Making your own Danish doesn’t have to be intimidating! There is a moderate amount of hands on work involved – most of the time is in the chilling. I make the dough in the morning, roll and fold in the afternoon, and make the braid the next morning for breakfast.
Homemade Danish Recipe
1 envelope of yeast (2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast)
½ c milk – room temperature
1 egg – room temperature (breaking it into a small bowl will help bring it to temp)
5 T granulated sugar
¾ tsp salt
2 ½ c flour
14 T butter, cold, cut into pieces
Whisk the yeast in ¼ c warm water 105 – 112 degrees in the bottom of a large bowl. Let that rest while you make the flour/butter mixture.
Place the butter pieces into a food processor. Add the flour and pulse 10 – 12 times until butter is fairly crumbly but not fine – there should be visible pieces of butter in the mixture – this is what gives you a flaky pastry.
Add milk, egg, sugar and salt to the yeast mixture in the large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients and gently fold the two mixtures together. Do not over mix. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and no more than 12.
Flour a work surface and take the dough out of the refrigerator. Flour your hands and use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface. With a well floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 15 x 10 inches. Fold the dough in thirds like you fold a letter to go in an envelope. Repeat this rolling and folding process twice more. After the last fold, fold in half and wrap tightly in plastic once again. Chill for at least 30 minutes but no more than 12 hours.
Preheat your oven to 400˚
Take the dough and cut in half. Return the other half back to the fridge, wrapped in the plastic wrap. On a sheet of parchment or a baking mat, roll out the dough to make a 12×8 inch rectangle.
Cut off the top two corners and make two triangle cut outs at the bottom.
Cut slanting strips down each side with a sharp knife. Spread filling down the center. * Fold the strips over one another, tucking in the top and bottom ends to seal in the filling. Let your braid rest for 10 minutes before placing in the oven.
Brush the top of the braid with egg wash and sprinkle with sliced almonds just before placing in the oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (or 12 – 15 if using a convection oven) or until a nice golden brown. Rotate the pan once if using a conventional oven.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Glaze with 2/3 c powdered sugar mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice and just enough milk to make it the correct consistency for drizzling. Transfer to serving platter, Slice and serve.
*Fill with raspberry jam or a cheese filling (recipe below) or any other filling you prefer.
Blend 8 oz softened cream cheese with 1 egg yolk, 1/3 c sugar and 1 ½ tsp lemon juice.