Danish Pastry Recipe

Sarah Wiley, eggersmann nyc designer, not only designs amazing kitchens, but she also knows her way around using one. She put the live display kitchen in the eggersmann Manhattan showroom through the paces to bring some Danish pastries into our life this week.

We love the speed and accuracy of the Wolf induction cooktop and tried baking these morsels in both the Miele steam oven and the Wolf convection oven to compare the methods. The steam oven did an amazing job of keeping the pastry evenly browned and crisp on the outside without flipping a baking sheet halfway through like we had to with the convection oven.

Danish pastry trivia: As you will see in the recipe below, butter in this recipe is left in rather large pieces and you will roll and fold the dough several times which results in the butter making delectable layers in the dough. This technique was born from a mistake made by a French chef more than 350 years ago.

Designers and clients enjoyed seeing the process and sampling the pastries.

danish pastry recipe

dough ingredients

Makes 2 blocks of dough

  • ½ c warm water
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 c milk at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb (16 oz) unsalted butter, cold
  • powdered sugar, if desired for garnishing

dough mixing instructions

  • Pour the water into a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over it, and allow to soften for a minute.
  • Add milk, egg, sugar, and salt and whisk to mix; set aside.
  • Cut the butter into several pieces and place in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
  • Add the flour to the butter and pulse 8-10 times until the butter is cut into pieces that are about 1/2″ in diameter. The pieces must not be smaller than ½”.
  • Empty the butter/flour mixture into the wet mixture in the bowl.
  • Using a rubber spatula, very gently turn the mixture over scraping the bowl as needed, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter should remain in pieces.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight (or up to 4 days).

Below are photos from our 3-day process to Danish pastry nirvana.

folding and rolling the dough

  • Lightly flour a work surface (a cool surface is ideal), turn the refrigerated dough out onto the counter.
  • Divide the dough in half and return one half to the covered bowl returning it to the refrigerator.
  • Lightly dust the remaining dough half with flour.
  • Using the palms of your hands, pat the dough out flattening it into a rough square.
  • Then roll it into a square about 1″ thick.
  • Brush off excess flour and fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter, and turn it so the round of the top fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. (You are looking up the rectangle’s length.)
  • Roll the dough out again into a long narrow rectangle about 10″ x 24″.
  • Fold the rectangle longways in thirds, turn it so the round of the top fold is to your left.
  • Roll the dough to a 20″ square.
  • Once again, fold the square in thirds, like a business letter, and turn so the round of the top fold is to your left
  • Again roll out the dough to 10″x 24″ rectangle. Fold in thirds lengthwise again.
  • Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or for as long as 2 days.
  • Repeat the process of shaping, rolling, folding, wrapping, and chilling for the second block.
danish pastry dough folded into a square

***If at any time the dough gets too soft to roll, just cover it with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator for a quick chill about 30 minutes.

creating the danish

  • Place 1 refrigerated block of dough on a lightly flour-dusted surface.
  • Cutting the dough:
    • For 9 danishes per block of dough:
      • Roll dough to 15″ square. Make marks at thirds (5″, 10″) across the top and at thirds (5″, 10″) down a side to create a visual grid for cutting.
      • Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut using the measurements with to create 9 danishes.
      • Repeat with the second refrigerated block of dough.
    • For 16 danishes per block of dough:
      • Roll the dough out to a 16″ square.
      • Measure at quarters (4″, 8″, 12″) across the top and quarters (4″, 8″, 12″) down a side to create a visual grid for cutting.
      • Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut using the measurements with to create 16 danishes.
        Repeat with the second refrigerated block of dough.
  • Place cut dough pieces on a baking sheet.
  • Place filling in the center of each square. (danish filling ideas)
  • Egg wash the top rims of the edges of each dough square.
  • Fold over the dough to make a closed triangle or rectangle. Press the edges together with your fingers.
  • Tip for freezing to bake later: If you do not want to bake them at this time, place on a baking sheet and freeze then transfer to an airtight container once frozen. To prepare frozen danishes to bake, thaw in closed container overnight, then continue to follow the steps below.
  • Place on baking sheet.
  • Let rise for 15-30 min.
  • Cut two slits in the top of each danish so that you can see the filling.
  • Seal edges with tines of a fork.
  • Bake
    • in a convection oven at 400 degrees F for 8-10 min. Flipping the pan around halfway through the bake time.
    • in a steam oven with steam assist, placed directly and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 min. No flip necessary.
  • Serve slightly cooled or room temperature. Ideas: top warm pastries with ice cream or whipped cream or dust them with powdered sugar. For savory pastries, consider your favorite dipping sauce. Or just eat them as they are in all their glory. Sarah recommends brewing a fresh espresso to go with yours like she did in our beverage station!
  • Enjoy! (We did!)

danish filling options

You may use any filling of your choice. Here are some ideas to get your started.

apricot danish filling recipe

ingredients
  • 1 c dried apricots, packed
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
apricot danish filling instructions
  • Heat apricots, water, and sugar together in a small saucepan on very low heat until the apricots are soft, puffed, and have absorbed almost all the liquid.
  • Put re-hydrated apricots mixture into a food processor and whir until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add lemon juice and almond extract.
  • Cool to room temperature before filling your danish.

easiest sweet danish filling

Fill with 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite jam or fruit preserves.

savory danish filling

Fill with ham, prosciutto, or guanciale and Parmesan cheese slices or your favorite sliced meat and cheese combinations.

danish pastries baked in the live kitchen in eggersmann nyc the showroom

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