Danish Pastry 101

A light, sweet, flaky dough, with a variety of fillings, both sweet and salty, makes a sinfully delicious dessert or for breakfast, as a pick me up. Basic ingredients used are milk, yeast, eggs and butter. Even though the die hard baker would frown at the use of margarine as a substitute, I have used it with good results. Recipes for this scrumptious fare are found in most cookbooks. In this article I will be highlighting 10 things that you need to know about Danish pastry.

1) Basic Ingredients: flour, eggs, yeast, butter.

2) Dough must be kept cold while making the pastry, a few minutes in the freezer works wonders.

3) Work in an air conditioned kitchen, especially during summer months. This dough does not like to sweat.

4) Ingredients should be carefully measured and in the correct proportions. Even for freestyle cook like myself, I find if I don’t adhere to the instructions carefully, my dough suffers.

5) Shapes, shapes, shapes. Danish pastry comes in numerous shapes; pinwheels, turnover, envelopes, spirals and pockets are just a few.

6) Fillings: apples, cheese, streusel, fruits galore, cream cheese. It is at this stage that you can use your imagination.

7) Roll, butter and fold. Roll, butter, chill and fold. Roll, butter, chill, fold shape, fill, bake and enjoy.

8) Layering dough with butter, makes the dough separate into soft flakes and makes it moist.

9) Keep unbaked pastry frozen for no more than a week.

10) Danish pastry dough should be made no more than 2 days prior to use.

While this pastry was originally associated with Denmark, it is a popular favorite today in many countries, of course with interesting and unique variances.

It is perhaps the most universally recognized and loved dessert.

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