Basic Danish Pastry Recipe (Quick Method)
1/4 C. warm water, 105 to 115°F.
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 C. milk, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/2 C. flour
1 C. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
Pour water into bowl; add yeast and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes until yeast
foams. Add milk, egg, sugar and salt and whisk to mix; set aside.
Measure flour into food processor. Cut butter into 1/4 inch thick slices and drop
into flour. Pulse 8 to 10 times. 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).
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 a
square 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. Store the dough in the
refrigerator for 4 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 month;
thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.
Filling for Coffeecake
Butter Cream Filling:
1/4 C. soft butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 t. almond extract
1 C. finely pulverized almonds
1 (3-oz.) pkg. almond paste
1 egg white
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 T. milk or water
Pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes for topping
Sliced or chopped almonds, optional
1 C. powdered sugar
2 to 3 t. warm water
1/2 t. almond extract
Cover baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide chilled dough into 2 parts.
Roll out each part to make a 12-by 6-inch rectangle. Place strips on prepared
baking sheets. Blend together butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon almond
extract, 1 cup pulverized almonds, almond paste and egg white and spread filling
down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips at ¾-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 degrees.
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 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 to
3 teaspoons warm water and ½ teaspoon almond extract; drizzle icing over the
Makes 2 Braids.