Thursday, July 23, 2015

Danish Pastries, Spandauer

I finally got all the icing licked off of my fingers so they don't stick to the keyboard while I'm trying to type this post up.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

I've been having fun playing with laminated dough lately making Kringles,  but wanted to switch up and do something a little different the other day.

Actually I found a new recipe to try and didn't really want to make another Kringle as delicious as they are, cause I would just eat it and well, gee, I don't need all those calories.

Instead I made these...

I think they have just as many calories, but at least I'm not faced with having to eat the whole thing.

I mean, eating one at a time is acceptable, right?

So I got to work mixing up the dough and then had to stick it in the fridge for a few days, cause we had other obligations so I didn't get around to baking these up until 4 days later.

I got the recipe here. 

And I didn't even modify it much.   I did use a jumbo egg rather than a large egg, and used salted butter, and then just omitted the addition of the salt.

Recipe: Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

1/4 cup warm water (105-115 deg. F)
2 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup milk  at room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

Pour the water into a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top, let it 'bloom', then add the sugar, milk, egg and salt and whisk it together.   Set aside while you process the rest.
Put the flour into bowl of the food processor which has a metal cutting blade.   Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch slices and drop them into the flour.   Pulse about 8-10 times, just until the butter has been cut into pieces no smaller than 1/2 inch.  Really, you want big chunks of butter here.    Don't overdo it.
Empty the contents of the food processor into the bowl with the yeast and then working with a rubber spatula, very, very gently turn the mixture over.  Scrape the bowl as needed, but just mix it until the dry ingredients are moistened.  You'll still see some chunks of butter in there, that is a good thing.  The butter must remain in small pieces, to make a nice flaky dough.  Otherwise, you've just made cookies or bread dough.
As soon as you've mixed this, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge.  Leave it overnight or up 4 days, like I just did.

How to roll and fold.
Lightly flour your work surface.  If you've got a marble slab, great, if not, well make sure your work surface is cold.  (I work on a stainless steel island and put a bowl of ice right where I want to roll out the dough, and chill it that way, removing the ice before I start rolling.)  Turn the dough out, in other words, dump it out of the bowl and using your hands, pat it into a rough square.  Roll it into a square about 16 inches by 16 inches.  You don't need to be exact, but try to get as close as possible.
Fold the dough into thirds, just like a business letter.  Then turn it so that the fold is to your left.  Anytime the dough starts getting too soft to roll out, stick it in the fridge or the freezer for a quick chill.
Roll the dough out again, this time into a long rectangle, roughly 10 inches by 24 inches.  Fold the rectangle into thirds again, turn it so that the fold is to your left, then roll it into a 20 inch square.   Repeat this action one more time.  Fold into thirds again, divide into two and wrap well and stick it into the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
It's now ready to be shaped, filled or...

4 oz. cream cheese
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
Mix together well, set aside.

1 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon Lemon or Vanilla Extract
Mix together until blended, this should be pourable, but not too thin.

I took each piece of dough out, and then I had fun.
I made some Spandauers, with half the dough.
Cut it into thirds, then cut each of the thirds into three pieces each one about 4x4 inches.  Rolled up the edges and pressed down a little on them. Just to hold their shapes.

I placed them on the reusable parchment paper, and plopped a piece of cream cheese filling in the middle.

Finished them off with an egg wash, then decided to try plunking a half teaspoon of cherry jam into half of them, let them proof (sit at room temp)  for a half hour, then baked them in a 400 deg. oven for 21 minutes.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
So one of them was a pinwheel, I was playing, OK?
The egg wash gives a lovely golden finish to the dough.
I let them sit and admired them for a little while. 
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
I mean, come on, they did look pretty.
After awhile I decided to go ahead and glaze them.  I just took the glaze I'd mixed up, and drizzled it over top of the Spandauer.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
If you do this over the cooling racks you can have so much fun making pretty designs, and letting the excess glaze drip off.

I bet you're wondering what I did with the rest of the dough. 

Stay tuned, I'll tell you all about making Snegle next.  Well, in a couple of days, that is.  I need to go and finish cleaning up now.
That's Danish for Snails.


Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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