Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Danish Pastry

Danish Pastry is a Christmas tradition from my Mom. We were able to go visit for New Year's this year and she surprised me with my very own pastry! It was fabulous.

3 TB yeast
3/4 cup warm water
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup margarine (1/2 a cube)
1 cup milk
2 TB sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup cold margarine (2 1/2 cubes)

1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 TB almond extract

1 whipped egg
1 TB sugar
3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 egg white, whipped
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt

For dough, combine yeast and water and set aside. Mix flour and 1/4 cup margarine together until crumbly. Make a well in the flour and add yeast mixture, milk, sugar and eggs. Mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out onto a floured surface into an 18"x12" rectangle.

Slice remaining 1 1/4 cup cold margarine (do not sub butter) into thin slices and lay on 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving 1/3 of the dough blank to lay over the top. Fold into thirds starting with the blank side folding onto the middle piece. Fold again into thirds starting at the top open fold and folding up the bottom. Carefully roll out into a 18x12 rectangle again. Repeat 3 times or until the margarine is worked into the dough. On the last time, roll into an 18x18 rectangle and cut into three equal pieces of 18x6.

Place 2 of the pieces in the fridge. With the remaining piece, cut 1" slits on both sides of the rectangle, leaving the center for filling. Mix Filling ingredients together and spread down the middle. Sprinkle with additional sliced almonds or raisins if desired. Braid dough, folding under at the bottom.

Put into greased pan shaped as a half moon and let rise 1/2 an hour (while you repeat with the other two sections of dough). For Topping, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, toss on almonds and bake at 400' for 1 minute. Then turn down to 350' and bake an additional 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Mix together frosting and drip on pastry while warm.

Other Filling ideas:
Cream cheese: 16 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 TB lemon juice
Vanilla cream: 2 1/2 TB sugar, 2 TB cornstarch; stir in 1 yolk, then beat in 1 cup milk. Cook over double boiler 10 minutes or until thick, then cook without stirring 5 min longer. Pour into small bowl, add 1 tsp vanilla and cool.

What a lot of work! Thank you Mom for such a fabulous treat :)

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