The Fresh Loaf

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Danish dilemma

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Pablo's picture
Pablo

Danish dilemma

I'm happy with my dough, the problem is the shape.  We like lots of filling.  If I shape the Danish as a pocket and be sure that the filling goes all the way into the back of the pocket and out onto the front, then when it bakes the pastry under the filling doesn't rise nearly as much as the rest of the pastry.  We prefer the taste and texture of the pastry when it has fully risen.  Lately I've tried making a roll and slicing it and baking the spirals.  That works well in that there is no filling pressing down on the pastry as it bakes, and there is plenty of filling spiralling around inside the pastry.  The problem is that the jarred lemon filling that I use heats to boiling and pushes the spirals apart.  They look GREAT the moment that they come out of the oven, but after 1 or 2 minutes the filling cools down and shrinks a lot and thre are big holes between the pastry spiraling.  I've tried filling those holes with filling after the pastries have baked, but that feels like cheating.  Any thoughts?  :-Paul 


Here are some photos to demonstrate what I mean:



 


When I bake them they look great at first (on the left), then the filling shrinks and large holes and crevices become apparent.  I think that it shows up particularly well on the pastry in the lower right - both the center and the spiral have obviously lost their filling.  The problem is much more noticeable than in the photograph.



What I end up doing is filling the voids by hand and then frosting them.  They're quite delicious, but I'd like to find a way to get lots of filling AND lots of pastry puffing without having to resort to refilling them after the bake. Any suggestions are welcome.



 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

The same thing will happen with cheese and not only to Danish, if you make bread/sweet bun /etc dough as a roll up you will find after it is baked it will  seperate.


 Make your Danish into another shape so the filling stays on it.......;-))))


          My German friend makes Biglee (sp) a dough roll up with ground walnuts, and she prick the devil out of it so it will not separate but it still does, doesn't effect the taste though. ;-) qahtan

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Kolaches are made with a different type of dough, but the shaping process could be applied to danish, too.  Shape into a ball, flatten the ball to a disc, make a shallow depression in the center of the disc, drop a spoonful or two of filling into the depression, then bake.


Much less muss, fuss and cuss.  Worth a try, I'd think.


Paul

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

I'm just thinking that if you want a lighter crumb structure underneath your filling, or  a more acceptable way to present it attractively, you'd be better off with one of these:


Pocket Octo


On the top left one (sort of an octogon shape) you need to press those 4 corners down hard onto the inside before proofing, and sometimes you have to re-emphasize the seal if they pop up during the proof.


On the top right one (a diamond pocket), you just need to push down hard on the overlap after folding and, again, just be careful of their tendency to pop up during the proof.  Just press down on the overlap again and you should be OK.


On the bottom one (the snail), you usually start with a similar sized sheet of dough to what you showed before doing your rolls.  Cover half with cinnamon sugar (or anything, really) in a VERY thin layer, and then fold it over once.  Cut the folded dough into strips, and then twist the strips before creating the rolled-up snail.  Tucking the end of the twisted strip under the final shape helps keep it from poking out during the proof or bake.


All of the above shapes are proofed WITHOUT filling first, and then filled just before baking.  I'll usually make a small depression with a wet finger just before piping some filling or another into place. That would be located in the center of the octogon or the snail, and on either end of the diamond pocket.  Jam works well, as does pastry cream covered with a little fresh fruit.  Or a cheese filling.


If your lemon filling spreads out too much, maybe it can be stabilized with a little pectin or gelatin.  You'll have to experiment, unfortunately.


Let us know if you try again, Pablo.


--Dan DiMuzio

Pablo's picture
Pablo

THanks Dan,


I never thought of filling the pastries AFTER proofing!  I'll let you know...


:-Paul

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Say Dan, this pastry dough freezes great.  When making dough, after the last set of folds, I cut the dough into 1/4s and freeze 3 of them.  When I want to do pastries, I take one 1/4 out of the freezer the night before and leave it in the 'fridge to thaw.  Then just roll it out and away I go.  Roughly 4 hours from start to finish out of the 'fridge.  Not bad for fresh Danish!  No degredation in performance that I'm aware of.  I still love this recipe.  Thanks!


:-Paul

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

I think you may notice some drop-off in the speed of proofing as the frozen dough gets older, because some yeast cells do die off in the freezer.  I'd be curious to know how long it was before you noticed a difference, if any.


I could usually see a difference in just a couple of weeks.


BTW, you can also pre-shape some raw pastries -- not proofed not filled -- and then freeze those for future use, as needed.  Just leave them on a baking pan overnight in the 'fridge and they'll probably proof in just 8-12 hours.  But I would not use previously frozen dough to do that.


--Dan DiMuzio

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi, Pablo.


Looks like you used a Lemon Curd for your danish.  I have a delicious all fresh ingredients, microwave lemon curd recipe that only takes a few minutes to make and keeps for 3 weeks in the frig if you would like for me to message it to you.  You could put it right on top of one of those nice shapes that the dghdctr recommends before or after baking.



Sylvia

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Can anybody else get in on that deal?  Sounds good . . .


Very pretty photo, BTW.


--Dan DiMuzio

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thanks Dan


That was my very first batch.


Sylvia

Pablo's picture
Pablo

HI Sylvia,


I must have this recipe!


:-Paul

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

This has a wonderful flavor.  Easy tested no fail recipe.  I have a lemon tree and make it all the time.


1 cup white sugar


3 eggs


1 cup fresh lemon juice  or you can make Lime curd..just use lime juice


3 Lemons, zested


1/2 cup butter


In a microwave bowl, whisk together sugar and eggas until smooth.


Stir in lemon juice, zest and butter "I sometimes leave out the zest" for a smoother curd. 


Microwave at 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute until mixture is thick


 enough to coat the back of a spoon.


Remove and store in sterile small jar's.


Keeps for 3 weeks in the refrigerator.


Hints:  Takes about 5 1/2 minutes in microwave.  It will thicken as it cools. 


Makes about 3 half pint jars


Use a fine mess seive to remove any egg white bits and you get a very nice smooth curd.


My lemons are very tangy so I use less and sweeten a little more. 


hints- You can add 2 extra yolks and increase sugar to 1 1/4 cups.


 


Sylvia

Pablo's picture
Pablo

The flavour is fantastic!  It firmed up on the bowl and utensils waiting to be cleaned, so I'm optimistic that it will thicken in the jars as it cools. 


One thing that I noticed:  I had it in a fairly small bowl so it just fit and toward the end of cooking it started rising over the edge of the bowl.  I did several 20 second bursts and then stir it down and do another 20 seconds.  I'll use a larger container next time.


Thanks Sylvia!


:-Paul

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

the recipe..and your very welcome.  If you watch Vincent T. video  he just blogged you can see he does a nice shape with 'it looks like lemon curd' in the center of it.


Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

pastry cream, but you could use the lemon curd without the jam topping.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://joepastry.site.aplus.net/index.php?cat=89


Take a look and see if any alternate shaping shown here may be helpful.


I know we have some retired bakers that may be able to jump in-Norm?

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks!  That looks like some fun stuff to play with.  One day I will seek a bear claw recipe.  Ain't bakin' swell!?!


:-Paul

alicia's picture
alicia

Could you please kindly share with us your delicious danish dough recipe... my stomach is literally rumbling now!  We are only days away from our Christmas travel, but your danish pastries is about to send me shopping for butter (and milk and eggs...^^)!


Alicia

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi Alicia,


I got my recipe and technique from Dan DiMuzio's book "Bread Baking, An Aritsan's Perspective".  I'm not entirley sure that it's OK to post recipes that come from books, but I have made a couple of very small changes, so I'll post this, although I highly recommend getting Dan's book.  The pictures are worth a thousand words and there is lots more in it than just this Danish recipe.  It's the only Danish that I've ever made and I'm very happy with it.  I've made it maybe 10 times altogether.


Dough:


Mix together 3eggs + enough liquid (I use soy milk) to make 378g, add 87g sugar, 116g 100% hydration mature starter, 58g melted unsalted butter and mix well.  In a separate container combine 667g bread flour, 18g salt and 12 g instant yeast.  Combine dry and wet and knead a few minutes. Press this dough into the bottom of a preferably square container and let it sit at room temp for an hour, then refrigerate for 12 hours or more. 


Prepare a butter block by shaving, chopping, chipping, cutting, etc. 363g of unsalted butter onto a piece of parchment paper, cover with another piece of parchment paper and take out your frustrations by beating the heck out of it with a rolling pin for 3 minutes or so.  You want to create a square sheet of cold mashed butter.


Roll out the dough to about 1.5 times the size of the butter square.  Place the butter square without the parchment paper on the dough square and turn it 45 degrees.  Pull the corners of the dough over the butter block so they meet in the middle and overlap a little.  Roll it out and fold it over.  This is hard to explain and where Dan's book really shines in the description.  Basically what you do it roll the dough out flat enough that you can fold it over twice or three times at once, that is, you'd fold over 1/3 from one side and 1/3 from the other side to cover the first 1/3.  Or 1/4 from one side and 1/4 from the other side and then fold that in half.   Then you roll it out and fold it again.  The point is to get lots of rolling and folding to create layers of butter and dough.  You can probably only do it a couple of times before you have to put it back in the 'fridge to cool and to rest for another 12 hours or so.  Personally I do 2 1/3 folds and 2 1/4 folds, making a total of 144 layers of butter and dough. If the dough starts to fight you and is hard to roll out, put it back in the 'fridge to rest.  I usually do two sets of rolling/folding, so that takes about 24 hours.


Once that's all done and refrigerated you're good to go.  I cut the dough in 1/4s and freeze 3 of the quarters.  One quarter is enough for 8 nice sized pastries and that's enough for one go for us.  Then it's so easy to whip a frozen lump into the 'fridge overnight and make pastries in the morning.


I think that's about it.  I hope that I haven't offended Dan by posting this.  Again, it's much more thoroughly explained in his book.


:-Paul


 

alicia's picture
alicia

Hi Paul,


Thanks a lot for the recipe and your detailed instructions!!!  I will definitely make this and let you know how it goes, though I am afriad it will have to be after Christmas as my other half stopped me from baking more before our trip...:p


Nevertheless, I will place my order on internet to purchase Dan DiMuzio's "Bread Baking, An Aritsan's Perspective".  No baking temperary can be made more bearable if one has a new bread book to read!


Cheers, Alicia

kutzeh's picture
kutzeh

Paul,


I have a great recipe for the dough( and nuts), which uses sour cream. If interested email me


buck2pat@comcast.net


Patti

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks for the input.  I have to say that the results were spectacularly tasty, although not beautiful.  Sylvia, wow!  The lemon rocks!  Now i'm hot to make a lemon meringue pie.  I haven't had one for the longest time, but that lemon is inspiring!


Dan, I tried proofing first before filling and that worked better.  Thanks!  I rolled out my dough in the wrong shape for the 8 large squares that I wanted, I got 8 rectangles instead, so I made 16 smaller squares.  I carefully sealed the wings and after proofing slid a straw under the arch and raised it up to spoon in some of the lemon filling.  Again, they're really tasty, but not something you'd show at a bakery. 


Here're some photos.  I wanted to respond to both your very helpful comments and let you know that I took them to heart.  There are three more packs of dough frozen so I'll keep trying things.  I'll have to make some more of that lemon curd.


:-Paul



Proofed tray



Single proofed and filled pastry



Baked tray of pastries



Close up of a couple of pastries before frosting



I like to frost them... just lemon juice and powdered sugar with a little cornstarch


 


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I admire your courage to try something like this. It looks pretty good form here.


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I'm just having my morning tea and Oh My, would several of these hit the spot!  Your photos are making me drool.  I have a terrible weakness for Danish!  I love the sugar fondant/glaze drizzle.  I'm very happy you love the curd as much as I do.  It changed it appearance and texture when baked and looks nice and shiny.  I use it pretty regular on scones and toast.  I'm not sure how it would bake up in a lemon meringue pie.  I do have a wonderful recipe I use for LM pie.


Sylvia

Pablo's picture
Pablo

>I'm not sure how it would bake up in a lemon meringue pie.  I do have a wonderful recipe I use for LM pie.<


I'd love to see it!!!


:-Paul

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

the recipe to you! : )