I can’t believe that in the same month I have been moaning about the grey and miserable bank holiday, and basking in glorious sunshine, this weather is crazy! My weekend was appropriately filled with BBQ’s and ice creams, and a mammoth baking sesh.
This weekend, I attempted pastry. Proper pastry. 5 hours in the making pastry. I warn you, you will need literally a whole day free to attempt these!
I was really pretty pleased with how they turned out. They are puffy and flaky and quite a lot like proper danish pastries! The recipe is from “The Professional Pastry Chef”, and so produces professional-size results. The original recipe would have made 30 pastries, which I reduced to 20.Ingredients, Makes 20 For the Dough 210ml cold whole milk 2 eggs 415g cold margarine (I used Stork) 15g quick yeast 25g granulated sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 415g bread flour For the Streusel topping 55g light brown sugar 55g granulated sugar 100g unsalted butter 3g ground cinnamon 1tsp salt 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 170g bread flour egg wash (egg and milk) 100g cinnamon sugar glace icing (icing sugar and water)
Mix the milk and eggs, then refrigerate the mixture, and the flour, for at least 1 hour before making the dough.
Shape the margarine into a 5 inch/12.5cm square. Place in the fridge so it will be firm when the dough is ready.
Stir the sugar, salt and cardamom into the egg and milk mixture. Mix the quick yeast into the flour. In a large bowl, mix together the milk and egg mixture and most of the flour, saving about a handful. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, sticky dough. (Use enough flour so it just starts to form a ball, it’s fine that it is still sticking to your fingers and the bowl though!)
Place the dough on a floured table and shape it into a 7 inch/17.5cm square. Place the chilled margarine square diagonally on the dough so that 4 dough triangles are showing. Fold in the triangles toward the centre and pinch them together to seal in the margarine.
Roll the dough as carefully and evenly as possible into a rectangle measuring 12 x 8inch/30 x 20cm. Use plenty of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the table and the rolling pin.
Give the dough a single turn. This means to fold a third of the dough in towards the centre, long ways, and then to fold the remaining third over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough to the same size as before and make 3 additional single turns, resting the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes between each.
Roll out the dough to about 1.2cm think, cover with cling film, and place in the fridge again for another 30 minutes.
To make the topping:
Mix all the ingredients except the flour together, then stir in the flour. It should resemble crumble topping and not come together. If it does come together, use more flour.
When the dough is ready, roll the dough into a rectangle measuring 60 x 35cm and approximately 6mm thick (the thickness is more important). If necessary, trim the edges of the strip to make them even.
Brush the entire surface of the dough with a generous egg wash. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough.
Fold the long sides in to meet in the centre. Brush again with egg wash, then fold in half in the same direction (double turn). Even the top by gently rolling with a rolling pin.
Cut the folded strip into pieces 3/4 inch/2cm wide and use the knife to turn the cut side up.
Brush the top sides with egg wash and sprinkle the streusel topping over them. Press the streusel with the palm of your hand to keep it in place.
Carefully place the pieces on baking trays lined with baking paper and put in a warm place to rise until just under doubled in size (about 15 -30 mins).
Bake until golden brown, about 12 – 15 minutes. Let the pastries cool completely, then drizzle or pipe the glace icing over them.