When I made my first danish pastry dough, I really messed it up. I made the dough which turned out awful. Because I make a lot of bread, I left the dough in a warm place for 1 hour. That was my first mistake.
- Leave the dough to rest in the fridge.
The next step was to flatten the butter out with a rolling pin and place on to 2/3 of the rolled out dough. My next mistake was using softened butter and trying to flatten it with a rolling pin – the butter squidged everywhere and when I put into my dough, it was squirting out the sides of the dough.
- Now I used cold butter and I slice it instead of belting it. I place the butter on the dough as if doing a jigsaw puzzle.
My third mistake, I wasn’t leaving the dough long enough in the fridge (15 minutes) in between turns and worse still I tried to make my pastries straight away.
- Leave the dough in the fridge for 1hr between turns. After your 3rd turn leave for at least 8 hrs. I now make my dough early evening and then leave overnight.
Some people say, to save the hassle, buy the dough from the supermarket. I can guarantee, once you have made the dough yourself you will never buy shop bought again.
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
– 2 medium eggs, 1 whole, 1 yolk.
– 125ml tepid full-fat milk
– 250g chilled unsalted butter.
1. Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the eggs, water and milk and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for 6 minutes.
2. Tip the flour out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Dust with flour, put into a clean plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your chilled dough to a rectangle, about 50 x 20cm and about 1cm thick. Slice the butter thinly, lay the butter on the dough so that it covers the bottom two-thirds of it. Make sure that it is positioned neatly and comes almost to the edges.
4. Fold the exposed dough at the top down one-third of the butter. Now gently cut off the exposed bit of butter, without going through the dough, and put it on the top of the dough you have just folded down. Fold the bottom half of the dough up. You will now have a sandwich of two layers of butter and three of dough. Pinch the edges lightly to seal in the butter. Put the dough back in the plastic bag (I use cling film) and chill for an hour to harden butter.
5. Take the dough out of the bag and put it on the lightly floured surface with the short end towards you. Now roll it out to a rectangle, about 50 x 20cm, as before. This time fold up one-third of the dough and then fold the top third down on top. This is called a single turn. Put the dough back in the plastic bag and chill for another hour. Repeat this stage twice more, putting the dough back into the fridge between turns.
6. Your dough now needs to be left in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight, to rest and rise slightly. It is then ready to use.