If the dough sticks at all, sprinkle more flour underneath it. Brush any excess flour off the dough, and, using a bench scraper, fold the short ends of the dough over the middle to made three layers, similar to a business letter. This is the first turn.

Flip the dough over (seam side down) and roll into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. Fold the short ends over the middle, business letter style. Repeat the steps again, for a total of four turns.

On the last turn, gently use the rolling pin to compress the layers together slightly. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before using or keep refrigerated for 2 days.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 4:45 am

    Wow. This made an amazingly light, buttery pastry that was lightly sweet and a little yeasty. I was surprised by the instruction to roll out at room temperature because I’m used to rolling other buttery doughs, e.g. pie crust, very cold. When I followed this part of the recipe it felt scary and wrong and the first turn was kind of a mess, but on subsequent turns the dough started to come together and the everything worked as-written.

    I used instructions from a King Arthur Flour blog post (helpful and highly recommended) to shape, rise, and bake individual cheese danishes that were as pretty as something from a bakery and tasted even better. Will definitely make this again and may try the large filled braid or one of the bun recipes on this site.

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