Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Friday, September 14, 2012

Danish Pastry Quick Method

I cut one of these in half and packaged in a clear cello bag tied with a ribbon
and gave as a gift...looked really nice.  The rest I cut down the middle lengthwise, then into smaller
pieces for easy eating.   
This is a great recipe.  If you have ever tried to make danishes before, you know it isn't always quick or easy.  This was very simple and the results were terrific. 
 **You do need to make the dough the day before and let it chill**
I did it that way like it suggested, you could try it right away if you want
but don't be disappointed if it doesn't turn out!

Posted by: Lisa

Much Requested Danish Pastry Recipe

1/4 cup warm water, 105*F. to 115*F.
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
Pour water into bowl; add yeast and let stand for 2-3 minutes until yeast foams. Add milk, egg, sugar and salt and whisk to mix; set aside.
Measure flour into food processor with metal blade in place. Cut butter into 1/4 inch thick slices and drop into flour. Pulse 8 to 10 times, until butter is cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Empty flour mixture into bowl with yeast and with rubber spatula, gently fold the two mixtures together just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t be too energetic! The butter must remain in pieces so that you will produce a flaky pastry, not a bread dough or cookie. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or up to 4 days to suit your schedule).
Lightly flour a work surface; turn dough out onto it, and dust dough with flour. Using the palms of your hands, pat dough into a rough square. Roll out to 16 inches on a side. Fold dough into thirds, like a business letter and turn it so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Roll out again, into a long narrow rectangle, about 10 inches wide by 24 inches long. Fold into thirds again. Roll out to make a 20-inch square. Fold square into thirds again to make a long, narrow rectangle. Then again, fold into thirds to make a square. (If at any point in this procedure the dough gets very soft, cover and chill it for 30 minutes or so.) Cover and chill the dough before final shaping. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for 4 days or wrap it air tight and keep it frozen for 1 month; thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

You can shape the pastry into either large coffeecakes and breads or into individual pastries. Here are a couple of my favorites:
1 recipe Basic Danish Pastry (Quick Method)
Butter Cream Filling
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup finely pulverized almonds
1 (3-ounce) package almond paste  ( I didn't have this, so I made my own...sooo good! recipe at end)
1 egg white
1 slightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk or water
Pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes for topping
Sliced or chopped almonds
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Cover baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide chilled dough into 2 parts. Roll out each part to make a rectangle 12 x 6-inches. Place strips on prepared baking sheets.

I filled with a fresh peach, cut up and dusted with cinnamon, and some frozen raspberries.
Blend all of the filling ingredients together and spread filling down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips at 3/4 inch intervals along both sides up toward the center using a fluted pastry wheel. Fold strips over filling in a crisscross manner.
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Let pastry rise for 30 minutes, just until puffy. Beat the egg with the milk or water and brush pastry.sprinkle with sugar and/or chopped almonds. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Mix icing ingredients and drizzle over the braids. Makes 2 braids
**as you can see from my finished picture, mine didn't stay together.  I really pinched them too.  Next time I will not cut strips up the sides.  I am going to try rolling the filling in, put the roll seam side down, and cut slits along to top side and see how that works out**
Almond Paste Recipe
source:  www.food.com 
8 ounces almonds, blanched and very finely ground (grind them twice)
8 ounces icing sugar
1 egg white

Grind your almonds.
In the second grinding add the sugar.
Gradually add your egg white working the mixture vigorously.
Use dough hook in mixer or knead on a pastry board.
The mixture should be firm& smooth when ready

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