For the past couple of weeks, Anthony and I have been watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Like many cooking shows, a set of people are chosen to show off their skills, and each episode, one person is eliminated if they don’t quite meet the standards of what the judges are looking for. Both addicting and dangerous, the show inspires the need to test out new recipes that may or may not turn out as pictured in the mind. (Google ‘Nailed It’)
What makes the show unique from other cooking competitions is that all of the bakers help one another out in times of need or lend a hand to help a competitor complete a challenge. Each person is humble with good sportsmanship and in many cases, competitors are genuinely shocked when they do well in the eyes of the judges. There is no ‘villain’, no drama, and no sabotaging and when somebody is eliminated they leave with a smile, appreciative of the experience.
Because I love baking and trying out anything sweet, some of the pastry competitions sparked an interest in me to try out something other than brownies or cookies. I wanted to do something that was more complicated and time-consuming to see if it would turn out. I’ve always loved breakfast pastries and had never actually made them, so decided that this would be the item in which I would try. After all, if danishes are ever an option on any breakfast menu or in the bakery of the local grocery store, they end up on my plate or in my cart.
Searching for recipes proved to be challenging. Most of them either called for pre-made pastry dough or canned pie filling. I wanted to do this completely from scratch, so I ended up having to go with several different recipes to get the completed outcome that I desired.
The recipe for Danishes that I found was from King Arthur Flour. It was definitely time-consuming but not impossible. Between making the Danish dough, rolling it, folding in the butter, letting set, more rolling and folding, more setting, cutting into pieces, and letting it rise before finally filling and baking, it was a lengthy process. Several hours at best, or overnight if you are not impatient like I was. Also, the Danishes recipe was rather large and I have a feeling it is meant for a restaurant-scale baking. Because it’s just my husband and myself, I really could have cut the recipe in half and been just fine. The recipe made 36 Danishes. On the bright side, I got to test out different fillings and our co-workers got breakfast one morning.
For the fillings, I made strawberry cheese as well as apple. They were made in three batches so that any adjustments could be done if one batch didn’t turn out.
The end result for the Danishes was exactly as I was optimistically hoping for. The pastry itself was flaky, buttery, and delicious and the fillings were also really good. They were not overly sweet with a perfect balance of buttery pastry to fruit filling to complement each other. Our only complaint was that there needed to be more filling, so on the final batch, I was sure to leave less of a ‘border’ and really bring the filling to the edge.
Knowing the time that goes into these now and what to expect, I will be making them again. They are perfect for the family, an office breakfast, or even to wrap up and freeze for whenever the craving hits.
*For this recipe, I used a Sil-Pin Rolling Pin. I’ve never been fond of wooden rolling pins, so I like how this one is not only silicone but also has some weight to it. It is easy to durable and easy to clean, so I know I will get many years out of it.