Danish Pastry Dough

Here’s a nice Danish-style pastry dough that works as well for coffee cakes as it does for Danishes. And mark my words, this tastes as close to the real thing as we can get in the States. A mighty viking woman I once had the honor of knowing (until, sadly, she died two years ago) told me that she hadn’t tasted Danishes like these since she was a child in Copenhagen (and believe me, not even the Danes make many Danishes like this anymore). I usually quadruple this recipe, cut it into four pieces and freeze it in individual batches.

Danish Pastry Dough

For the dough (détrempe):

5.5 ounces (2/3 cup) milk
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons (6 grams) instant yeast
10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose (AP) flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg

For the butter slab:

8 ounces unsalted Danish or Euro-style (cultured) butter
2 tablespoons flour

Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixer and, using the dough hook, mix about five minutes until the dough is smooth and uniform (it will be somewhat sticky…this is what you want). Turn it out into a dough rising container and let it ferment for half an hour at room temperature, then put it in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, or overnight.

When you’re ready to shape your Danishes, make your butter slab (and need I say it? Real Danish butter), according to the “How to Laminate Dough” instructions under the Techniques menu. Then carry on with the rolling and folding process for a total of three letter-style “turns”, letting the dough rest twenty minutes between each folding.

Put the dough into the refrigerator and let it rest for one hour, then use (or keep it there for 2-3 days). It keeps well frozen for up to two months. Most small Danish pastries bake at a temperature of 375 Fahrenheit for between 15 and 20 minutes, but can take longer of they’re filled.

Makes enough for about a dozen Danishes or two coffee cakes.

117 thoughts on “Danish Pastry Dough”

  1. I’m a huge fan of this recipe (well, to be fair, it’s the sweetheart that i do it for), and i’ve made it a couple times, but i’ve noticed… on this recipe, you say to give the dough a total of three turns (for 3^(3+1) = 81 layers), but the dough lamination article says Danish has 243 layers, which would make for four turns total. I think by now i’ve made it both ways, and neither turns out *bad*, but i’m wondering which of these, if either, is the canonically correct one.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Erika! As far as which is canonically correct, it depends on whose canon you’re being fired out of. Different authorities will insist on different numbers of layers/folds. Some claim that very crunchy/flaky laminated pastries are best while others prefer them a bit more bread-like. In general I think that pastry schools usually want more layers. However buying laminated pastries in European (or Euro-style) pastry shops, it seems to me that fewer folds are preferred. So I guess I’m saying you should find the one you prefer and run with it! Cheers and thanks! – Joe

  2. I just found your site, and am making 4 of these danish pastries tonight. The dough is wonderful! Can’t wait to taste one. Thanks so much.

      1. They were wonderful, my cream cheese filling was a little too runny, but other than that, they dissappeared! I’m making them again today.

  3. danish butter can you explain to me what it is and where it can be got or what can I do to improve normal butter.

    1. Sure James! Danish butter is pretty much what it sounds like, butter from Denmark. Er, wait, Denmark doesn’t sound like Danish at all. No matter. That’s what it is: a style of European (so-called “cultured”) butter that has a slightly higher fat content plus a slightly tangy taste. Lurpak is a brand that’s available in the States, but honestly just about any European or Euro-style butter (like domestically-made Plugra) will stand in well for Danish butter. However in the end it’s not so much about the butter as it is making Danishes from scratch. If you can’t find — or don’t want to pay for — imported butter, your pastries will still be drop-dead amazing.

      Thanks for the email!

      – Joe

      1. Oh wow, do I have to echo Joe here. Yup, there is a tiny taste difference in cultured butters, but don’t get used to it because it can be habit forming! You probably don’t want to there unless you are extremely wealthy. A little for a roll may be OK for most budgets, but you probably cannot afford to cook/bake with it. As I write in late ’13, Euro cultured butters go for nearly $10 the pound. For making the pastry, standard USDA Grade AA UNSALTED butter will just have to do. In a roll you will taste the difference. Incorporated into the dough, I don’t think so. I’m far from poor, but I won’t spent that kind of money for a single ingredient. Heck, a lot of folks -an bakeries, do just fine with Sweetex and no, you son’t want to know what that’s made of. Trust me! -Cedarglen

  4. Hi Joe. First off, thank you so much for such in depth teachings on how to make pastries, you have no clue how much this has helped me as I am just starting out. Next I wanted to point out that I found the danish dough too runny and impossible for me to form around the butter slab without having to add a substantial amount of flour. It is most likely is my mistake, but would you happen to know what it is that I am doing wrong?
    This is my blog on the danish so you can get an idea of what I am doing
    Thanks, Missy

    1. Hey Missy! Thanks for the note — and thanks for picking my Danish recipe to work with! I’m sorry it didn’t turn out like you expected. Not knowing exactly how the process went or the proportions you used it’s hard to say what happened other than the obvious: it’s wet. Thus says Joe “Sherlock Holmes” Pastry. I don’t know if the problem was too much liquid or too little flour…though the type of flour could play a role. If you used a cake or pastry flour, that might have done it. But that’s my best guess. Please keep after it and let me know how things progress. I’m always here to lend a hand if I can. – Joe

    2. It could also have something to do with where you’re located; humidity and elevation have a surprising impact on baking.

  5. Hi Joe
    Thanks for the recipe. My dough didn’t turn out as great looking as the one in your photo, as there seem to be butter oozing out from it everywhere! However when they came out of the oven they looked fine, but not perfect. Strangely the first batch looked much better than the second. Still- I was very pleased as this is my first time making danish pastry, and everyone commented on how tasty they were. Thanks again, Im sure I’ll be making them again soon, :D.

    1. Congratulations! Sounds like the first batch went very well. Keep practicing, Mazy! Next time it sounds like you need to shorten your proofing (second rising) time a bit, maybe by half. Keep checking back, because I’m always interested to hear how projects turn out!


      – Joe

  6. I’m curious about freezing this dough. If you freeze it, what is the best thawing method? In the fridge overnight? Do you have to adjust proofing time at all?


    1. Yes, thawing overnight is fine. I find it takes a good twelve hours. As for proofing time, they don’t change much unless you’ve had the dough frozen for a couple of months, in which case some of the yeast do die off and things take a little longer to get going.

      Hope that helps!

      – Joe

  7. I just found your website today, and I think in the 7 hours that I have know about it I have learned more about baking than the 10 years I have been doing it. My boyfriend who loves my baking was distracted all day with the pages upon pages that I have been looking at and bookmarking. Thank you so much!

    1. Welcome, Sarah — and your boyfriend, too! Very happy to have you aboard! And thanks for the very kind compliment! Let me know if you have any questions about anything. I’m pretty much always here!

      – Joe

  8. I was a little skeptical initially with the quantity of milk. Thought it would turn on softer side more like croissant. But surprisingly it didn’t. Don’t understand the reason behind it but the pastries have turned out extremely wonderful! Thank you so much!

  9. Hey Joe

    You quadruple the recipe isnt that a challenge when it comes to making the butter slab….32oz of butter, but then you are the expert.
    I am going to try, but I will double.

  10. Hi Joe

    Making this dough isn’t easy as it looks, tell me if my butter kinda ooze through the dough, is my pastry dough ruined.

    1. Nope, not ruined. It’s probably just fine. Proceed as normal. Next time you’ll know how the process works and will probably make it better. Until then enjoy what you’ve made — and a big salute to you for going where most home bakers fear to tread!

      – Joe

      1. And with a , always use the refer between steps… This old far sure knows that much!

  11. Hello Sir,

    Could you please tell me the exact measurements in terms of cups as opposed to ounces? I am very much inspired to try this recipe. I will make them as per as your instructions. I have always known pasties are very difficult to make, which is why i have never even looked at any pastry recipes, let alone make them from scratch. I hope and i hope the butter does not ooze out. i am going to pray to god, silently as i work on this recipe.

    Thank You!

    1. Hello Payal!

      I just added the volume measure to the recipe. Have fun!

      – Joe

      P.S. – I find I also pray quite a bit when making laminated dough. It helps!

      1. Where can I find the volume version of the recipe? I’m not seeing it here (really only need it for the milk – ml is preferred but I can work with cups)
        Also do you know the weight of 1.5 tsp instant yeast?

        1. I fixed it up for you, nj! Have a look and let me know if you have any questions

          – Joe

  12. Hello Sir,

    I have followed your recipe, but I am not sure if i am doing, it is right or wrong. My danish was flakey on the outside but in the middle it was not that flakey. It is a bit moist. My danishes did rise. I mean, if danish is like puff pastry, it should be flakey and leafey. Is that right? Am i doing anything wrong? My husband says, that it was very delicious and such pastries can never be found at any five star hotels. But then again he will say such a thing, even if i fry him an egg with few egg shells in the fried egg. He knows the effort i put into it.

    Sir, please do not get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your recipe, it is the best way you have showed me. What i am worried is, about my mistakes and my way of doing it.

    Thank You!

    1. Hello Payal!

      No offense taken at all! I have had the same problem. It sounds to me like the rising (especially the second rising) went on for too long. Is it very warm where you live?

      – Joe

  13. Tried your recipe and it looked great out of the oven, smelled wonderful but the inside layers seemed uncooked. What did I do Wrong ?The lamination went fine, kept everything cold, 375 for 25 min. Lots of butter leaked while baking.

    1. Hey Charlie!

      I’ve had that happen myself. The second rising (proofing) was too long. Now that it’s summer it’s likely your indoor temperature and humidity are higher than normal. That’s what causes this problem. The butter gets too soft, collapses the layers and, well, you’re all too familiar with the rest. But as I recall they still taste mighty good! Next time I’d suggest cutting the first rising by about a third, and the proofing by about half…at least at this time of year.

      Thanks for the email!

      – Joe

  14. I was was wondering if you use this same dough for Almond Rings…..The Seven Sisters Almond Rings? If so do you have a recipe?
    Thank You,
    Celine Weber

    1. Hi Celine!

      I’ve seen seven sisters cakes made with brioche rolls as well, which turn out with the consistency of cinnamon buns. It all depends on what sort of result you’re after. Where are you writing from, Michigan perhaps? I’ve never done a seven sisters cake myself, but would be interesting in trying it!

      – Joe

  15. Joe, I wanted to let you know that your website has been extremely helpful to me. I create gluten-free flour mixes and I developed a GF danish recipe based off the recipe and all your techniques and advice here. I posted my danish recipe last week and I linked back to your blog so that my readers can have the benefit of your sage advice as well. Thanks for all that you do, and for making pastries seem accessible for the average joe!


  16. Hello joe i want to try your recipe i was wondering if you have to proof the yeast first?also with the recipe containing milk would proofing the yeast with water cause the dough to be too soft.thank you for the recipe&reading my comment:-)

    1. Hey Courtney!

      When you use instant yeast you don’t need to prove it, you just add it in as you would some salt or sugar and it goes from there. If you’re planning to use conventional active dry, you can warm the milk and add the yeast to it before you mix everything together. Happy baking!

      – Joe

      1. Thank you joe i am,now letting the dough ferment for 30 mins thanks i can’t wait to see how this turns out.

          1. Omg! Joe the pastries are spot on delish.we devoured them all in one day:-) .i made apple,&bluberry.i will be making some more today.i also made bear claws with a pecan filling using your recipe i just made a substitute.thanks so much keep those beautiful recipe coming.btw the dough is beautiful to work with no issues what so ever.:-)

          2. Great to hear Courtney! Thanks for the New Year’s heads-up!

            – Joe

  17. hi joe, thanks for the wonderful recipes. i was just wondering what buttercream frosting recipe you used for the danishes.


    1. Hi Gilbert! Any of the buttercreams will work just fine. I generally use whatever I happen to have around in the freezer, since I only need a little and it will mostly melt into the dough as it bakes. You need to not be too particular. Sometimes mine has colors and/or flavors in it from another project, but it all works great!

      – Joe

  18. I used the onces qualities in this recipe and it came out not just slightly sticky but a complete gloop, was 100% sure i used the right quanities i checked over and over again and reviewed in my head, are you sure your conversions are correct or am i just insane?

    1. Hey Elan! Love your name, by the way. I just saw this now. I’m very glad the mystery was solved. Let me know how they dough comes out!

      – Joe

  19. Aw thanks for the compliment on my name (thanks mum and dad), i froze the dough and made some pinwheel pastries on sunday with my cousin, they came out very lovely amazing texture i did 4 turns. Thanks for the recipe just going to make some more today to freeze 🙂

  20. Hi, Joe –
    I just found your site this morning, while searching for Danish pastry recipes and techniques. I’ve already shared the link – what a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing your know-how. I have a technique question, if that’s all right? I have a recipe for tangerine curd, and I think it would be lovely as a Danish filling (layered with cheese,) but curd would turn rubbery and nasty in the oven. Perhaps if I baked the pastries without, pulled them from the oven a minute or two early, added the filling and finished baking them? Or do you have a proven technique, or suggestion?

    1. Hi Melanie!

      If it were me I’d probably cut a hole in the top layer of dough or weigh it down with some sort of form to leave an impression, then fill it when it cooled. Curd shouldn’t be exposed to that sort of heat for any length of time lest it curdle.

      Let me know how they turn out. And thanks for all the very kind words!

      – Joe

  21. Hi, Joe. I’m going to experiment with the tangerine curd this weekend and bring the results to work for taste-testing. I’ll tell you about it once everybody has a chance to vote. I’ll have at least one disaster story, I bet, but that will add to the fun.

  22. Hi, Joe!

    Short version: 1. The round danish look just like the real thing! And they are so fluffy and crunchy and tender all at once! Two points!
    2. I didn’t use enough dough – or make the squares thick enough – for the bear claws. They are mostly filling and long claws. But I am a city girl, and that is the way I have always pictured bears. The filling was nice: I added a little cardamom to the almond. I know that isn’t traditional and I should probably be ashamed, but my boss is both a sweetheart and Lebanese and anything with cardamom makes her heart happy. It’s a strong spice, but I only used a little, as a perfume. She said, “Oh, my Lord, these are good.” One and a half points.
    3. I mixed a bit of the tangerine curd with cream cheese, until the texture matched the fluffy stuff in your instruction photo. Then I used that to make the cheese danish, and since the filling was tucked in the pastry envelope, the curd was adequately protected. I finished those with a drizzle of the curd – made them sticky, but I didn’t want to dull the tangerine flavor with powdered sugar. However, I put the pastries on the pan seam side down! They look like overlarge ravioli. Oops… People really liked the flavor, though. One point.
    The detailed instructions and photos were invaluable, thank you so much for the tutorial! I know what I would do differently, and the process was so much fun! I am totally trying this again soon, when I can afford the butter. (I feel that this month, I have given enough of my hard-earned pay to the Danes.)
    There was actually more to this story – illness and a plague of ants, among other things – but this comment has gone on long enough. If you want the epic I can always email you, but I think the highlights are covered, here.

    1. Way to go, Melanie!

      So glad they worked out — and what marvelously creative interpretations! Cardamom is very Scandinavian, so you were right on the money with that addition. As for the tangerine curd I only wish I were there to try it!

      Cheers and congratulations!

      – Joe

  23. Hi!

    Just came across your website looking for a recipe for ‘floating island’ and started browsing! WOW! What great looking ‘Danish’ you make. And you’re completely right, not many bakers in Denmark make them like this anymore – such a shame.

    (Oh, and in Denmark this kind of pastry is called Wienerbrød, meaning ‘Bread from Vienna’ – in case you were wondering..)

    I’ve bookmarked your blog, and will be checking up regularly!

    All the best!

    1. Thanks very much, M! Please do come back, and let me know if I can answer any questions about what you might find here!

      – Joe

  24. We just discovered a quickly growing chain of coffee shops here in Japan that feature an amazing little buttery/bready round of heaven called a “Shiro-noir” (the name is a Japanese/French mishmash of White and Black…strangely, since it’s neither white OR black in color…more of a delicious, buttery golden color!). It’s a light, fluffy, buttery round of pastry with a huge swirl of vanilla soft serve ice cream on top! You top it off with a little bitty of maple syrup, and it’s heaven on Earth!!!

    …Anyway, after trying it a few times last week, I set to trying to find a copycat recipe I could try at home. I can’t remember how I got to the idea of it being related to Danish pastry, but I remember while eating it, I noticed that there were thin little layers in it. As soon as I came across your recipe for folding the dough and butter, I realized…Yep, this must be Danish!

    So, my plan is to try it this week…for my mother in law…. *scared* >_<;;; I'd like to make your classic coffee cake, perhaps with a cream cheese filling. VERY nervous about making the dough, though. We're having a heat wave here, as a matter of fact, so I realize I'm going to have to keep the air conditioner blasting to stop the butter from melting and oozing out…What a nightmare! The price of ANY kind of butter is outrageous here, so I've GOT to make this thing without fail….Any words of encouragement for a newbie, giving the ol' coffee cake a shot? If it helps any, I'm otherwise a good sweet bread baker. Make fluffy cinnamon rolls and other kinds of not-too-fancy breads all the time, but I really want to try Danish!!!

    The major rule of thumb that keeps sticking out in my mind is that – if the butter starts getting too soft, or melty, stop what I'm doing and stick it back into the fridge for a while, and start back at it after it's chilled up some more. Would that be the best one to remember for a hot summer day?

    Very nervous!!!

    1. Hey Kashipan!

      You’ve got all the right instincts on this, so I know you’ll succeed. The butter should be plastic but not greasy. Working some flour into the butter pat — even a little more than the recipe calls for — will help insulate it from the heat when you’re working the dough. If you see any shine on the butter, stop and refrigerate it for ten or twenty minutes to firm it a bit. Then continue.

      Remember: fear not the pastry! Press on and have fun! 😉

      – Joe

  25. I’m making this Danish dough as we speak. I have had a similar problem as some of the above people. My dough after kneading was super runny, not just sticky. I’m certain that my measurements are correct based on your recipe. Even after reading in the fridge for 2 hours it was still WAY soft. So I just lightly kneaded in more flour. I’m hoping I didn’t ruin it. I’ve added the butter slab and have tried to do a couple turns but oh my goodness! What a mess it seems to be. I used 2/3 c milk, 2 void ap flour, a large egg….. can high humidity really make THIS much of a difference?

    1. Hey Brandie!

      Do you live in New Zealand by any chance? Most of the people who’ve had that problem live there. Let me know!

      – Joe

  26. Well the additional flour that I added must’ve not made a huge difference. I made one of your Danish coffee cakes with it and it was fabulous!

  27. Hi Joe!

    I made Danish Pastry using your recipe last Saturday, and made two batches. Hmmm, actually that was my first laminating dough, and I was afraid if the result was no good! Hahahaha… But you explain everything too well, I’m so happy & satisfy with the result, the texture & the flavor is so yumm yummmm…^^
    I had no difficulty when kneading or laminating the dough, I followed all of your instructions… Thank you for being a very generous person, thank you for being a great baking teacher!

    1. Great news, Midia! Thank you very much for writing back with your results. I greatly appreciate it!

      And congratulations on your first successful laminating project — that’s something to celebrate!

      – Joe

      1. Hi Joe!

        Thank you for your kindly reply…:)
        Yepp, I was so happy that the result turned great! ^^ Thank you, you taught me many things in baking world, it’s like a big treat for me and my family…:D next time I want to try your puff pastry recipe, too…:)
        Btw, I’m wondering, does this recipe work for cronuts? I really want to make it, actually I never eat it before, just curious how it tastes. I haven’t find it in my country so far.

        Thank you.

        1. Hi Midia!

          I haven’t tried it, but as I understand it, butter doesn’t work for cronuts. I believe that is because butter contains about 15% water. In the fryer that water turns to steam, and the steam pushes the layers apart. If I were going to try to make cronuts, I’d make a croissant dough out of margarine, fry that in rings, then inject the pastry cream filling (assuming they held together). Let me know how the puff pastry goes!

          And cheers to you for making your own laminated dough!

          – Joe

  28. Hi Joe,

    This website is amazing! I’m an ex-chef who used to be “allergic” to baking as I had no sweet tooth or the patience for it. But that all changed and I was looking for good recipes, and found them here!
    Following your recipe, my dough and Danishes came out really well, although I don’t think I left them to prove long enough and re-reading the recipe I did too many turns (I think…) Two questions: what’re the issues New Zealand bakers have? I just moved here and curious to know (and I did use a fancy New Zealand butter, but I had no issues working with it). Also, the Danishes came out a tiny bit more cake-like and less flaky than expected – while I know you don’t have a crystal ball to see what I did, could you guess that that result was due to the recipe itself, perhaps not proving them enough or doing too many turns?

    1. Hi Joe,

      Just answering my own questions…. I redid the dough and it worked out near-perfect (I’m pretty sure my problem was not proving it properly last time), with many nods of approval from everyone who tried it so thanks for the recipe! And if any other NZ people write to you, let them know that cultured NZ butter by Whitestone is now available in the main supermarkets.

      Looking forward to trying the other recipes, Alison

      1. Great news, Alison! And thanks for the tip. I get a fair number of Kiwis here, so that will be useful. Please do come back and feel free to ask any questions. I’m generally around to answer.


        – Joe

  29. Hello again Joe and others. I/m a newbie here, but this wonderful site is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks, Joe! I’ve already sent a too long note via the private link and now it is time to mix and bake. I cannot wait to get my fingers onto those strips of dough. Number of folds? Who cares? I’ll go with four simply because I’ve got the time and I know that I can keep the dough in +/- good shape. I’ve learned as much from the questions and responses and from the basic instructions, so thanks to all. OMG! it has been n early fifty years since I ‘played’ with dough like this and my fingers are twitching already. Thanks Joe. -Cedarglen

  30. Hi Joe,

    Thank you so much for your amazing recipes and technique instructions. I have just eaten one of the first Danish pastries I have ever made and it was superb!

    I made the pastry last night then rolled and shaped the pastries this morning for a family brunch. Huge compliments from everyone. the pastries were light, crisp and flaky – absolutely wonderful. Some of my shaping could improve but that was a minor issue. I did lemon classic sweet rolls ( should have had longer strips); blackcurrant pinwheels (could have been bigger squares), and sultana snail rolls (needed a bigger piece of dough to roll up).

    I still have some of the dough in the freezer and am going to make pastries to take to family Christmas breakfast.

    Your instructions are so detailed (and funny) that I had no trouble with making the pastry at all. I can’t believe my results were so good. Thanks again.

    1. Hello Terry!

      Thanks so much for writing on this and sharing the success story. Trust me, we could all be better shapers. The pastry chef who trained me would be appalled at the decline of my shaping skills, but it sure doesn’t hurt the taste as you point out! Keep on making them, because the world needs more real laminated dough!


      – Joe

  31. hi joe. last Friday I made your sweet roll classic with cheese, they turned out wonderful, that was the first time I have tried this type of recipe. I was truly surprised at the flavor and ease of this recipe. I think I let them rise a little higher than I was supposed to but the looked great and tasted even better, my husband took them to a pre-deer camp and they went over big with all the guys. thanks again for the recipe and the how to do it portion.

    1. You made my day, Marlow. Thanks for writing in to tell me the success story. Laminated dough makers of the world unite! 😉


      – Joe

  32. Hey there, I am very interested in making this dough, but was wondering if I could make it in the breadmaker. If so what would the method be??
    Thanks very much

    1. Hi Linzi!

      You could make the détrempe — the starting dough — in a bread maker I’m sure, but all the rolling and folding is hand work for sure. You’d only need the bread machine to mix the détrempe I think, since it rises at room temperature for only half an hour or so before being refrigerated.

      Let me know if you decide to try it!

      – Joe

  33. I have been wanting to make Danish pastries for some time and just came across your site……….I am anxious to try your recipe and absolutely love each view of how you demonstrate so easily how to shape each style of Danish…it is so very easy to follow..thank you..i hope I have such good luck as some of your other “bakers”…

    1. It’s my great pleasure, Madeline!

      Let me know if you have any questions…and have fun with the project!

      – Joe

  34. Oh MY! Heaven! I just found this site a few weeks ago as I was looking for a pastry recipe for bear claws. The only kind I have been able to find are the fried donut types..(don’t really care for them). My husband has been craving good old fashioned pastry bear claws since we moved here and boy, this dough and all the ideas were exactly what we were wanting! Made this last week and they came out PERFECT! Had fun doing it too, your instructions were great! Thank you!

    1. Those are the kinds of stories that really make my day, Elke! Thanks so much for writing me. Come back again soon!

      Your friend,

      – Joe

  35. It’s cooling down here is Australia. My dough has been in fridge overnight and I am itching to get the butter slab going. Soooooo excited to become a “laminator”. Not to be confused with “terminator”. This site is the absolute best ever. I love the detailed instructions and photos and I especially love that you treat all your readers with respect. I have started a food blog myself with the intention of just putting my love of cooking out there for the world to see, but won’t publish the name because it’s a bit embarrassing. I will definitely be linking back to this site. Wish me luck! (I plan to make a few different Danishes and was a bit naughty and bought a thick custard to put inside the envelope instead of making my own!) let me know if store bought super thick custard is likely to be disastrous or not! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    1. Hey Kath!

      You flatter me greatly! So glad to hear that you’re off on the laminating adventure, please be sure to tell me how it goes. I’ll also be curious to see your new web project — welcome to the blogosphere! All the best and can’t wait to read it.

      As for the custard, it should work just fine (all custard breaks in the heat to some extent, so don’t be alarmed. Three cheers for all the great work you’re doing!

      – Joe

  36. Is there a reason why you use AP flour instead of pastry flour? I have normal AP flour, or White Lilly brand AP flour which 9% protein the same as pastry flour. Which would be best to use?

    Approximately how much buttercream frost do you use for the Classic Sweet Roll shaping?

    The laminated dough page mentions using lemon juice, but it is not listed in this recipe, do I or don’t I?

    1. Hey there AU!

      Pastry flour is a little too weak in my opinion. I generally like a little stretch in it, especially during rolling, plus the higher gluten content gives the dough a higher rise. Bread flour, for example, is great for croissants. So I’d stick with a national brand AP. As far as the buttercream goes, just a thin coat on the dough is all you need. As far as the quantity it varies according to the size of the sheet, but for a 10-ounce piece I’d say you’d need about 1/3 cup.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

    1. Welcome aboard, Kate! Thanks for checking in and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you like along the way. I mostly always here!


      – Joe

  37. I just found your site and I am already making a list of what I’m going to be baking. I of course will be starting with the Danish but I do have a question; on your buttercreams which one is your favorite? Which do you prefer to use on your Danish?
    Keep up the fantastic work and look forward to treating my loved ones with your recipes!

    1. Thanks so much, Sami and welcome aboard! 😉

      My go-to buttercream is Swiss Meringue for just about everything. However American buttercream is both easy and great for Danishes if convenience is an issue!

      Cheers and come back soon!

      – Joe

      1. So I did it. I made the Danish for my father who walked in as I was drizzling the icing over them and immediately asked where I bought them. Then he ate one and it knocked him silent. Thank you so much for putting this out there. I have utterly spoiled my father with these Danish and, in fact, will be making more today!

        1. FABULOUS news, Sami! Nicely done. So proud of you that you had the courage to make your own laminated dough. Not many do — all hail the conquering hero! 😉

          Your friend,

          – Joe

  38. What type of buttercream do you use? Swiss, American, French, Italian? Or will any type work?

    1. Hi Alison!

      I’ll use whatever I happen to have handy (there are always a few leftovers in the freezer around here). Any of them will work splendidly.

      – Joe

    1. Hey Kimberly!

      You can mix it by hand. It’s a little sticky but shouldn’t be a problem. Have fun!

      – Joe

  39. Hi Joe! I’ve just found your blog and it’s wonderful that there’re numerous recipes here, very nice indeed!
    Btw, what would you recommend if I don’t have a standing mixer with that huge hook attachment? I only have handheld mixer. Thanks Joe!

  40. can you freeze the Danish after cooling and frosting them. And should they be defrosted in the fridge? Don’t want to screw them up after all that work.

    1. Hey Marlow!

      They can be frozen after baking, but it’s much better to freeze them after shaping, thaw them in the fridge overnight, then proof and bake. Frostings can crack in the freezer and pick up odors if you’re not careful. If you do freeze them after baking, make sure to use an airtight piece of tupperware or something like that.

      Cheers and best of luck!

      – Joe

  41. Hey Joe!
    This is definitely the best baking blog ever. Thanks for such a great recipe and technique explanation! I made the pastry and it turned out very well and also quite bready. How would I go about making it more flaky?
    Many thanks,

    1. Hey Rebecca!

      Thanks so much and very well done! My suggestion is to keep practicing the laminating. As you get more experience you’l generally get more flakes due to better definition between the layers. But you also you might try turning the dough another time. That will help too!


      – Joe

  42. Joe
    Re: Danish Pastry Dough
    I am not sure if I should follow the heating instructions on the instant yeast package or just mix it in the dry ingredients according to your recipe?
    I did not want to assume one way or the other.

    Any clarification will be very helpful.

  43. Love the pastries, makes a change to add a tiny bit of almond essence to the icing at the end – I’ve done that with apple danish (cooked an apple with sugar til almost mush but with small lumps and cooled the apple) – was really nice 🙂 Thanks for the masterclass – i’m keeping this page on the front of my computer so I can keep making them. I’m in the UK and yours is the best – so i’m not looking any further.

  44. Hi Joe. I tired your recipe for the first time and I ended up with greasy, crispy pastry with barely any layers. I did the dough in my kitchen aid and it was really wet. You said sticky but mine didn’t hold a shape.

    This is about the seventh time I have failed with laminating any dough and its disheartening.

    I live in Jamaica the room temperature is usually between 88 to 93 degrees F and I proofed for an hour in a 93F room. I don’t have air conditioning so I hope that resting for 20 mins between each turn would have done the trick but I am guessing it was too warm.

    Can you please tell what might of went wrong and how to adjust my practices to fit the warm weather here. Also can I proof the dough in the refrigerator before baking? How should the dough feel without butter and with butter (temperature and firmness)?

    I like your humor and the butter wacking and tutorials. I hope you’ll respond. Thanks- Dianne

    1. Hey Dianne!

      So sorry to hear about the troubles. I’ve had one or two other readers tell me their dough has turned out wet, which confuses me since I make this regularly and don’t have a problem. My thought is that your flour might be finer, so you might try adding a little more…maybe 25% if the dough is very slack.

      Otherwise, temperature is your main problem as you point out. You need to make a lot of good use of your refrigerator. Don’t hesitate to refrigerate the butter slab as you’re forming it, for 5-10 minutes here and there to make sure it’s not too soft when you start folding. It should be pliable but not greasy. Also, leave the dough in the refrigerator right up until you’re ready to start the folding…don’t give it time to warm up.

      Next, let the dough chill much longer between turns. I would say 40 minutes or even more. Pinch the dough after half an hour to see how firm the butter is inside the dough. If it feels very soft then let it keep chilling. An hour would be fine if the dough requires it.

      If the temperature really is over 90 you’re also going to have some problems during shaping in order to maintain the layers. I would suggest only working small amounts of dough at a time. Take the dough out of the fridge, cut off a piece and return the rest to the box. Roll the piece out thin, cut the sheet into whatever shapes you want: squares or strips…then put them back in the fridge for 10 minutes to prevent the butter from melting. When they’re fairly firm take them back out and do your final shaping.

      As far as proofing, an hour at 93 may be too much. You want the Danishes to puff up some. You don’t want them soft and fluffy.

      Does all that make sense? The chill chest is your best weapon to fight all that heat and humidity…use it! And get back to me with the results.


      – Joe

      1. Thanks Joe. Really appreciate the response and advice. I will try again and get back to you with my results.


  45. Thank you for this recipe! My fiance’ and my sister are hooked. They have made me a kitchen slave, my sister keeps buying the ingredients so I make more of these. I confess I altered the dough a little ( Some extracts), but it only improved this already amazing recipe. Thanks Joe!

    1. Way to go, Caitlin! And thanks for spreading the gospel of home-laminated dough!

      Tell me what extracts you used as I’m interested. Cheers and well done,

      – Joe

  46. Great recipe, just one thing is missing to make it even more authentically Danish: ground cardamon. I haven’t come across any Danish Danishes that don’t use it. It’s mixed in with the dough and, for the amount in this recipe, about ½-1 tsp would be fine. That said, many Danes would expect even more. I guess palates become used to the taste.

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe and for running such a useful blog.

    1. Hey Martin!

      That’s very true. I left it out of this recipe because many Americans find the taste of cardamom too strong, but shame on me for not writing it in as a suggestion. Thanks!

      – Joe

  47. What a bounty of wonderful information. This recipe works great. I’m wondering what kind of custardy filling could be cooked between the layers if the snail. Much obliged.

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