A Danish or Whinerbrød as we call it in Denmark is a great snack and goes perfectly together with a cup of morning coffee or simply just in the afternoon when you are looking for a delicious snack after work.
Danish pastry consist of several different things like the traditional A Danish, tebirkes, frøsnapper and similar. The common factor for all these is that they are all called Whinerbrød in Denmark and they are all based on the same base recipe.
Base Recipe for Danish Pastry Dough
I have decided to dedicate this recipe for Danish Pastry Dough its own page here on my blog – simply because this recipe it is used to make several different pieces of Danish Whinerbrød. You can find all the recipes in the section named Traditional Danish here on my blog.
I have to admit that the first time I tried making my own Whinerbrød I thought that it sounded difficult. However, luckily it is easier than it sounds. Actually, it is quite easy once you get the feeling of it. There are just a couple of tricks that you would need to know in order to get it right the first time. I recommend to thoroughly follow my recipe further down on this page and study the pictures further down.
Important Things to Remember
There are two important things I would like to point out.
1. Remember to let the dough rest in the fridge like described in the recipe. Do not skip these steps.
2. When rolling the dough flat, do it gently and take you time. Try to avoid breaking the dough, which will reveal the butter inside. This is also described further down in the recipe. Let the dough rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes between the folding.
And remember, practice makes perfect. Cooking in the kitchen, especially new and untried recipes, can be challenging. However, most of the times it is actually also pretty easy once you take the right amount of time and focus on reading the recipe – this is also the case for this Danish Pastry Dough.
Danish Pastry Dough (The Base Recipe)
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Danish title: Wienerbrød dej
25 g (1 oz) fresh yeast (or equivalent dry yeast)
150 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm milk
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
325 g (11.5 oz) all-purpose flour
275 g (10 oz) cold butter, in very thin slices
1. In a large bowl, add the lukewarm milk and dissolve the fresh yeast. If you normally uses dry yeast, add this together with the all-purpose flour in step 3.
2. Add the sugar and a beaten egg. Stir to mix.
3. Add the all-purpose flour and the salt. Knead everything into a nice and smooth dough.
4. Leave the kneaded dough in the bowl, cover it with some plastic foil and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a flat square measuring 45×45 cm (18×18 inch).
6. Use a wire cheese cutter or similar cutting tool to cut very thin slices of the cold butter. You can with advantage place the butter in the freezer for some time to ease the process of cutting thin slices. Place the butter at the center of the dough in an angle of 45 degree to the corners of the rectangle dough. It should look like a diamond in the middle of the dough.
7. Fold the four corners over the butter. Make the edges of the folded dough overlapping so that all the butter is sealed inside.
8. Again, roll the dough flat using the rolling pin. This time the dough should be a rectangle. Be very gentle; make sure not to break the dough and revealing the butter.
9. Now fold 1/3 of the short side over the dough and then fold the other 1/3 over. It is similar to folding a letter, which is to go into an envelope. Wrap the folded dough into plastic foil and let it rest/cool in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
10. Continue this procedure with rolling the dough flat and folding it. This rolling and folding process should be done totally 3 times. Remember to let the dough rest in the fridge in between each step. Again, be careful not to break the dough revealing the butter. If you accidentally break the dough try to cover the hole and use a little flour to make sure, the outside of the dough does not get sticky from the butter.
11. Now the dough is ready to make any kind of Danish pastry. Find several recipes here on my blog for different traditional Danish Pastry like. Browse the ‘Traditional Danish section’