Probably my favorite food period is a well-made cheese danish. These are hard to find, though, because almost no one makes danish/croissant dough from scratch any more.
In my quest to develop proficiency in making a good danish dough, I went to Sonoita today where my mom graciously shared her danish making skills with me. She made a sweet dough earlier that morning; a sweet dough is simply a simple bread dough with butter and eggs that is NOT kneaded. This is a 3# sweet dough recipe that will make 28 cheese danish, or 28 croissant:
5 Cups flour, 1 cup scalded milk (cooled), 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup melted butter (cooled), 1/2 cupt sugar or honey, 3 ggs, 1 teaspoon salt (I think 2 teaspoons of salt is better, but, this is my mom’s recipe).
Place melted butter and cooled milk in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour, 2 Tablespoons fresh yeast and 1/2 cup warm water; let rest for 20 minutes in a warm place. Then add sugar, eggs, salt and stir till smooth. Add all the flour and work into a smooth dough. Do not knead. Refrigerate overnight, though just for a few hours will be OK in a pinch.
Take half the dough and roll out into a 2 foot wide, 1 foot high rectangle (the shape below is not a very good rectangle, it’s an oval, but you get the idea); then take ONE stick butter and a cheese knife and slice the butter over one half of the rolled out dough:
Fold the dough in half over the butter to make a smaller rectangle, then fold the new smaller rectangle in three:
Roll out this new small rectangle into another 1 foot by 2 foot rectangle…
…then fold it the same way and roll out again:
Then cut the dough so that you have 4 rows five inches wide, then cut 5 inch squares from these rows.
In a separate bowl mix cheese filling: 1# cream cheese, half a cup flour, 1 Tablespoon vanilla. Place 2 Tablespoons of filling in the center of each danish square. Brush all four corners of danish square with egg wash, then bring 2 opposite corners to the center and FIRMLY press down to seal. Do the same with the 2 remaining opposite corners to create a danish:
I made scrappy little croissants out of the leftover pieces of dough:
Set danish on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let raise, covered, in a warm place about 40 minutes:
After raising they should look bigger, and if you look closely you might see the dough bubbling a bit:
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Here are our danish!