We had a friend come visit. Mr. J and I used to work together. We used to race to get the last danish from the cafeteria in the mornings. So no visit is complete without some cherry danish.
I decided I needed to learn how to make a quick puff pastry for the danish and not depend on the boxed puff pastry. These days you never know what the grocery store is going to be out of! So I searched my cookbooks and came up with a recipe that works for my purposes; it is pretty quick, it can freeze so you can make a couple pastries at a time, it is delicious.
I've baked these a couple of times, once when I first made them, once when Gman and his people were here, and now for Mr. J and his son. There are still a few in the freezer for the next visitors or when I need to send a treat to a friend.
Fillings can be what ever you want. Once I filled them with sweetened cream cheese and a little jam, once with chocolate and cream cheese and once with just cherry filling. It is a good thing I can't eat wheat or I'd be making these every morning.
Quick Puff Pastry
1 pkg. yeast, or 1 scant Tbsp.
4 cups white bread flour, plus extra
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar, or superfine if you have it
water to mix
4 1/2 sticks of butter, chilled (36 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. apricot jelly, warmed in the microwave or a small pan on the stove
Dilute the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. In a large mixing bowl measure in flour, salt and sugar. Mix in the yeast and add more water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together is is pliable. pour the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until it feels smooth and elastic. Put the dough in the bowl and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, draw a rectangle 8 X 12 on a piece of parchment, turn parchment over (so you don't get ink on the butter) and cut butter into 1 Tbsp. pieces and lay in center of drawn rectangle. Cover with another piece of parchment and roll out to the shape of the 8X12 rectangle. Place in refrigerator.
After dough has rested for 1 hour, remove from refrigerator, scatter some flour on your work surface and roll into a 24 X 12 rectangle. Remove butter from refrigerator and place on one side of the dough, covering 2/3. Fold the extra 1/3 side of the dough over the butter, then fold the top third down so the dough is folded like a letter. Pinch the edges together, wrap with clear film and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Scatter some more flour on your work surface, roll dough into a 24 X12 rectangle, fold into thirds and cover with clear film and refrigerate again for 1 hour. Repeat this three more times, for a total of 5 times rolling and folding. Then set in refrigerator overnight.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 4 inch squares. Fold the edges to create an edge.
At this point you can freeze them, then once frozen transfer to a ziplock for storage in the freezer until ready for use.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place danish on baking sheet lined with parchment. Fill danish with desired filling. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with warmed apricot jelly. Cool and enjoy.
Makes about 30 pastries.
August 3, 2020 Sunrise 4:59 am Sunset 10:51 pm Temp. H 60/ L 54°F