Exploring Foodstyles - Danish Pastry

Danish Pastry
Danish breakfast pastry has become so common in the United States that its name has been shortened. People often speak of having "a Danish". Danish pastry comes in many shapes and flavors. It is basically a pastry dough topped with a fruit, cheese, or sugar-and-nuts mixture. It is often frosted with a confectioners' sugar glaze or with a custardlike mixture.

The ingredients include flour, yeast, milk, eggs, and copious amounts of butter or margarine.

In industrial production, other fats are also commonly used, such as hydrogenated sunflower oil (known as "pastry fat" in the UK). A yeast dough is rolled out thinly, coated with butter, and then folded into numerous layers. If necessary, the dough is chilled to ease handling. The rolling, buttering, folding, and chilling is repeated several times to create a dough which is fluffy, buttery and flaky. However, not all danishes are made this way. The dough is sometimes not even laminated.

The Danish as consumed in Denmark can be topped with chocolate, sugar or icing, and may be stuffed with either jam, marzipan or custard. Shapes are numerous, including circles with filling in the middle (known as "Spandauer's"), figure-eights, spirals (known as snails), and the pretzel-like kringles.

In the UK, various ingredients such as jam, custard, apricots, raisins, flaked almonds, pecans or caramelized toffee are placed on or within sections of divided dough, which is then baked. Cardamom is often added to increase the aromatic sense of sweetness.

In the US, danishes are typically given a fruit or sweet bakers' cheese topping prior to baking. Danishes with nut fillings are also popular.

In Argentina, they are usually filled with dulce de leche or dulce de membrillo.

Glazed apple Danish.jpg
A glaze apple danish
Place of origin    Austria
Region or state    Vienna
Type    Sweet bread
Main ingredient(s)    Flour, yeast, milk, eggs, butter

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