Over the years I have tried to make danish pastry using many different recipes. The latest one was from the book "The Joy of Pastry". I have posted the instructions below. I followed the instructions below then let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight. I then rolled it out to make swirled fruit pockets. I put them on a baking sheet and into the oven set at 75 degrees F to rise. After 45 minutes I saw no increase in size. I waited an additional hour, checking often, and still no rise. What am I missing?
Danish pastry should be flaky like croissants, and rich and sweet as a cake. It is turned (again, much like croissants) but unfermented, and used only for desserts and breakfast cakes.
1 In a large bowl, cream together the yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the yolks, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Then add the vanilla, orange rind, and milk. Scrape down the bowl, mix again, and add 4 cups of the flour. Mix again until smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes. Don't over-mix.
2 Cover the bowl and place dough in the refrigerator. Chill for about 1 to I1A> hours. This dough will not rise very much (seemingly not at all) because of the rich egg yolks inhibiting the essential structure of the dough, but this rest will serve not to ferment the dough but to relax the gluten strands, making it easier to handle later. Chilling the dough also makes it more compatible with the cold butter which will be incorporated later.
3 Meanwhile, soften the butter with the remaining flour, keeping the butter covered with the flour while cutting and kneading it quickly with a pastry scraper. Feel for cold lumps in the butter and break them up; add a bit more flour if necessary to soften the butter without melting it. Shape the butter into a 6-inch square.
4 Remove the chilled dough carefully and drop it onto a well-floured surface. Roll a flap from each of the 4 corners and wrap up the softened butter. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 20 inches long and 8 inches wide. Bring both ends toward the center like a book, leaving a small space in between for the spine. Fold in half, "closing" the book. Give the dough a one-quarter turn, then roll out to a rectangle and fold again. Chill for one hour, then roll out, fold, and turn again. Chill for one hour, then make one final turn and fold. After 4 turns, the dough must be refrigerated at least 3 to 4 hours before using. Remember that Danish dough is strictly for dessert. Don't handle the dough or roll it more than necessary, lest it develop too much elasticity, or chewiness.
Edited by bobj - 3/7/11 at 10:28am