I love pastry week. I’m not that good at it, but I sure do love eating it. This week, after hearing the different challenges on offer, I decided to make some Danish pastries. Basically, the thought process went like this:
Me: Did they say Danishes? I love eating Danishes!
Sam: Do you not want to see what else they…
Thus the Danish process began. But since I’m not under actual time constraints and just baking along for fun, I decided to take it easy and whilst making my dough from scratch like the contestants, give myself a bit of time. I made my dough and laminated it, then let it rise in the fridge overnight before forming and baking the Danishes the next day. I wanted to give myself an overnight buffer because my experience laminating dough to make croissants was stressful.
And oh how good they were. They were definitely one of my favourite things that I’ve ever baked. I just couldn’t get enough of them. I chose to make both cherry and blackberry versions. Cherry was my favourite, which worked out perfectly because Sam liked the blackberry better. Now, though my bake tasted A+ (is it okay to say that about yourself?) I didn’t win star baker. Mary said they were a bit “informal”.
- 250 g unsalted butter (cold)
- 2 2/3 cups of flour
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons (1 packet) of yeast
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of warm water
- 1 large cup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 240 g of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 62 g of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- berries (of choice - I used blackberries and cherries)
- 1 egg, beaten
- splash of milk
- Reserve a tablespoon of butter. Slice your butter into 4 even sections. Rectangular shapes are preferable. Pop your butter blocks onto some greaseproof paper and pound them with a rolling pin until they are flat. Then refrigerate them for about 10 minutes.
- Whist your butter is in the fridge, make the rest of your dough. In a large bowl, mix together your flour, salt, sugar and yeast. (Keeping the salt and yeast apart.) In another bowl, combine your milk, vanilla, egg and water. Stir your liquids together. Cut the reserved butter into your flour and grind it in with the tips of your fingers. Slowly pour in and incorporate your liquids into your mix. Once it's mostly brought together, tip your dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes.
- Then roll your dough out until a rectangle, with the width roughly matching the width of your butter squares. Place one butter square on the dough, then cover it by folding the dough over top. Repeating that process until you've used all your butter. Roll the dough out until it's about 1/2 inch thick, the fold it in thirds like a letter. Rotate your dough 90 degrees and roll it out again, then folding it like a letter again. The wrap your dough in plastic and refridgerate for at least an hour. (I did mine over night.)
- The next day I made my filling. It's simple, you just stir all your ingredients together until they are smooth. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Then you get your dough out of the fridge, roll it out and divide it into 12 equal squares. Spread a little circle of cream cheese into the centre of each square. Push in some berries.
- Beat your egg and a splash of milk, then brush the top of your pastries with your eggy mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown.
Look at the difference a night in the fridge can cause! Mary decided my bakes were too informal. This week, Ala has the pleasure of announcing the Batter week winner, so head on over to her blog to see who takes the cake (metaphorically)
Link up your Pastry Week bakes below!