This recipe is all about technique. This doesn’t mean that it is particularly difficult, merely that it has specific directions you’ll want to follow closely. As in many pastry recipes, the condition and treatment of the butter is crucial. Here the butter is frozen before being grated, as it keeps the shreds of butter separate and prevents them from melting into the flour before the dough is baked. (Don’t try this recipe on a very hot day.) When you stir the yeast mixture into the flour, be careful to do it briefly, barely combining the ingredients. When you master these techniques, the Danish will come out wonderfully flaky.
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