In The Kitchen With: Lucy Parissi’s Quick Danishes

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I am very particular when it comes to pastries.  I love the buttery flakiness I find in Paris bakery treats, and often wish I could find the same here in Rome.  It was, until now, probably a gift from the heavens that I can’t find that same flaky buttery satisfaction here.  I say until now because food blogger, Lucy Parissi, has adapted a recipe by Beatrice Ojakangas for quick method danish pastry dough which means now I can make danishes and pastries at home!!   Lucy was concerned about the recipe looking a bit long, but it only appears so because she has been scrupulous in writing out the details so you won’t make a mistake.  She has only included the recipe for cream cheese filling, but you can experiment with so many different types of fillings.  This makes a large batch and freezes well, so you can keep a batch of dough in the freezer and bake up fresh pastry in the morning for a great breakfast treat.  So much for my healthy eating!! -Kristina

About Lucy Parissi: Lucy Parissi is a freelance book designer by day, obsessive baker by night and busy mother of two 24/7.  She started her blog, Supergolden Bakes in December 2012 after reading and cooking recipes from various food blogs for so long, they inspired her to start her own.  Initially, it was a way to document and share found recipes she made, but soon enough she  was developing her own
recipes and experimenting. The blog also gives her the chance to indulge her inner frustrated photographer and prop stylist.

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Click through to how easy it is to make danishes at home after the jump!

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Quick method Danish pastry dough

Makes 20-25 pastries depending on size

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk
1 sachet dry active yeast (about 1/2 tbsp)
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting and rolling)
1/2 cup white bread flour
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Use room temperature milk or heat it for a few seconds in a microwave until just barely warm. Add the sugar and yeast and whisk to combine. Let it stand for 4-5 minutes until the yeast is frothy, then add the egg and lightly whisk together. Set
    aside.
  2. Put your flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the cubed butter and briefly pulse a few times until mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs. Don’t overdo it – you should still be able to see chunks of butter about 1/2 inch in size.
  3. Put the flour mixture in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture. Gently combine using a spatula until the dough just comes together. You want the butter to remain in pea-sized pieces so don’t be too enthusiastic when mixing.
  4. Line your worktop with two large pieces of plastic wrap. Tip the dough onto the wrap and use it to squash the dough into a square. Put in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until firm but still pliable. Thoroughly dust your worktop and rolling pin with flour.
  5. Roll your dough out to a rectangle roughly three times as long as it is wide. Initially the dough may be quite brittle but it will come together as you roll and fold.Fold the short sides of the dough into the middle using a pastry scraper to help you. Rotate the dough by a quarter turn. Fold the short ends towards the center. Flip the dough over so the seams are underneath. Roll it out again repeating steps 5-7 at least four more times.
    The dough will become more elastic as you are rolling and folding it. If at any point the butter softens too much, cover and pop in the freezer to firm it before continuing with rolling and folding.Wrap the dough well with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or, ideally, overnight. You are now ready to use it.

Note: You can freeze the dough, well covered in plastic wrap, for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
To make the pastries

Danish pastries can be shaped in many creative ways. You can roll and cut them like a cinnamon bun, filling them simply with jam or caster sugar and cinnamon. You can cut them into squares and fold each corner into the center
placing filling in the middle. You can roll them the same way you would a croissant, twist them or make bearclaws – the possibilities are endless.

Fillings range from jam and fruit curds to pastry cream, almond paste, fruit, chocolate (or they can be savory) – you can let your imagination and taste buds lead the way. I am only giving one option here otherwise this already long recipe would never end…

Easy cream cheese filling

9 ounces cold full-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup caster sugar (use more or less to taste)
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon
juice
Zest of half a lemon

Method: Simply mix all the ingredients together with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Keep in the fridge until needed.

You will also need

Egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk (or cream) to glaze.  Apricot jam, warmed and sieved to glaze
Pearl sugar, nuts, fresh berries to top.

Method (for the cream cheese & jam pinwheels)

  1. Cut the dough in half and keep the piece you aren’t using in the fridge until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large tray with baking paper.  Dust the worktop and rolling pin with flour. Roll the
    dough out to 1/7 inch thick and trim the edges. You are now ready to shape it. The neater you keep the shapes the more regular and pretty the pastries will be.
  3. To create pinwheels, cut the dough into squares (about 3.5 inches) and make 2-inch cuts from the corner toward the center of each square. Fold every other point in towards the center. You can place filling either underneath or on top of the pinwheel centers. I used raspberry jam, cream cheese filling and blueberries.
  4. Transfer onto the baking tray, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush some egg wash over the pastries. Sprinkle with pearl sugar or nuts (if using) and bake for around 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden.

Cool on a wire rack and brush with sieved apricot jam if you want a high shine.

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Why Lucy loves this recipe

Laminated dough fascinates me but it is time consuming and somewhat tricky to make if you are a novice baker. This method (based on a recipe by baking goddess Beatrice Ojakangas) works along the same principle as rough puff pastry – it simplifies and significantly speeds up the process. You can use this dough to make fantastic Danish pastries which are amongst my favorite breakfast / brunch indulgences. You can even use this dough to make homemade Cronuts if you are feeling adventurous!

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Emily

I’m moving into a new place this week and can’t wait to break in my new kitchen with these!

Claire

How much is a stick of butter? Sorry based in the UK, but I have a cup measure.

Lucy Parissi

A stick of butter is 115g so you need 230g in the recipe. I think I will update my post with the UK measurements – have added a couple of new filling recipes on there (banana curd and easy pastry cream)

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