Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Friday, March 21, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday for March 21
With Easter this weekend, my thoughts turn to brunchy foods, and I thought of these wonderful pastries. This recipe is too good not to share, so here it is. This is sort of a long recipe, but you can divide the work over 2 days, since the dough needs to chill 8 hours or overnight. It's much easier than the usual Danish pastry recipe. My family has always loved these pastries, which I sort of invented by combining 2 different recipes. They do freeze well, and I would often keep a bag of them in the freezer to reheat individually on busy school mornings.
2 envelopes active dry yeast 1/3 cup sugar, divided use 1/2 cup warm water 4 cups flour 2 tsp. salt 1 cup cold butter or margarine, cut in small pieces 1 cup milk 2 slightly beaten eggs 1 beaten egg (for glaze)
In small bowl, stir 1 tsp. of sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over; stir and let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Add the butter; cut into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add milk, eggs, and yeast mixture. Stir with wooden spoon to make a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
1 1/2 hours before serving: Grease 2 baking sheets (or line them with parchment paper or teflon liners). Remove dough from fridge. Punch down; remove 1/4 of the dough and place on a lightly floured surface, turning dough to flour all sides. Return the bowl, covered, to the fridge. Cut removed dough into 6 pieces. With floured hands (you may need to keep flouring them), roll each piece into at least a 12" rope. Coil each rope loosely on the baking sheet, tucking end under. Leave at least 2" between pastries to allow room for rising. Brush with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining dough, using 1/4 of dough each time and returning bowl to fridge each time until all the dough is used.
Let the pastries rise, uncovered, at room temperature 25-30 minutes or until puffy.
Heat oven to 350º. Using floured finger or wooden spoon handle, make deep indentation in center of each pastry. Fill indentations with cheese filling. Brush dough again with beaten egg. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to cooling racks.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.