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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Monday, June 20, 2005

Food Processor Danish Pastry



Ok, so whoa!, not the most pretty photograph there. But that's my half batch (plus a bit) of Danish pastry made in the food processor, in its frozen state. This is what I used for the base (lid?) of my tarte tatin in the previous post, as suggested in Nigella's Domestic Goddess. In a previous life, not that long ago, I would never have considered making my own pastry, let alone pastry that used yeast in it....or a Danish pastry! See how I've grown! My second foray into yeast cookery, and I'm intact. Granted, there was no kneading or proofing involved in this recipe, but baby steps, ok. Baby steps.
This was the best pastry I've ever tasted, in its raw state. I know there's just something so wrong about plucking off blobs of raw pastry pebbled with chunks of cold butter, but man that yeasty, slightly sweet flavour was good.
And a word on butter content. This recipe uses a whole block (250g in Australia), which yes, is a lot. However, most recipes require a half batch - so 125g butter. Now, most of those recipes make something that creates about 8 slices or 6 portions, so your butter content in your portioned bit of pastry is about 15 to 20 grams.That's about a tablespoon. Not so much, is it? Most people would have about that on 2 pieces of toast. So, rather than having conniptions about the butter involved in this pastry, just forego your morning toast or lunchtime sandwich with butter. And enjoy something truly delicious. Pastry made with real butter has to be better for your than the spooky stuff they put in commercial and frozen pastry. For more interesting info on how butter can be good for your health, check out this great post on Cooking For Engineers (scroll down)
I couldn't quite tell if this was really superlative pastry in my tarte tatin, as the flavour of the apples and caramel was so strong, but I plan to use this half batch to make some almond danishes for my mum's birthday in a few weeks, so I'll get back to you on that. It was definitely better than my usual sheet of frozen puff pastry, though!
Read on for the recipe:


Food Processor Danish Pastry
60ml warm water
125ml milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
250g white bread flour
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
25g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
Pour the water and milk into a measuring jug and add the egg, beating with a fork to mix. Put aside. Put flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor and give a quick whizz, just to mix. Add the cold slices of butter and process briefly so that the butter is cut up a little, though you still want visitble chunks of at least 1cm. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and quickly add the contents of the jug. Fold the ingredients together, but don't overdo it; expect to have a gooey mess with some butter lumps pebbled through it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the frige and leave overnight or a few days.
To turn it into pastry, take it out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature and roll it out to a 50x50cm square. Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterwards so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book. Roll out again to a 50cm square, repeating the steps above 3 times. Cut in half, wrap both pieces and store in the fridge for 30 minutes before using, or the freezer to store.


10 Comments:

  • Thanks for posting the recipe, Niki. Does Nigella mention anything about freezing this dough? That really would make it easier than the pre-frozen stuff.

    By Blogger Nic, at 6/20/2005 11:16:00 pm  

  • Thank you!

    I usually have some puff pastry in the freezer, but of course I'd rather make my own.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 6/21/2005 01:11:00 am  

  • Hi Nic - Yes, Nigella recommended freezing portions of it to use at a later date, especially as the recipe yields a double quantity for her recipes that use it. Useful to have in the freezer!

    Stephanie - yes, this is dead easy, and tastes yummy too.

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/21/2005 11:08:00 am  

  • Hmmmmm! This looks like a keeper! Great idea to keep a batch handy in the freezer---Love the ease of the recipe!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 6/29/2005 09:42:00 pm  

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