Danish Pastry Dough

Danish Pastry Dough-1-22Danish pastry bread is absolutely amazing and it’s so good, I don’t mind making it from scratch, because it’s totally worth it. It’s a mixture of soft yeast dough with buttery and flaky puff pastry. In my mind, it’a a match made in heaven. Puff pastry is wonderful in it’s own way, but danish dough is not as greasy and is so tender and flaky.

It’s not as intimidating as it sounds to make your own danish dough from scratch. With a little bit of time, your patience will be rewarded. What can you make from danish pastry dough? The possibilities are endless. One of my favorites is a Strawberry Cheesecake Danish Braid, Danish Cheese Pastries (use the same recipe, using the danish dough instead of puff pastry) Almond Bear Claws, which I will share very soon, and much, much more.

Recipe from allrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

Butter Rectangle:

2 cups butter, softened

2/3 cup all purpose flour

Danish dough:

8 cups flour

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:

Mix the softened butter with 2/3 cups flour until evenly combined. Divide the butter mixture in half. Danish Pastry Dough-1

Danish Pastry Dough-1-2Roll out each half of the butter mixture into a 6×12 inch rectangle, in between parchment paper or wax paper. Chill until firm.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix 3 cups of flour with the yeast. Danish Pastry Dough-1-5In a small saucepan, mix the milk, sugar and salt. Heat it up on medium heat until the milk reaches 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the milk mixture, the eggs and vanilla to the flour and yeast mixture. Danish Pastry Dough-1-6Mix until smooth. Danish Pastry Dough-1-7Add the remaining flour, 1/2 a cup at a time until you have a smooth dough, kneading for at least 5 minutes at the end. Danish Pastry Dough-1-8Divide the dough in half, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, 30-60 minutes.

Danish Pastry Dough-1-9On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough into a 12×20 inch rectangle. Danish Pastry Dough-1-10Place the butter rectangle over half of the dough and fold the other half over it. Danish Pastry Dough-1-11

Danish Pastry Dough-1-12Pinch of edges of dough together and roll it out into a 12×20 inch rectangle. Danish Pastry Dough-1-13

Danish Pastry Dough-1-14At this point, fold the rectangle into thirds, like an envelope. Danish Pastry Dough-1-15

Danish Pastry Dough-1-16Repeat by rolling out the dough again into a 12×20 inch rectangle and then fold it into thirds again. Danish Pastry Dough-1-17Repeat with the other portion of dough and the remaining butter rectangle.

Wrap each square of dough loosely in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If at any point of the rolling process the butter becomes too warm and soft, place the dough into the refrigerator to chill.

After chilling for at least 30  minutes, the dough will rise slightly. Roll the dough again into a 12×20 inch rectangle, fold into thirds and repeat again. Chill for another 30 minutes or overnight before shaping the dough and baking it.Danish Pastry Dough-1-18

Danish Pastry Dough-1-21

Danish Pastry Dough-1-22

Danish Pastry Dough
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Ingredients
Butter Rectangle:
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup all purpose flour
Danish dough:
  • 8 cups flour
  • 4½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Mix the softened butter with ⅔ cups flour until evenly combined. Divide the butter mixture in half. Roll out each half of the butter mixture into a 6x12 inch rectangle, in between parchment paper or wax paper. Chill until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix 3 cups of flour with the yeast. In a small saucepan, mix the milk, sugar and salt. Heat it up on medium heat until the milk reaches 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Add the milk mixture, the eggs and vanilla to the flour and yeast mixture. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, ½ a cup at a time until you have a smooth dough, kneading for at least 5 minutes at the end.
  4. Divide the dough in half, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, 30-60 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough into a 12x20 inch rectangle.
  6. Place the butter rectangle over half of the dough and fold the other half over it. Pinch of edges of dough together and roll it out into a 12x20 inch rectangle.
  7. At this point, fold the rectangle into thirds, like an envelope. Repeat by rolling out the dough again into a 12x20 inch rectangle and then fold it into thirds again.
  8. Wrap each square of dough loosely in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If at any point of the rolling process the butter becomes too warm and soft, place the dough into the refrigerator to chill.
  9. After chilling for at least 30 minutes, the dough will rise slightly. Roll the dough again into a 12x20 inch rectangle, fold into thirds and repeat again.
  10. Chill for another 30 minutes before shaping the dough and baking it.

44 Comments

  • Lily

    Hi Olga, I tried to do this dough, though I found the instructions a little bit confusing. . Both of the butter pieces needs to be placed in the same time over the dough, or just one?

    • olgak7

      Hi Lily! If you notice in the instructions, I wrote that you need to divide the dough into two parts. You will put each butter rectangle into each portion of the dough, so you will end up with 2 wrapped portions of dough.

      • Rick

        But that makes no sense. 6×12 inch butter block. 12 x 20 inch dough rectangle?
        The dough is rolled out way too big. Maybe a bit bigger than 12 x 12.

    • olgak7

      Wrap it up really well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Just make sure it’s airtight.
      Thaw it on the counter or the refrigerator, making sure that it doesn’t get warm if it’s out too long on the counter; you don’t want the butter between the layers to melt.

  • Judith Paterson

    Olga, Thank You So Much For These Wonderful Recipes. I Have A Question Concerning A Recipe For Russian Brioch. Can You Tell Me What cs Stands For? My Google Translator translated it for me And All The Measurements Are Metric Which Is Fine .But…cs?………… Got Me…. Any Help You Can Share With Me Would Be Much Appreciated, Judith

    • olgak7

      Hi Judith,
      Unfortunately, I have no idea what cs stands for. Can you give me the recipe in Russian? I might be able to figure it out if I see it in Russian.

  • kathe

    Оль,этл слоенное тесто получается? (У меня англ не такои хороший:()

  • nina

    Hi 🙂
    I’m form Taiwan. Thank u so much for ur wonderful recipes.
    I have a question:
    Danish dough: 8 cups flour
    “Flour” means all-purpose Flour?
    or Bread Flour or Cake Flour?
    Thanks!!!

  • Thais

    Hi Olga, thank you so much for this recipe.
    I have a couple questions that I hope you can answer, first, what’s the difference in taste/texture between this dough and the QUICK PUFF PASTRY recipe you also posted? I want to make danish pastries and since this one is a lot more work, I just wanna make sure it’s worth it?
    My second question is a bit of a troubleshooting problem, I’ve made this dough a couple times before and the butter square has always given me issues. Do you have any tips for mixing the butter and the flour without a mixer (I’m a poor college student haha)? And also once I try to get the butter to mix with the rest of the dough, it always melts and becomes a gooey mess, even if I refrigerate in-between. I think part of the problem is that the dough and the butter never really mix that well? How do you get the dough to absorb the butter so easily?
    Sorry for all the questions and thank you!!

    • olgak7

      Hi Thais,
      “Puff pastry and Danish pastry are made using similar recipes, however puff pastry contains no yeast. Puff pastry uses only steam to make it rise. The moisture in the puff pastry dough turns to steam, and together with the air folded inside, expands and pushes the layers upwards and outwards. Steam also helps Danish pastry to rise, however, yeast causes most of the rising action.
      The texture of Puff pastry has many crispy layers and it is buttery, flaky and light. Danish too is light and flaky but it has a fluffier, more buttery texture.
      About the butter square: When you roll it with the dough, it SHOULD NOT mix together. The whole point of this type of dough is to have many layers of butter in between. This is what will cause the dough to rise and be flaky.
      I hope that helps.
      Both of these doughs are difficult to make, so don’t feel bad. It takes a lot of practice to get it right.

  • Niki

    Hello, in step 9 when you say “Roll the dough again into a 12×20 inch rectangle, fold into thirds and repeat again.” do you mean that after folding it into thirds and then rolling it out the second time into a 12×20 inch rectangle, we should fold the dough into thirds before storing it? Should the dough be folded into thirds and then cut/used in recipes?

    • olgak7

      No, it’s not supposed to be hard. It’s a soft dough, just like any yeast dough. This recipes makes a large batch of dough. You can halve it if you’d like.

  • Margaux

    hi olga! I’ve made a similar recipe twice now and each time my butter pokes through my dough after it chills in the refridgerator. I have a warm kitchen so I have to leave it in for at least an hour or else it sticks to my rolling pin. I know you want the butter to remain solid but my dough has lots of big chunks of butter when I roll it out. I defintely used room temp butter at first – this is only after I chill and roll out. Just wondering what I could do differently – or perhaps I shouldn’t worry! The danish tasted great… just trying to perfect the process. Thanks in advance for your advice!!

    • olgak7

      Have you tried this recipe, Margaux?
      I’ve had a similar problem when I tried to make Danish dough using other recipes.
      Also, another problem might be a warm kitchen. The main thing is to keep trying. Practice really does make perfect:).

  • Tara

    Your instructions were fine for me. I made this yesterday and my pastries are so tender and delicious! I am so happy to have found your site!

    • Brooke

      I am having the same issue.. I cut the recipe in half (exactly) and it’s a very tough dough.. I am waiting for it to rise but I am nervous about it! Lol

  • Nancy

    Hi Olga, this is an amazing and surprisingly easy recipe!! I am so so excited! My mother in law to be is a wonderful Swedish woman who loves her Kringle! And this makes a lovely version. Thank you for taking the time to post this, the pictures were very helpful for me, after working all day it was much easier to have a visual. I had no issues what so ever, it rose beautifully and was flakey and perfect, everyone says its just like from a bakery! I will use this to make croissants too!

    Take care,
    Nancy

  • Ana

    Hi Olga! Which dough (danish or quick puff pastry) works better for napoleon cake? And please post your napoleon cake version (I am sure you have one).:) Thank you for wonderful and tasty recipes. I hope also that you and your baby are well. God bless you and your family!

  • Rose

    Hey Olga,

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve wanted to make puff pastry dough for quite a while but the few videos I saw made it seem far too intimidating. I wanted to make pizza recently but didn’t have a good dough recipe. It would always turn out a bit too dense, like a sort of bread but I wanted something light and airy but still somewhat resembling pizza dough. So my conclusion was to have puff pastry meet yeast and so I googled it. And what do you know, such a thing exists! The first link I saw was yours and so I decided to try it. Since I wanted it for a savory dish, I decreased the sugar content to just a teaspoon. I also cut the recipe in half since it was my first time making it. I made pizza-style hors d’oeuvres and they were just divine! Will definitely be trying out more recipes from you.

  • Danae

    I have decided to be extremely daring and attempt this dough. The main reason is because I love the mini cheese danish from Wegmans our upscale supermarket however they are ridiculously expensive. I am I’m very very new to yeast doughs. One recipe is now my go-to and it contains potatoes, one was as hard as a rock,

  • Danae

    So sorry hit the send button I would love to make this would just like to know if I can refrigerate overnight in between layers. If I folded and rolled twice and I’m on the last layer can I refrigerate overnight and then do the final roll and refrigerate again? Thank you so much I truly appreciate your help keep your fingers crossed I’m ready to give up especially if this comes bad

  • Juliana

    This looks wonderful was wondering can half just by halving the ingredients? So if I wanted a sweet but I can I substitute salted? I’d like to make the recipe now I have two sticks of sweet and two sticks of salted well then affect the recipe badly? Thank you so much I love your website! I’m sorry the phone to try and send the recipes

  • Rita

    Hi Olga,
    I’d like to try to make this danish doughwhich seems so amazing! But I would like to freeze most of it for later use. Once I wrap it airtight, for how long is it ok to store in the freezer?

    Thank you!

  • Johnie F

    Hi Olga,
    Just a quick question before I get started on this recipe, Is this dough good for bear claws? I’m actually searching for a dough recipe that is true to the nature of the bear claws themselves, I have found many dough recipes, but, they seem not to be true to the bear claw dough….This one sounds amazing, but I found another with the butter block and another person called it a croissant recipe…ugh, just want to get it right…
    Thank you…

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