This flaky pastry is so good, it might not make it to Christmas. A lovely breakfast or dessert Danish, it is appropriate anytime. But, before you start, check your calendar—it takes three days to complete this recipe!
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried, grated lemon peel or 3 tsp. fresh
- 2 eggs, separated
- 3 1/2 cups flour (approx.)
- 2 tbsp. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. water
1. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Heat just until butter melts. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the lukewarm water, sugar, salt, cornstarch and lemon peel.
2. Add 2 egg yolks, 1 egg white (reserve other egg white), 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Beat until smooth.
3. Stir in an additional 1 3/4 cups flour to make a stiff batter. You may need more or less flour. Stir just until blended.
4. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Chill for about an hour.
5. On waxed paper, spread 1½ cups butter into a 10 x 12” rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap then chill for 1hour.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 12 x 16” rectangle.
7. Place butter slab on 2/3 of the dough. Fold the uncovered third over the middle section, cover with the remaining third. Give the dough a quarter turn, roll it into a 12 x 16” rectangle, fold as above. Turn, roll and fold once more. Cover with plastic wrap then chill for 1 hour.
8. Repeat procedure of 2 rollings, foldings, turnings and chillings 2 more times. Refrigerate dough overnight.
9. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half. Roll 1/2 the dough into a 6 x 15” rectangle. * Cut 12 strips, 1/2” wide x 15” long. Twist each strip and then roll it into a circle like a snail, sealing the ends well.
10. Place Danish pastries on greased baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate pastries overnight.
11. Combine reserved egg white with 1 tbsp. water. Brush on rolls.
12. Bake pastries at 375°F about 15-20 minutes, or, until done.
13. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. When cool, sprinkle with the following icing and decorate with colored sprinkles or sliced almonds, if desired.
* As an alternative shape, roll dough into a circle. Cut into 12 wedges, like a pie. Roll each wedge from the wide end then bend to form a croissant.
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. milk (approx.)
Combine icing sugar and vanilla with enough milk to make a soft icing.
Variation: If you wish, put a small spoonful of cream cheese or lemon curd or apricot preserves in the center of the pastry before drizzling with icing.