Danish Pastry Dough
How To Bake - The Complete Guide To Perfect Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Tarts, Breads, Pizzas, Muffins, Sweet And Savory
Published by William Morrow
This dough is similar to both brioche aud croissant doughs, and is actually a combination of the two. The recipe is freely adapted from Wiener Süss-speisen. (Viennese Sweets) by Eduard Mayer.
STORAGE: Keep the dough refrigerated for 2 to 24 hours after preparing it. If you want to keep it longer, or use only part of the dough, freeze it. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for several hours, then remove it from the refrigerator, deflate it by pressing it gently with the palms of your hands, and cut off the amount you wish to freeze. Double-wrap that portion in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to several weeks. Defrost the frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight before using it.
HINT FOR SUCCESS: Refrigerate the dough any time that it becomes soft during the rolling and shaping. You will be more than compensated for the extra time by how much easier the dough will be to handle.
Be patient with the final rising. The chilled dough occasionally takes its time before it will begin to rise again. Be careful not to bake underrisen croissants-they will be tough and chewy.
Paint croissants with egg wash and bake them as soon as they are completely risen. If they rise too long, they may collapse when they are baked.
About3 pounds dough
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, sweet
Type of Dishyeast bread
- 1 cup milk
- 5 teaspoons (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
- 4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 14 ounces (3½ sticks) cold unsalted butter
For the dough, in a small saucepan over a low flame, heat the milk just until it feels warm, about 110 degrees. Pour it into a small bowl, and whisk in the yeast. Set aside.
Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse several times just to combine. Add the 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse 6 or 8 times, until the butter is absorbed and the mixture looks powdery. Add the eggs and yeast mixture and continue to pulse until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough refuses to form a ball, add up to 3 tablespoons of flour, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition.
To mix by hand, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir well to mix. Rub in the butter by hand, being careful to leave the mixture cool and powdery. Beat the eggs into the yeast mixture and add to the bowl. Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula until the dough forms.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (you may need the help of a scraper) and fold the dough over on itself 6 or 8 times. Sprinkle with up to 3 tablespoons more flour if the dough is very soft. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for from 1 to 8 hours.
To prepare the butter layer to be incorporated into the dough, scatter the flour on the work surface. Remove the butter from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and roll the butter in the flour to coat it. Pound the butter with a rolling pin, gently at first. Turn it often to keep it coated with flour. The butter should become soft and malleable, but not begin to melt. Press the butter occasionally with your fingertip to check its consistency—it should be cool and pliable. Flouring your hands with any flour left on the work surface (or up to 1 tablespoon additional flour), quickly knead the butter into a solid mass and set it aside for a moment. If the room is warm, refrigerate the butter.
Scrape off any bits of butter stuck to the work surface and flour it lightly. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn the dough out in one piece onto the surface using a rubber spatula. Make sure the dough does not fold over onto itself or it may become too elastic to roll. Lightly flour the top of the dough and, using the palm of one hand, press and pull it into a 6 × 12-inch rectangle.
Divide the softened butter into 8 fairly equal-sized pieces and press each quickly between the palms of your hands to flatten it. Distribute the flattened pieces of butter in a 6 × 9-inch rectangle over the bottom two thirds of the dough.
Fold the top (unbuttered) third of the dough down over the middle (buttered) third. Then fold the bottom (buttered) third up over the other layers to make a 5-layered package of dough and butter.
Position the dough on the work surface so that the fold is on your left. Lightly flour the work surface and dough and, with a rolling pin, press a series of horizontal lines in the dough to flatten it gently. You don’t want the butter to squeeze out the sides or the dough to become thinner at the edges, so when the dough is approximately ½ inch thick, roll it, without rolling over the edges, to make a 12 × 24-inch rectangle. Fold the two narrow ends of the dough to within ¼ inch of the middle, leaving a ½-inch space between their ends. Fold over again at the space to make 4 layers.
Repeat step 8. Loosely wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then slide it into a large plastic bag, to allow room for it to expand.
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