Danish Loaf

A delicious loaf, with 36 layers of flaky, buttery goodness created from 3 folds (3 * 4 * 3 layers).

I consider this a rather advanced recipe which requires some experience in bread making. Best if you can operate in air conditioned room or at least on a cool day or at night. You also have to work fast without hesitation for each of the folds, racing against the butter melting, the dough proofing and the condensation. Also work gently to roll out with even pressure to avoid tearing the dough.

And if, despite your best efforts, the butter melts and oozes out of the torn dough, just do your best to press on with the remaining steps. It will still be a delicious bread.

Recipe

Bread

  • 200g bread flour
  • 50g cake flour
  • 25g sugar
  • 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 10g salted butter
  • 130g cold water

Others

  • 120g salted butter for laminating
  • Whole beaten egg for egg wash

Method

1. Mix all bread ingredients (except for the 120g laminating butter and egg for egg wash) in a mixer and knead at low then medium speed till a smooth and elastic dough, no need for window pane. Total time about 10min and try not to exceed 15 min so as to keep the dough cool.

2. Roll into a round dough and flatten with palm. Wrap dough with cling wrap and place into freezer to freeze for 30min. This chills the dough completely and avoid proofing while we laminate later. It also relaxes the dough.

3. Slice the 120g of butter into 4 flat pieces and place onto a piece of baking paper. Fold the baking paper inwards to wrap the butter into a 15cm by 15cm square. Pound the butter with rolling pin to flatten then roll out to fill up the sheet to form a 15cm by 15cm square butter sheet. Place into fridge to chill.

4. After dough has rested, dust mat and dough lightly with flour and roll out dough to a 20cm by 20 cm square and place butter on top of dough as shown. Pinch and seal dough to wrap the butter, be careful to release any air inside before sealing.

5. Press down gently with rolling pin across the dough to ensure butter and dough bonds. Roll out to about 30 cm by 15 cm slowly and gently with even pressure. You can dust with more flour and turn the dough around in between to ensure even rolling.

6. Fold the dough 1/3 up and down, so there are now 3 layers. Wrap this with cling wrap and freeze for 30 min.

7. After 30 min, again dust mat and dough with flour, then use the rolling to press down gently throughout.

8. Roll out gently to about 45cm by 15 cm. This time follow the below steps to create 4 layers.

Roll out about 45 cm long.
Fold in right side to a random spot.
Fold in left side and adjust edges to meet neatly.
Fold into half again from right.

9. Cling wrap, this time place dough into chiller section for 30 mins.

10. By now the dough is stretched really thin. The warmth of your hand can melt the butter and then also tear the dough. Handle gently, using the clingwrap in between as much as possible.

11. After 30 min, dust everything lightly with flour. Using the clingwrap to cover, roll out to 24cm by 30cm. Fold in top and bottom so you get another 3 layers with a final size of 7 cm by 30 cm.

12. With a sharp knife, cut into 3 strands and turn the cut section to face upwards. Braid and fold in the ends.

13. Place into a pullman tin lined with baking paper. Or you can also use a tin that is about 8/4/3 inches. Proof in warm enclosed environment for 90 min.

14. Eggwash with a whole beaten egg, bake at 190 deg C for 30 to 35 min. As the top browns very quickly, cover with aluminum foil after 12 min of baking.

15. Remove from mould and cool on wire rack before consuming.

Flaky sides and bottom.

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