Danish Pastry – Raisin Whirls

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    8

    Whirls Using a Half Portion of Danish Pastry

Appears in

There’s nothing more satisfying than the smell (and taste!) of a freshly baked Danish pastry. They aren’t difficult to make, but you need to plan in advance. The pastry, once made, keeps well in the fridge for up to three days and can be frozen in half portions to use at a later date.

Prep Danish Pastry – 35 Minutes Plus 4 Hours or Overnight Resting Raisin Whirls – 15 Minutes Plus 2½ Hours Proving
Bake 12 Minutes
Oven 190°C (Fan)/210°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7

Ingredients

Danish Pastry

  • 350 g (12 oz) strong white bread flour
  • 40 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • tsp fast action yeast
  • 250 g (9 oz) butter, cold, cut into thin sticks
  • 125 ml/129 g ( fl oz /4⅝ oz) milk
  • 50 ml/50 g ( fl oz/ oz) water, cold
  • 1 egg, large

Filling

  • 150 g ( oz) raisins
  • 40 g ( oz) currants
  • 200 ml/200 g (7 fl oz/7 oz) boiling water
  • 25 g (1 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp mixed spice

Glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Rolling pin
  • Sieve
  • Serrated bread knife
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Cling film (plastic wrap)
  • Pastry brush

Method

Danish Pastry

  1. Place the flour, sugar and dried yeast into the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick blitz to mix evenly. Add the butter and blitz again, until the butter is broken up into pebble-like chunks.

  2. Tip the mixture out into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Measure the milk and water into a jug and add the egg. Whisk well.

  3. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and combine together using a table knife. It will be fairly sticky and speckled with the butter. Gather the dough together into a ball, wrap well in cling film (plastic wrap) and place It in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

  4. Flour the work surface and unwrap the chilled pastry. Roll out the dough into a long thin rectangle, 20 x 50cm (8 x 20in), keeping the rolling pin and surface lightly dusted with flour. If a blob of butter breaks through add a dab of flour to its surface to keep it in place. Fold the bottom third of the rectangle up and the top third down in an envelope style fold.

  5. Turn the folded dough 90 degrees so that the folds are now left and right. Repeat the rolling and folding in step 4 a further 3 times. If the dough becomes difficult to roll out let it rest for 5–10 minutes before rolling again. That’s the Danish pastry done. Each of the recipes (Raisin Whirls and Croissants) use a half block of dough so cut it in half and wrap each portion in cling film (plastic wrap). These can be kept in the fridge or frozen for up to a month for later use.

Raisin Whirls

  1. Place the raisins and currants into a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Leave the fruit to soak for 30 minutes, then strain the hydrated fruit and set to one side.

  2. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and spice. Take a half quantity of Danish pastry out of the fridge and unwrap.

  3. Flour the work surface and begin to roll out the dough in a lengthwise direction to begin with. You’re aiming for a long rectangle approximately 40 x 17cm (15¾ x 6¾in). Keep the top of the dough and rolling pin very lightly floured, and if any butter starts to break through the surface add a scant pinch of flour to it. The dough will naturally widen as the piece lengthens. Keep checking that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface, adding a light dusting of flour if necessary. If the pastry becomes difficult to roll out let it rest for 5 minutes. Try to keep the edges straight, and once you reach the required length adjust the width and it should be just about there. Scatter the spice and sugar mixture over the surface leaving a 2 cm (¾in) section at the bottom clean. Top the sugar with the drained fruits.

  4. Start to roll up the pastry from the top of the dough towards you. When you reach the end slightly dampen the clean dough with water and pinch together firmly to seal. Turn the seam so that it sits underneath.

  5. Wrap the log in a piece of baking (parchment) paper and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Once chilled, unwrap the log and trim off the ends to neaten. Use a serrated bread knife to gently cut the log into 8 whirls, each approximately 2cm (¾in) wide.

  6. Place the whirls on lined baking sheets, spaced well apart. Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours until puffy and almost doubled in size. Once risen, place them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan)/210°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.

  7. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. Serve warm.

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