Week 5 in the tent was all about pastry – my biggest challenge!! I was determined to test myself and attempt these challenges. The first was all about Danish pastries – the dough for this is yeasted, meaning it has to be left to prove. Not only that, but copious amounts of butter are used to fold the dough, similar to puff pastry. Both of these factors make it pretty tricky, but I have to admit, the flavor of the dough is amazing!
I made two different Danish pastries, both using the same dough. The first of these is here – White chocolate and blueberry kites. The shaping of the kites is simple, and the white chocolate custard filling is epic.
Makes 12 kites
For the pastry:
- 500g (4 cups) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g (2tsp) fast-action dried yeast
- 10g (2tsp) salt
- 80g (1/3 cup and 1tbsp) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 60ml (4tbsp) water
- 125ml (1/2 cup) full-fat milk
- 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, chilled
For the filling:
- 35g (1/4 cup) white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp corn flour
- 140ml (1/2 cup and 1tbsp) full-fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g (1 cup) blueberries
- 100g (1/3 cup) honey
- 2tbsp icing sugar
1. Prepare the dough. Pour the flour into a bowl of a stand mixer (attached with a dough hook). Add the yeast to one side of the bowl, and salt and sugar to the opposite side.
2. Heat the milk until it is tepid, then mix with the eggs and water. Pour onto the flour, then mix on a low speed for 2 minutes.
3. Pull the dough off the dough hook, then increase the speed to medium, and mix for a further 6 minutes.
4. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel. There are two options for proving.
The first of these is to place the dough in the fridge, and leave overnight to prove. This greatly increases the flavour of the dough.
The second if you are short of time (or in the Bake Off tent!) is to prove for at least an hour in a warm place, until it has doubled in size.
5. Whilst the dough is proving, use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into a rectangle about 25cm x 15cm. Place the butter between two sheets of cling film prior to rolling. Place in the fridge until needed.
6. Once proved, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a rectangle 40cm x 20cm. Place the butter in the middle of the dough, then bring the exposed pastry up around the butter, so that it is fully encased. Crimp the edges to seal in the butter, then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
7. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, with the shortest ends facing you. Roll out the dough to 40 x 15cm rectangle, then fold the bottom third of the pastry up, and the top third down (like a leaflet). Return to the freezer for 10 minutes.
8. Repeat the rolling, folding, and freezing process two times. After the final folding, chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
9. Roll out the dough into a 30 x 40cm rectangle – it will be about 5mm thick. Cut into twelve 10cm squares.
10. To make the kite, cut incisions as shown below:
About a centimetre from the edge of the square, make an incision following two sides of the square (in the image from corner D to A to B). Leave a small space, then cut along the perimeter of the other two sides, not touching where the first incision started. You are left with two corners that have been cut through (A and C), and two that haven’t (D and B).
11. Pull corners A and D towards each other and pull one over the other. Press the corners down - they will now be on opposite sides (A is where D was, and vice versa). Make an indentation in the middle of the dough, which is where the filling will go.
12. Place on 2-3 baking trays lined with greaseproof paper, and cover with cling-film or a tea towel for 30 minutes to 1 hours, until slightly grown.
13. Whilst proving, make the custard. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is bubbling.
Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and corn flour. Once smooth, pour over the hot milk, whisking constantly.
14. Return to the pan, and whisk until it has thickened – this will only take about a minute.
15. Add the white chocolate to the pan and whisk until it has melted. Cover and set aside until needed.
16. Preheat the oven to 220c (200c fan)/425F/ Gas mark 7.
17. Add teaspoons of the custard to the middle of each pastry. Add one or two blueberries on top of the custard, then another one in each end of the kite.
18. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden.
19. Towards the end of the baking, heat the honey and icing sugar together until a clear syrup forms. Use a pastry brush to brush some of this glaze onto the pastries whilst warm.