id you know that in 2015 (according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network SDSN) the citizens of Denmark were the happiest people in the world? Some would reasonably guess that Danish pastry is one of the reasons for all that happiness, since it originated in Denmark, would they? Well, although it sounds unlikely, they would be wrong! So, why in God’s name is it called Danish at all?
Danish Pastry Origin
In the 1850’s pastry manufacturers all over Denmark went on a long-term wage strike which forced bakery owners to hire workers from abroad. Among foreign workers, there were several Austrian bakers from Vienna, who brought their baking customs and recipes. Danish bakers adopted the Austrian recipes, adjusting them to their own taste and traditions by increasing the amount of eggs and butter (my kind of people). This resulted in what is now known as the “Danish pastry”. The Danes, on the other hand, call this pastry “Wienerbrød” or Viennese bread.
How to Make Danish Pastry
Danish pastry is a type of laminated dough, along with classic puff pastry and croissant pastry. The recipe calls for dry butter, which is butter with 84% fat. If you can’t find that kind of butter, look for at least 82% fat, it will be easier to work with that one. Now – as always, there are two sides of the same coin. The upside is – if you decide to make a large batch of Danish, you can portion and freeze it once done. Downside is in the fact that the whole process is a bit lengthy, so – arm yourself with patience! And here is the procedure:
- Put flour, salt and sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with hook attachment. Add yeast, cold milk and one egg and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes. Add softened butter and continue mixing for another couple of minutes, until you get a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in a plastic film and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Prepare the butter like for puff pastry, put it into a sheet of parchment paper and press it with rolling pin. Soften it, so it stays cold but manageable and shape it in the form of a square. The butter should be the same consistency as the dough.
- Roll the dough in the shape of the rectangle double the size of the butter square. Place the butter in the middle of the dough and fold the rest of the dough over the butter, so it covers the butter completely.
- Press the dough with rolling pin carefully and roll it slowly, so the butter spreads evenly inside the dough.
- Fold the dough in thirds (single turn), wrap it in plastic foil, and refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes. Roll the dough again maintaining the shape of regular rectangle, brush the excess flour and make one more turn.
- Cover the dough and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Repeat the procedure one more time. Danish pastry calls for total of three single turns.
- Now you have made Dansih pastry. Refrigerate it for about 30 minutes, and then you can roll it, cut it into desired shapes, and fill it as you like.
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!