Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cheese Danish Pastries

Weekend breakfast is my favourite meal.  It's totally acceptable to have dessert for breakfast, and at our house we almost always have something sweet.  So a few weeks ago I thought I would give Nigella's Danish Processor Pastry Dough recipe a try.  You make with a few whizzes in a food processor, easy peasy right?

While making the dough is indeed quite simple, the rolling out is seriously tedious.  Roll into a (ridiculously) large rectangle.  Fold.  Repeat.  Ad nauseum.  Sigh.  I love how this is described as "joyfully easy", I would hate to see the old school way of doing this!  Anyways, I followed her instructions to the letter and my Danishes came out perfect.  I used her cheese danish recipe and the pastry was nice and flaky with a slightly sweet filling.  Will definitely make this again.

Processor Danish Pastry
from Nigella Lawson

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
1 package ( 1/4 oz.) rapid-rise yeast or 1 tbsp fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into thin slices

Pour the water and milk into a measuring cup and add the egg, beating with a fork to mix. Put to one side for a moment. Get out a large bowl, then put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the procesor, and give one 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 visible chunks. Empty the contents of the food processor into the large bowl and quickly add the contents of the cup. Use your hands or a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together, but don’t overdo it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the refigerator, and leave overnight or up to 4 days.
To turn it into pastry, take it out of the refrigerator, let it get to room temperature, and roll it out to a 20-inch (50 cm) square.  Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterward so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book.  Roll out again to a 20-inch square, repeating the steps above three more times.

There are several recipes that use a half batch of the dough, so cut it in half, wrap both pieces in plastic, and put each in the refridgerator for 30 minutes (you can keep them for up to 4 days) or put half into the freezer for later use.

Cheese Danish
from Nigella Lawson

For the filling:
1 cup ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    For the egg glaze:
    1 large egg, beaten with
    2 tbsp milk
      For the clear glaze:
      1/3 cup sugar
      1/4 cup water
        For the sugar glaze:
        1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
        1-2 tbsp warm water
          Combine the cheese, sugar, salt, lemon zest, egg, and butter to make the filling.  Roll out the pastry into a big rectangle and cut it in half.  Divide each half into thirds and place a tablespoon of filling on each piece of dough.  Fold the opposite corners up together and seal with a pinch.
          Place on the baking sheet and brush with the egg glaze. Leave them to rise until they double in size, about 1 1/2 hours and feel like marshmallow.
          Meanwhile, about 30 minutes before they're ready to be cooked, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  Pinch corners back together if they have come apart, then put on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
          Remove to a wire rack and make the two remaining glazes. To make the clear glaze, heat the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil then take off the heat. To make the sugar glaze, add the water to the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time to make a runny icing. Brush the pastries with the clear glaze first then zigzag the sugar glaze over them.

          Linked to
          Sweet Tooth Friday
          Sweets for a Saturday 
          Melt in Your Mouth Monday 


          1. Cheese danish are one of my all time favorites, I can't wait to try these they look wonderful!

          2. Oh wow....fabulous breakfast item. I would bounce out of bed for one of these...instead of my usual stagger stagger crawl crawl. ;)

          3. After all that work, I'm glad that your results were perfect! Cheese danish for breakfast...yum!!

          4. Cheese Danish is so my favorite! Glad to have a recipe- Nigella always comes through! Thanks for sharing.

          5. Cheese danish is my favorite! I'll have to give this a try!

          6. Yum, those look so flaky and sweet. Although it sounds like a lot of work, it definitely looks worth it.

          7. making these. making these now! i love this! i had bookmarked a bunch of recipes to get back and comment on post vacation and this was one i knew i needed to share some love on. thanks for sharing :)
            @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com


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