Cheese Danish Primer

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!

Yum.

2 thoughts on “Cheese Danish Primer

  1. wow I’m totally going to make these with the goat cheese I make in spring, which is similar to cream cheese…sounds delicious!

    • I have to try making the danish again before I forget: last time I was supervised, after all, and to go solo makes me a bit nervous….but at least I know what I’m aiming for.

      I recently started substituting goat cheese for conventional cow cheese; at least, most of the time. It’s so good, of course, but I’ve noticed it is just easier to digest and seems to help me stay slightly slimmer….emphasis on the slightly. I’m SO JEALOUS you can make your own goat cheese!!

      I’ll get back to you soon about your email; great photos of the kids BTW, just have been so so busy.

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