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Danish pastry - base recipe - danish pastry bar

Video recipe - Danish pastry is well known and well loved all over the world. And it is very good. But you can actually make your own danish that has an even higher quality that the one you can get from danish bakers. My father in law who is a skilled baker gave me this recipe. I have changed a few things in it though. His version used a special "folding margarine" I have replaced that with real butter, and that does wonder for the taste. But no matter what, it is difficult get a better cake than danish pastry. Which we incidently call "viennese bread" in Denmark :-S

Danish pastry - base recipe - danish pastry bar

Danish pastry and a cup of cake.

Ingredients

(3 bars or 16 pieces)

Pastry dough

  • 13.5 oz (375 grams) flour
  • 7 oz (200 grams) milk, cold
  • 1 oz (25 grams) of fresh yeast or 0.3 oz (8 grams) of instant yeast. I believe that to be about a tablespoon full.
  • 1½ oz (40 grams) of sugar
  • 2 oz (50 grams) butter
  • 1 egg

Folding butter / lamination butter

  •  14 oz (375 grams) butter (1 part butter to 2 parts dough (I did not say it was healthy ...)) 

Remonce 

Egg wash

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water, mølk or cream whipped with egg
  • ½ cup sugar

Directions 

Remonce part #1

Mix all the ingredients for the remonce and put it aside.

 

The dough 

Take the butter for the dough out of the fridge in good time so that it becomes soft. Or buzz it for 10-20 seconds in the microwave.

Hand kneading

Mix milk, yeast, sugar, egg and butter.

Add the flour while mixing with a spatula or your hands. Knead it for 3-4 minutes until it hangs together well and there are no dry lumps.

It is a relatively wet dough that will stick to your fingers, so it is easiest to do it in a machine. 

Machine kneading

Mix all the ingredients except butter and flour.

Add 2/3 of the flour.

Add the soft butter.

When it is well incorporated into the mix add the rest of the flour

Put plenty of flour on your table to prevent the dough from sticking.

Form the dough into a ball by folding it into itself from below.

Put aside and let it rise to twice the size. ½ -1 hour.


Making the folding layers / laminating the dough

Put plenty of flour on the table.


Work the butter soft by continuing the below cycle

BUTTER CYCLE START

Collect all the butter into a single lump.

Flour the butter generously.

Knock it flat with your rolling pin.

BUTTER CYCLE END

Stop when the butter has the same consistency as the dough. They are to be folded together later, which is a lot easier when that do have the same consistency.


Folding of the layers

But the dough back on the floured and roll our four flaps. One from each corner.

Each flap must be the same length. And the same length as the center square.

Shape the butter lightly until it is of the same size as the middle piece.

Put the butter in the middle of the dough and fold the four flaps over the butter until it is totally enclosed.

Turn over the dough so that the flaps are against the table.

Loosely flatten the dough with your hands.

DOUGH CYCLE START

Roll the dough into a long rectangle, 1 length wide and 3 lengths long.

Fold it into 3 layers. A so-called "3 fold".

Repeat it all two more times.

DOUGH CYCLE START

So in total it is folded: 

  1. fold (3 layers of butter)
  2. fold (9 layers butter)
  3. fold (27 layers of butter)

 

If the dough is very eleastic and continues to spring back when you roll it out, you should let it rest a cool place for 5-20 minutes between each fold. Depending on what is needed. That will make it a lot easier to work with.

If your kitchen is hot you should let the dough rest in the fridge, to prevent it from rising too much.

 

Final rollout

Roll out the dough to a size of 16" x 16" (40cm x 40cm). It is important to be reasonably accurate. Use some kind of measurement device.

Cut the dough into 3 strips.

 

Shaping the bars


Remonce part #2 

Split the remoncen into 3 equal portions of  2 ounces (50 grams).

Put the remoce in the center of each strip. I usually hold it in my fist and then put it on with my thumb and forefinger. A little at a time.

Stop the remonce before you reach the end of the strip.

Final shaping

Fold the ends of the strip over remoncen.

Then fold the sides of the dough over the remonce.

Press down the dough firmly with the edge of your hand. Almost through to the table.

 

Brush the shaped bars with the egg wash and sprinkle liberally with sugar.

Let the bars rise to about double size. ½ -1 hour.

You can let the dough rise at room temperature. But if the temperature is high enough to melt the butter, you should put in the fridge part of the time. Otherwise the butter layers will disappear into the dough and you will get no laminiation. And that is boring!

So you should not use any "tricks" with heat to let the dough rise faster.

 

Convection oven: bake at 356°F (180° C) for 25-30 minutes.

Normal oven: bake at 390°F (200° C) for 25-30 minutes.

Danish pastry bars
Danish pastry bars

Notes

If the rolling butter is too soft or too warm when you do the folding you will push it out through the dough.

If the butter is to hard it will poke holes in the dough.

If either happens you should put on plenty of flour on the broken spot an continue rolling and folding. Then cool or rest as needed.

The mistake that is most often made when folding danish pastry is to roll it to hard, so that the butter is pressed into the dough. That will destroy the laminiation, and you will not get those flaky layers.

Document Actions

Thanks!

Posted by Anonymous User at Sep 16, 2013 02:17 AM
Thank you for sharing your recipe for making Danish! I just have one question...What did you use for the icing? Thanks again!
Lynsi

Thanks!

Posted by maxm at Sep 16, 2013 11:12 AM
That is just ordinary icing sugar and water.

filling options

Posted by Anonymous User at Oct 01, 2013 03:56 AM
What do you suggest for alterative fillig, such as a cream cheese/fruit fillig? This is a wonderful turtorial, thank you!

filling options

Posted by maxm at Oct 04, 2013 06:47 AM
Custard, A thick apple sauce. Prune marmalade and Orange marmalade. Those are the typical danish fillings.

I believe that creme cheese with glazing sugar is more of a German thing.

gratitude

Posted by Anonymous User at Oct 11, 2013 02:19 AM
Thank you! You're a wonderful teacher :) My ssecond batch is in the oven now! I filled one with my own cantaloupe chipotle jam. It was so good my guy loved and instantly wanted more. One quick question, is it possible to fold in to many layers? If so, what happens if you do?

gratitude

Posted by maxm at Oct 16, 2013 08:34 AM
Thanks. If you fold too many layers you will get poor separation. That will make it turn into "normal" dough that does not flake. It still taste good, but the consistency will be of.

different flours

Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 25, 2014 06:25 PM
What kind of flour do you use? I have bread flour, cake flour and all purpose flour on hand.
Thanks

different flours

Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 27, 2014 11:04 AM
We don't have similar flour types here in Denmark, so it is hard to say. But it typically has 8%-12% protein content.

The bread should not rise much, so my guess is that all purpose flour will be fine.

different flours

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 10, 2014 02:18 PM
Hi I am in the utmost admiration of this recipe, I've played with dannish before but never so good, I personally find '00 grade' flour the best (the stuff you use to make pasta) as it makes the crispest layers... Hope that helps :)

different flours

Posted by Anonymous User at Mar 30, 2014 04:35 AM
I used all purpose and they turned out wonderfully...will try bread flour though to see the difference...

Absolutely wonderful!

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 09, 2014 02:28 PM
Thanks Max for a great tutorial.
I followed it a couple of days ago, and it's definitely one of the best pastries I've ever made - Delicious!!

Assaf

Absolutely wonderful!

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 09, 2014 02:31 PM
thanks :-) max

Absolutely wonderful!

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 09, 2014 02:36 PM
Oh, and one more comment:

I made the marzipan myself and used it for the filling without mixing it with butter and sugar (as in the remonce recipe). The result is a bit less cholesterol and sugar (for those of you who like it only a little bit sweet)

Danish pastries

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 13, 2014 10:29 PM
Hi there

Love your recipe, video and the way the method is explained. Will definitely shop for the best marzipan. By the way, your mix master looked incredible. Is that available for purchase in Australia????

Danish pastries

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 14, 2014 10:52 AM
Thanks. I have no idea about the mixer. It is called an "Assistent" or "Assistent Original" so you can probably google for australian results.

freezing?

Posted by Anonymous User at Mar 08, 2014 09:35 PM
going on a boat trip was wondering if I could bake and then freeze?

freezing?

Posted by Anonymous User at Mar 09, 2014 09:27 PM
They will become more crumbly That way. It would be better to freeze before baking, and then putting them in the oven directly from frozen.

But i guess not many boats has an oven :-)

- max

Butter Amount

Posted by Anonymous User at Mar 30, 2014 04:34 AM
I went by the recipe, and I have to say that 14 oz of butter is more than my taste allows for...this is a great recipe, but go with your instinct on the amount of butter for the folding. Thank you.

Photograph

Posted by Anonymous User at Apr 02, 2014 08:46 AM
Dear Sir, I live in India and made marzipan as per your recipe. It was awesome, although we could not find wild almond anywhere. Yet it tastes better than any marzipan available in cake shops. I look forward to make danish pastry, but it is difficult indeed :) . Two things are very irritating: first, here in India, you well not get good quality of butter ; and secondly, the temperature - sometimes it reaches 45 degree C . But winter is relatively pleasant. I shall try to make it in winter.
Sir, please change the caption of the first photograph of the Danish Pastry Base Recipe. There you showed pastry and coffee, but in caption you wrote pastry and a cup of cake !!! Initially I though it must be a special kind of chocolate cake, but I scrutinized the photograph and understood it was nothing but a cup of black coffee :)

About temperature

Posted by Anonymous User at Aug 28, 2014 04:35 PM
Hello India!

If the temperature is high, you can let the dough rise in the refrigerator instead. The yeast will just need a lot more time to do its work. Maybe overnight (12-14 hours) will do it? I have experience with slow-rising dough for bread in the fridge, but not this kind of dough. I uggest to let it rest a bit longer than needed to be on the safe side, this will make a better result (and taste) than letting it rest for to short.

Danish pastry bar

Posted by Anonymous User at May 12, 2014 01:04 PM
Excellent, my wife is from Lithuania and she said that she loved it. We like the Danish method I am going to make the Danish pastry again it is flakey, buttery and so delicious she almost didn't believe that I made it! Thanks for sharing.

All The Best,
Cre Lombardi

Baking question

Posted by Anonymous User at Jun 14, 2014 01:56 PM
Max,
I love your site! My mother is Danish and I have eaten all these foods. Do you have a good recipe for Sportskage from La Glacé.

Baking question

Posted by Anonymous User at Jun 17, 2014 11:35 AM
Thank you. The original recipe is available many places online, just google:

"Sportskage fra La Glace opskrift"

www .dr.dk/Mad/opskrifter/spise-med-price/sportskage-fra-LaGlace.htm

Google translate will get you most of the way I think.

flour/butter ratio red flag

Posted by Anonymous User at Aug 21, 2014 02:47 PM
Hello,
Looks like a great recipe, but I am a little confused. How is it possible to use 375 grams of flour for the dough and 375 grams for the folding butter? Wouldn't that make it way to sticky, even if you flour the butter before incorporating it into the dough?
I hope to hear from you soon, because I had planned on making it tomorrow and would like to get the correct proportions before diving in. Thanks, MELISSA

flour/butter ratio red flag

Posted by maxm at Aug 22, 2014 11:10 AM
No. The recipe is correct.

I have an article about it called "Bread Baking Technique #10 - The technique behind laminated dough used for pastry, puff pastry, croissant, etc."

I have added it to the links right below this recipe now. It goes into more details about variations on the retio of dough to butter.
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