Easy Like Sunday Mornings
February 25, 2007
After our baking group adventures into rich dark and buttery flourless chocolate, I wanted to take it easy...which for me means making dough and kneading bread. I prepared a Danish dough last night and assembled them this morning while a couple of brioche were taking it easy rising on the countertop.
You could say that there is nothing grand about a danish but if you ever had one fresh right out of the oven I know you would disagree (unless you dislike them of course). That buttery and flaky goodness, topped off by a dollop of cream cheese, jam or frosting...Mmmm!
That's how I like my morning: sweet, soft and looking like a pillow.
I thought about using my usual Danish dough, but I had bookmarked another one weeks ago so it was great timing to give it a try. If you have not visited Gattina's blog yet, go...no run...move those little fingers across the keyboard fast and enjoy...The girl knows her dough!
This particular version attracted me because of the way the butter is incorporated, not as a block and then tucked it, but dispersed throughout the dough. Hey! I said I like my sunday mornings easy, didn't I?!
Rapsberry Danish, adapted from Gatttina's:
(Recipe courtesy Beatrice Ojakangas's The Great Scandinavian Baking Book )
Yield: 24 servings
14 g active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
330 g chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 slices. (about 3 sticks)
1/2 cup heavy/double cream
2 pinches of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup to 1 cup raspberry jam or preserve
Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in cream, salt, eggs and sugar .
In a large mixing bowl, add flour and sliced butter, use a pastry blender to further cut the butter to the size of kidney beans
Add the yeast mixture into flour mixture, combine carefully with a big rubber spatula, the mass is just moistened enough and hold together. Cover, refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Lightly flour the work table, turn out the chilled dough, pound and flatten to make a 16 - 20 inch square. Fold into thirds making 3 layers. Turn dough around and roll out again. Fold from the short sides into thirds.
Rest in refrigerator for half an hour, repeat folding and rolling one more time. Wrap and chill the dough 30 minutes or overnight before you proceed pastry making.
Cut the dough in half and working one portion at a time (refrigerate the unused one in the meantime), roll the dough to make a 12X9inch rectangle. Cut out 3 inch squares. Fold the corners of each square toward the center and make an indentation with the back of a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes.
Before putting them in the oven preheated at 375, brush with eggwash (egg beaten with a dab of milk) and fill the centers with jam (or cream cheese,...)
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Ice if desired with a mixture of owdered sugar dissolved in milk.
As I said: Mmmmm! No icing necessary!