Word of warning: this recipe takes a very long time to complete, so only attempt this with at least a whole day to spare; I had the whole of yesterday and this morning off work when I tried these out; don’t be put off though, they may take a very long time, but they are relatively simple :)
They’re so worth it though, the sense of achievement when you make something really lengthy is really amazing, and they tasted lovely – so flaky and crumbly. They also worked really well considering I made them vegan; I always thought that you’d have to compromise a little of the taste when it comes to ‘veganizing’ French pastries, but they tasted really amazing! I’m so proud I finally made these though, they’ve been something I’ve been putting off because I thought they’d fail massively, but they turned out surprisingly well, so definitely go for it if you have enough time!
This recipe is for half a quantity of Danish pastry dough from Jo Wheatley’s ‘A Passion for Baking’ – I basically halved everything because you don’t need a whole batch.
325g of strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
One teaspoon of salt
Half a sachet of easy blend yeast (3.5 grams)
43g of caster sugar
212ml of warm water
250g of vegan butter or vegetable shortening (I used chilled vegan margarine)
- Tip the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl, then add the water until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Put the dough back in the clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave for one hour in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, arrange the ‘butter’ thickly in a neat rectangle on top of a piece of baking paper, cover with another piece of baking paper, and using a rolling pin, flatten into a neat 10cm by 20cm rectangle. Chill until needed.
- Once the dough has proved, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead again for 30 seconds to knock it back. Roll the dough out into a 10cm by 30cm rectangle, roughly 1cm thick and with the short edge nearest to you.
- Peel the top sheet of paper off the butter and lay it butter-side down on the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle. Peel off the top sheet of the paper from the butter. Fold the bottom un-buttered third of the dough up onto the butter to cover it halfway.
- Fold down the buttered top third of the dough over this to cover neatly. You should now have a square of dough roughly one-third of the size of the rectangle that you started with. Turn the dough 90 degrees clockwise and roll it out again into a neat rectangle roughly 1cm thick. Fold the top third of the dough down to the middle and the bottom third over this. Turn the dough 90 degrees again, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 1 hour. Repeat this rolling and folding process another four times. Leave in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, roll out the dough into a rectangle roughly 1cm thick on a lightly floured surface, then cut into 12 equal triangles.
- Roll from the wider end into crescents, and place on a baking tray with the pointy end on the tray.
- Leave for 1 hour to double in size, and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (there was no specified oven temperature in the book, but all the other Danish pastries were at this temperature)
- Brush with soy milk, then bake for 22 minutes until golden brown.