Danish Dough

This simple Danish recipe is a great way to get started with laminated doughs. This one, in particular, requires only a couple of days to complete. The most important thing to remember is that pastry can smell fear. Be confident! You are the boss! Now, go own this dough.

Traditional Danish Dough
 
Makes enough dough for 24 small Danishes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (105°F to 110°F)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (24 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups (563 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, place warm milk; sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat flour, sugar, butter, zest, and salt at low speed until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add yeast mixture and eggs, beating just until combined.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 2 to 3 times until a smooth ball forms. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Butter Block
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups (397grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, flour, and salt until creamy and well combined, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. On a piece of plastic wrap, shape butter mixture into a 12x10-inch rectangle. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, keeping edges as straight as possible. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

To Laminate Dough: 

Remove dough and butter block from refrigerator, and let stand until butter is pliable, about 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18×10-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter block, and place it on bottom two-thirds of dough. Fold dough into thirds, letter-style, and roll out again. Turn dough 90 degrees, and fold into thirds again, letter-style. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat this rolling and folding process two more times, refrigerating for at least 1 hour between turns. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

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