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.

Use this Traditional Danish Dough for Traditional Cream Cheese and Jam Danish, Almond Pinwheels with Cream Cheese Filling, Apple Danish Braids, and Egg, Bacon, and Pecorino Danish.

3.3 from 3 reviews
Traditional Danish Dough
Makes enough dough for 24 small Danishes
  • 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
  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.

3.3 from 3 reviews
Butter Block
  • 1¾ cups (397grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  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.

Find a collection of recipes to showcase this danish dough in our Danish Delights roundup!

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  1. I sealed my edges when I folded the butter in, but when I rolled it the first time, I had a butter leak in two places. Is that okay? I patched up the little holes.

    • Hey Whitney,

      That should be fine! Small imperfections like that are to be expected. It will weaken your lamination, but as long as it isn’t oozing out in a steady stream, keep moving forward. It’ll still come out beautifully.

  2. I have attempted to make this dough and for me it did not work. How can you place a cold block of butter on the bottom 2/3 rds of the dough, fold it up and over itself? My butter broke and I could never get the butter incorporated into the dough. I’m sure it was operator error but I need to see how this could possibly be done correctly. Please help.

  3. Hi Whitney
    I made this recipie for my family for Christmas morning. I did the prep the day before and only needed to fill and cook them. Everyone loved them. The only issue I had was caused by not flouting the work surface well enough on the final rule. It caused an area on the bottom lamination. I covered it with flour and it was fine.
    The one suggestion I have is that it would be helpful to add the cook time and temperature. I had to look at other recipies to decide on how to cook them.

  4. I just found your recipe but FTER COMBINING THE BUTTER BLOCK AND DOUGH AND VARIOUS TURNINGS i FOUND NO FURTHER INSTRUCTION. Using the dough , baking temperatures and times. ? did I miss

  5. This recipe calls for lots of yeast. Is 24 g the right amount? it rises very quickly even when refrigerated and overnight.

    • Hi Jason,

      I’m so sorry the dough didn’t work for you. The recipe is consistent with what was published in our Fall 2016 issue. If you’re looking for a similar recipe that might yield a better outcome, I’ve linked our Better Baking Academy module for Apple Danishes here. Although they are delicious with the apples and honeyed filling, the topping and filling combinations are endless. If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Happy baking!

  6. Very nice dough. I haven’t had a problem with my butter block breaking as I choose to just pound out my butter instead of mixing it with flour first but that’s my opinion. This makes a decent sized batch considering all the work that has to be done so I definitely recommend


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