Monday, June 2, 2014

Danish Pastry


Danish Pastry


2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (105 to 115F)
2 ½ (4-oz size) bars butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
3 eggs
4¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom


1.                  Sprinkle yeast over warm water in large bowl; stir until dissolved
2.                  Cut each bar of butter into 4 lengthwise strips.  On a sheet of foil, arrange strips close together in a single layer, to form a rectangle.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
3.                  Stir ¼ cup sugar, the milk, and 2 eggs (slightly beaten) into yeast mixture.  With wooden spoon, gradually beat in flour, then cardamom.
4.                  Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead 3 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.  Lightly flour board as necessary.
5.                  Roll out dough into a 15 inch square.  On half of dough, place chilled butter strips to within 1 inch of edges.  Fold other half over butter; press edges together, to seal.
6.                  With folded side of dough at left, quickly roll out lengthwise into a 24-by-8-inch rectangle.  From short side, fold into thirds.  Repeat rolling and folding twice.  (If butter should show through dough, sprinkle with a little flour.) Refrigerate, in foil, 30 minutes.
7.                  The roll and fold pastry 3 times, as above.  Wrap in foil; refrigerate 30 minutes.
8.                  Then again roll and fold pastry 3 times, as above.  Wrap in foil; refrigerate 30 minutes.
9.                  Roll out half of dough into a 15-by-7-inch rectangle (other half in refrigerator).  Place in lightly greased 15-by-10-by1-inch jelly-roll pan.
10.              Down 2 long sides, make parallel cuts 2½ inches long and ¾ inch apart.  Spread uncut portion with ⅓ cup Prune Filling.
11.              Combine remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash.
12.              For a braidlike effect, fold cut strips at an angle across filling, alternating from side to side; fasten with a little egg wash.  Lightly brush top of pastry with egg wash.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar.
13.              Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours – pastry will then be risen and light.
14.              Meanwhile, repeat with other half.
15.              Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake pastry 25 to 30 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Cool slightly on wire rack.  Serve warm.  Cut each pastry crosswise into 15 (1-inch) pieces.
Note:  Baked pastry may be cooled completely, then freezer-wrapped and frozen.  To serve, reheat unthawed pastry in jelly-roll pan, at 325F, for 10 minutes.  Cut into 15 pieces.

Prune Filling

¾ cup dried prunes, firmly packed
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash salt
¼ cup slivered blanched almonds


1.                  Cover prunes with cold water in small saucepan; bring to boiling.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
2.                  Drain prunes, reserving 3 tablespoons liquid.  Cool; pit and chop finely.
3.                  Combine chopped prunes, prune liquid, sugar, and cardamom in small saucepan; cook, stirring, 5 minutes, or until mixture is a thick purée.  Add vanilla and salt.  Let cool.
4.                  Makes ⅔ cup

Recipe was taken from McCall CookBook, the chapter on “Yeast Breads”, “Coffeecakes” page 101 edition of between 1950 – 1960s. 

Danish Pastry was made and prepared by Shirley-Ann Pearman

Photography by Shirley-Ann Pearman

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