If you could ask for the perfect dough, one that is butter layered, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, you need to ask for the Danish pastry dough.
Making this dough from scratch takes time and work, well… the work part is not that big, it’s mostly the waiting time between the folds of the dough.
I usually make a big batch of the Danish pastry dough and freeze it, it’s totally worth it and you will have a super quality dough that you can use on the spot, no store-bought dough can even come close to a homemade quality one.
Danish pastry dough Recipe
For the basic dough
- 550g/ 20 oz. bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 10g/ 2½ tsp. instant dry yeast
- 180g/¾ cup milk (better for full fat but regular is good as well)
- 2 medium eggs
- 30g/ 1 oz. white sugar
- 50g/ 1½ oz. melted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5g/ 1 tsp. salt
For the butter folding
- 300g/ 2½ sticks cold butter
- 30g/ 1 oz. butter
Making the basic dough
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment mix all the ingredient of the dough on medium speed for 7 minutes until a flexible dough is formed.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and proof the dough in a bowl covered with a plastic wrap in room temperature for 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the bowl, knead the dough again for 1 minute, remove air, shape into a ball again and place in the fridge for another 2 hours.
While the Danish pastry dough is resting, we will prepare the butter mixture for the dough folding.
In a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment, place the butter and the flour, mix slowly for a few seconds and increase to full speed for about 20-30 more seconds until the butter and the flour completely incorporated.
Place the butter in the fridge until the dough folding.
Folding the dough
Take out the Danish pastry dough form the fridge and use the rolling pin to flatten the dough into a 1 inch round shape.
Use your rolling pin or your hands to flatten the butter into a flat rectangle, this can be done easily by placing the butter between 2 parchment papers and working the rolling pin on top.
Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold into an envelope shape.
close the dough from all sides and flatten into a rectangle about 50cm/ 15-inch and about ½ inch thick.
fold the dough into 3 equal parts and flatten it again into a 50 cm/15-inch rectangle
Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Repeat the above folding pattern; flattening into a 50cm rectangle shape, folding into 3 parts and flattening the dough again into a rectangle shape, for another 2 times with a 1 hour spread between each fold.
once you got the 3rd folding finished you have 2 options. either freeze the dough, or a part of it, or use it within the next few hours. If frozen, it can be kept up to 2 months, it can actually stay longer but we don’t want a freezer after taste after long period of freezing.
The Danish pastry dough is my favorite dough for many pastries, the sweet ones are of course the obvious choice for this rich dough, but the savory ones are the big surprise and it will knock you down to the floor thinking why didn’t I use this dough for the savory pastries before.