Danish pastries

Danish pastries

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(6 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 20 mins Plus rising and chilling

Skill level

For the keen cook


Makes 18 pastries

Turn the kitchen into your own little patisserie with this step-by-step guide to buttery Danish pastries

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info


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  • 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g plain flour
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten plus extra beaten egg to glaze
  • 250g pack lightly salted butter, not fridge cold but not soft, cut into 8 even slices

For the pecan pinwheels (makes 18)

  • 85g pecans, plus a few extra, chopped
  • 50g light muscovado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 25g softened butter

For the apricot custard turnovers (makes 18)

  • 150g tub custard
  • 2 x 320g cans apricots
  • few tsps apricot jam

For the raisin swirls (makes 18)

  • 50g raisins
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar

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  1. Pulse together the dry ingredients plus 2 tsp salt in a processor, then pulse in the milk and egg until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Knead for 1 min, using a little flour, until just smooth. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr until doubled in size (overnight in the fridge if you like).
  2. Flour your surface, then pat the dough out to a rectangle, 1cm thick. Lay the butter slices out over the middle of the dough, in a rectangle. Fold the pastry over the top, bottom and then sides until the butter is completely hidden. Press the edges down.
  3. Roll the dough out to a 50 x 30cm rectangle, first tapping out the dough with the rolling pin in gentle ridges, so that you can tell the butter is being squashed out evenly inside the pastry, before rolling properly. Turn dough 90 degrees, then fold the right third over and the left third over that. Do this three times, chilling for 15 mins after each roll.
  4. Cut the dough in half, into 2 squares. Roll one piece of dough to 35 x 35cm. Cut into 9 squares, then follow the instructions below for each filling and shape. If you want to make more than one shape, it's easy to divide the filling quantity. Don't worry if your squares rise as you work, just roll them out a bit again.
  5. To make 18 pecan pinwheels, whizz 85g pecans until fine, then stir in 50g light muscovado, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 25g softened butter. Cut each square of pastry almost to the middle from each corner, spoon on 1 tsp filling, then fold each point over and press into the middle. Scatter more chopped pecans and a little sugar over before baking. Drizzle with a little maple syrup to serve.
  6. For 18 apricot custard turnovers, you will need 150g tub custard, 2 x 320g cans apricots and a few tsps apricot jam. Put 2 tsp custard in the middle, sit two apricot halves on top, dot with jam, then pull 2 corners over and pinch to seal.
  7. To make 18 raisin swirls, mix 50g raisins, 25g caster sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice and 50g soft butter. Instead of cutting the dough into 9, leave it whole and spread the filling over. Roll up, slice into 9 rounds, then squash each one. Blend 50g icing sugar and a few drops of water to drizzle over once baked.
  8. Once shaped and filled, let the pastries rise for 30 mins until puffed and doubled in size. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush with beaten egg, make sure you pinch any edges together again, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and risen.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2009

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Chrisn1985's picture

Sorry to moan but I am a good baker and also found this recipe created a dough that was far too dry and also found myself drawn away from my instincts and using butter that was far too soft , due to the recipe being far to vague. Sadly this is not the only good food recipe that has come out a mess. A waste of time and ingredients, stick to your original recipes people.

camberwellgirl's picture

Had a complete disaster with this recipe!! I am quite an experienced baker and make lots of puff pastry and croissant type recipes, but this ended up with a dough that was too stiff and butter oozing out all over the place!!! Had to bin it and resort to the old trusted WI book of baking. Their recipe is almost identical for the pastries, but adds a bit less flour (450g total) and 2 eggs to make a lovely soft silky dough. Now have perfect and very tasty Danish pastries

pisteuomen's picture
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As everyone else has said, 150ml of milk is not quite enough for this recipe. I made the recipe exactly as it said and the result was almost like a crumble mix. I added lukewarm water, a splash at a time, until it came to and resembled dough.

Other than that, I cannot fault the recipe. The taste is absolutely delicious and it's by far the easiest dough that I've ever worked with (virtually no kneading at all!)

I've just used 1/4 of the dough to make the maple/pecan pinwheels (which are delicious) and another 1/4 to make half a dozen croissants.

If you've ever made puff pastry from scratch, then this is an absolute doddle.

phillybongo's picture
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Good recipe this!!! What I would suggest is that when you make the dough rub into the flour about 30 grams of the butter unitl it looks like bread crumbs. Also this mix doesn't need extra milk, by adding double you are seriously altering the recipe. It's not a bread dough so you really shouldn't work the dough too much as it will become far too elastic and will make it difficult to roll out aswell as altering texture. When you bring the dough together knead it three or four times and no more. The biggest skill in making Danish is keeping everythin nice square when rolling and turning.

vicki_mh's picture
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I only made the pecan ones because my brother asked for them. The pinwheels came out great but were a pain to make so I made the second batch as swirls - I just followed the instructions for the raisin ones. I was really surprised at how flaky my pastry came out but they do need a bit of practice before they're perfect. Will definitely make again when I have time.

gazandamber's picture
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Jacquie did you try with ready made puff?

We used ready made and only did the pecan pinwheels, the filling was really good but they needed much longer to cook which i didnt expect i thought they would need less. I would make them again and now i have made 1 lot i would try the other 2 recipes.

Jacquie Stringfield's picture

What about using a pack of puff pastry ? I'm going to try this to save time. Has anyone tried it with puff pastry?

elliecat77's picture

I agree with Dinobabel - I had to nearly double the amount of milk for the dough. Just keep dribbling it in until it goes from crumbly to doughy.

I made 6 of each of the three types and they all taste great, although they didn't look quite right. Make sure your butter is quite hard and roll out the dough plenty of times.

dinobabel's picture

the mix needed a bit more milk if done by hand to get the good dough consistancy

allylou2002's picture
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Im new to finding my cooking feet and this is the first recipe that I have tried. I really enjoyed the process and found it easy to follow - final product tasted lovely - especially the raisin rolls.