Delish. Yummy. Dangerous. Addicting. Versatile. Easy. Not Simple. Quick for a Danish standard...from what Natashya says over at Living In The Kitchen with Puppies, which is where I came across this wonderful recipe.....but not fast by any means.
This is my first experience making a Danish and it really was fun! I have a lot to learn in the technique area, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? One day I'll look back at this post and cringe at my lack of something...form or handling.... but today...I'm proud. :)
I'm going to show you the steps and all my imperfections. Maybe you'll learn something. Or maybe you can teach me something....a tip? a trick? Either way, it's all good. All the way down to my rolly polly tummy.
I don't have the recipe for the Kumkwat Jelly....that was a gift from my adopted grandmother, Ruth, next door. I'll work on getting it if y'all are interested.
The night before....begin preparing your pastry.
Natashya says this recipe comes from Nigella Lawson...
Processor Danish Pastry
(filling recipe and printable link below)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk at room temp
1 large egg at room temp
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced...cold
In a measuring cup mix together the water and milk. Add the egg and beat with a fork to combine. Set aside.
Put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into your food processor. Pulse for a second to combine. Add the butter and pulse for a couple of seconds until the butter is cut into the flour mixture with visible chunks.
Pour the contents of the food processor into a large mixing bowl and pour the egg mixture into the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until just combined....you don't want to over do it.
It may not be pretty but I'm pretty sure those little chunks of butter are important. They have a special purpose....an important roll....in creating buttery, flakey pastry.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and store in your fridge overnight. (You can actually store it up to 4 days...but who has that kind of patience? I want my pastry NOW!)
After the longest night in history (aside from Christmas Eve)....remove the bowl from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Lightly flour your surface and dump the dough in the middle. roll the dough out to about 20 inches. I think that was a little too thin....next time I'm going to try 18 inches and see what happens.
Now...fold your dough the way you do a letter....into thirds....
Kinda wish it was more precise but I'm not all that good with this sort of thing and I was afraid to overwork the dough.
Next you're going to turn the dough so that the folded edge is on your left and roll it out to 20 inches again. Repeat this process 3 times.
Now I'm confused....do you do the whole process 3 times or 4 times? Let see....if you do it once...then repeat 3 times...that's a total of 4 times. Hmmm...I think I only did the whole process a total of 3 times but maybe it's suppose to be 4?
Cut the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. You can freeze the dough at this point for later use if you desire.
While the dough is chillin', make the filling:
Lemon Ricotta Filling for Danish
1 cup ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Combine all ingredients
Take your pastry (one sheet at a time...leaving the other sheet in the fridge). Unfold the pastry and roll it into a rectangle...not much.
Size isn't specified but since it's going to make 6 Danishes, I had the height 2/3rds the length. Then I cut it half, length wise and then into thirds height wise, so that I ended up with 6 squares. My squares were a bit of a mess so I trimmed them a bit
Those little squiggly pastry bits have a purpose.....stay tuned.
Fill each square with a wad of Lemon Ricotta Filling and dab a bit of your favorite jam on top
Fold up the corners. I only folded two opposite ends but you can do all 4 if you'd like. Pinch the corners together and place onto a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper (love that stuff!!!)
Brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk). Let them rise for about 1 1/2 hrs, or until they have doubled in size.
Get the other half of your pastry out of the fridge and make your second batch.
About an hour into the rise time, preheat your oven to 350'F.
Just before baking, check to see if you pinched the corners together enough....if they're being defiant....pinch them together again.
Place them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes....until nice and golden brown. I think I ended up having to bake them a few minutes longer...just keep an eye on them.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little. (plop your second batch into the oven)
As you can see...I'm not a good pincher. Several of them rebelled. Badly. Not that it affected the flavor...they just weren't all neat and pretty looking.
Mix together a little clear glaze....1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Brush the Danishes with the glaze to make them all pretty and shiny.
Ok, remember those pastry scraps? I rolled them in butter and smothered them in cinnamon and baked them into these lovely little cinnamon pastry fries...
This is my entry into Two for Tuesdays Real Food. I read about it over at Heathers... GirliChef. This is a while new thing....and from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong)...Real Food is about cooking / baking/ stuff that is not from processed foods. Heather explains it a lot better than I do...so head on over to her place and check it out.
It sounds like a lot of fun...and it's pretty much how I try to cook anyways....well...most of the time.