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save my danish pastry


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My loving hubby bought me this book called "the professional pastry chef" and I have been baking and baking away. I decided today to try my hand at danish pastry. So I formed the margarine square, the recipe called for margarine not butter, formed my dough around the square, sealed it in, and rolled carefully as the book said, the problem? there is big blobs of margarine in my dough now....is that normal? they are still there after several turns of the dough and it is in the refrige now for chilling....the blobs are still there....

thanks!!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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My guess is that the margarine is a commercial application decision (cost, shelflife, etc). All of the danish dough that I use calls for butter. But that's not your question. My recipes either have me cube the butter into 1/4" cubes (Julia Child), or sheet it like you're doing. When I sheet it, if I'm careful it won't be lumpy, but rather consistent and smooth. More commonly I will have uneven spots, but nothing disasterous - adds character in my opinion. I think that you're okay. Going forward of course, practice, and keep it cold. I return my dough to the fridge (or freezer) a few times in the rolling out process depending on the temp in my kitchen.

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Thank you, Thank you! The book gives the reason for the margarine being that it makes a flakier pastry in the end. What I wound up doing is just want you suggested, going forward with it, folding it in thirds rolling a little, chill again, repeat. And by that time all the margarine was worked into the dough. I now have them formed and they are rising.

So I will see when I bake them how they come out....If I can get my camera to work I will post a pictures (I doubt it though, I have been fighting with that camera for ages now....LOL)

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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don't be afraid to replace the margarine with butter in that recipe. they come out fine. also, because the dough is so slack, you can add a little extra flour with no ill effects.

when i use butter, i leave it out at room temperature until it is flexible (but not greasy) so that i can spread it onto the dough easier. i do follow the directions closely in that i keep everything as cold as possible (all the liquid ingredients and the flour) until mixing time. by the time i'm done mixing, i can immediately incorporate my fat into the dough and do at least two turns right away without resting the dough. then i let it rest and do two more turns. i do the first couple of turns immediately so that my butter can become smooth and incorporated without solidifying again in the fridge. the dough is so slack that it won't fight you.

as you noticed, after to you do all the turns, you won't have any problems.

edited to add: traditional danish pastry also has the most fat of any laminated dough as compared to puff pastry and croissant dough...so you'll almost always still see fat through the dough until the last turn.

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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The key to no lumpy butter (or margarine) chunks in your laminated doughs is having the butter at the right temperature.

The butter must not be COLD, but COOL. A "test" that I use is pressing my finger in to the dough and the butter. If the butter feels about as firm as the dough, you're good to go. If the butter feels like a brick, you need to leave the butter out at room temp for a while til it's cool, but not cold.

This is what I always do when I do a laminated dough:

Put butter on the mixer with a certain amount of bread flour (the flour acts to soak up the water content in the butter). Mix it around til it is smooth with no lumps and still COOL. Form butter into a square on a piece of parchment paper, and put it in the fridge.

Next, I mix the dough. Once mixed, I form the dough into a square, on a flour sprinkled parchment lined sheet pan. I put it in the fridge to rest for 30 mins.

Next I take out the dough and butter squares, and usually 100% of the time, the butter is cool but not cold and the dough is nicely relaxed and cool too. I put butter square into dough square. Bring up the corners to encase the butter, and roll. No lumps. Truly. :wub:

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Chef - you pretty much follow the method I follow except I had my butter COLD, not cool. I think that was the difference.

I was surprised using margarine in this didn't effect the taste more. Normally I detest the thought of using the stuff, but it turned out pretty good. So good in fact what I normally give away to co-workers, my hubby demanded I leave at home this time....:)!

Thank you everyone for your wise and wonderful help!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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This is slightly off topic but still kinda interesting... something I have seen done is when somebody messed up the lamination on thir croissant dough with butter sticking through the dough (opposite problem - because of the ambient heat the butter got way too soft too quickly), they rolled a very thin layer of detrempe and laid it over the rolled out dough before making a fold, guaranteeing that there is an additional layer of dough between blobs of butter. I thought it was a pretty cool emergency fix it!

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I am very much a newbie on the baking scene, whats a detrempe? if its an extra layer of dough, that would have been a very good idea!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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when referring to laminated (layered doughs like puff, danish and croissant), usually the dough itself is called the detrempe and the butter block is called the...butter block :wink: . it doesn't specifically mean an extra layer of dough, it is just that serj noted someone who used it as such to correct an error in rolling.

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