“These are perfect for morning coffee or brunch, though I can easily eat one heated up, late at night, with a cup of strong tea,” Trine Hahnemann says.
WHAT YOU NEED
Basic Danish Pastry Dough
• 25g fresh yeast
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• tsp salt
• 1 tbsp caster sugar
• 325g 00 grade (tipo 00) flour , plus more to dust
• 300g cold butter, in thin slices
For the filling
• 150g butter
• 5 tbsp caster sugar
• 50g poppy seeds
For the rest
• 1 quantity basic Danish pastry dough
• Plain flour, to dust
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 100g poppy seeds
• 100g sesame seeds
WHAT TO DO
Basic Danish Pastry
1. Crumble the yeast into 150ml of lukewarm water, stir to dissolve, then add the egg, salt and sugar. Stir in the flour and knead the dough with your hands until it is even and light. Put it in a bowl, cover with cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a rough 45cm square. Arrange a square of butter in the centre at a 45° angle to the corners of the dough so it forms a smaller diamond inside the pastry square. Fold the corners of the pastry over the butter to encase it fully and seal the joins well. Roll out the dough again carefully, this time into a rectangle, making sure that it does not crack and expose the butter.
3. Then fold a short end one-third over into the centre, and the other short end over that: you are folding the rectangle into three, as you would a business letter. Wrap in cling film and rest once more in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
4. Repeat this rolling and folding procedure three times in total, remembering to let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator between each. Now the dough is ready to make any Danish.
“The great thing about wienerbrød is that it all comes from the same basic pastry dough, so, when you master that, you can make all the different versions. The pastry is not hard to make but it takes time and, as with a lot of things in life, the more you do it the better you will become,” Trine says.
Making and filling the Danish:
1. Mix the butter and sugar for the filling together with the poppy seeds.
2. Roll the Danish pastry dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a 60x30cm rectangle. Spread the filling, lengthways, on one half of the dough, then fold the plain half of the dough over the filling: the folded pastry should measure 60x15cm. Press the seams together to encase it and brush with egg (reserve the remaining egg), then dredge with the poppy seeds and sesame seeds for the topping so the dough is covered.
3. Cut the pastry crossways into long strips, each 15x4cm. Take one at a time, twist them, then place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover with tea towels and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
5. Brush each pastry with the reserved egg on the cut edges and the pieces that aren’t covered with seeds, so every bit turns golden in the oven, then bake for five minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.