Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Another Danish Pastry Dough (light)


Danish pastries are not supposed to be weight-watcher-friendly.

And they are not supposed to be easy to make.

However, this danish is light(er) and easy(ier). But if you know me, less fat or less work can't make me feel interested enough, unless the taste. Yes, it is very delicious.

I have been using this regular danish pastry dough, and always love it. Probably because of this tangy strawberry preserve I made, or this comfortable spring weather, I desired for a pastry that could be light on palate. So based on that original recipe, I reduced 30% of butter and quit the heavy cream totally, then replaced with little creme fraiche and lemon zest.

Technique-wise, the author breaks through the traditonal method - the dough wrapped with a big block of butter and being pounded to flat - which doesn't exist anymore. Instead, the flour is simply mixed with chunked butter. Even one (painful) step is omitted, good understanding on how gluten behaves and good rolling skill are still essential. If you are very good at making pie-crust, I believe this danish is a beeze to you.



Recipe of Danish Pastry Dough - light version

yield 10 - 12 pastries

the recipe is inspired by Beatrice Ojakangas, a professional baker in America, and her excellent book, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book.

  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 520 g flour
  • 220 g cold butter (I used Irish butter which I think has the best flavor)
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup skim milk, lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 70g creme fraiche
  • zest from a half lemon


  1. In a small bowl, whisk milk, sugar, salt, egg & 1 yolk, cream franchie and lemon zest. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, carefully break the fresh yeast into the flour.
  3. Preferably doing this step in a very cool room if you can't work fast and efficient... cut the butter into 2-cm-thick, drop them the flour. Use a pastry blender to further cut the butter cubes until they have the size of kindney bean. Then add milk mixture and stir to combine. The dough should be sticky and very thick. Cover, and refridgerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. For the rest of steps and photos, please refer the original recipe's direction (starting from the 4th step)
  5. After the last rolling and resting finished, roll the dough to your desired thickness, mine was about 1 cm. Divide to individual-serving portion, create some pattern if you wish, spoon in some fruit preserve (any of your favorite filling). Cover the pastries and rest them for an hour.
  6. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 210F
  7. Bake the pastries in a 210F-overnfor 5 mintues, then lower to 190F until they turn golden brown.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful! I love Danish dough. That light version sounds interesting!



FH said...

Light too! Looks gorgeous. I must try when I come back from my break. Photos are delicious looking, great job Gattina! :)

anna said...

That looks delicious! I've never made danishes before but I need to try sometime - my boyfriend loves them!

pigpigscorner said...

THey look so light and flaky! I love pastries but have never made them before.

Callipygia said...

You know I look at the other (more fattening) pastry dough recipe and was just building up the courage to try it out. This one's easier?? OK, just not after I add the cream cheese filling with the fruit (my favorite). Looks like you are finding great use for your strawberries!

redmenace said...

just gorgeous!

Madam Chow said...

As usual, your food and photographs are beautiful!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

The texture of the dough looks so tender and flaky. I'm not even a fan of danish, but I would love a piece of this Gattina. :)

ChichaJo said...

I love Danish pastries but have never made them myself because of the long process and over here in this heat it's very difficult to handle cold butter in dough! But this one seems like a bit easier :) In any case, your Danishe pastries look awesome Gattina!

Kate- Aapplemint said...

Ooh Danish pastry's are my favourite They just remind of me wonderful breakfast at holiday resorts. Yours looks so prefect.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Light Danish? Can it be? It certainly looks lovely. I'll have to try it.

Anonymous said...

Danish!! Nummy. I don't think I should make this one, no matter how light, probably eating the whole batch wouldn't really make it worthwhile

michele said...

I alternate making a light version of certain recipes and the regular version. In some cases there is little difference and both taste good.