Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Butterhorn Danish

I am learning patience. And I am learning that it is ok not to finish something on the day you start it. I am learning to take breaks, and that by actually sitting down and taking a breather for a couple minutes that you might actually accomplish more than you expected to. This is sounding like a grown-up talking now...
I know that this revelation sounds kind of silly, but sometimes I am a steamroller. I just want to get it done and don't want to take a break, step back, relax for a second, take a breath. I want it done. Right now. Well, actually yesterday. But right now will have to do, I guess.

This recipe made me relax a little bit. It made me take breaks, do other things, and still get really excited about each component. It really is the journey, and not the result. Well ok Butterhorn danishes are really a phenomenal result, so it could be a little bit about the result. But the process was really long: Start it on one night. Let it to refrigerate. Finish it off and bake it the next night. Patience. And don't let me forget that you still have to let the dough rise for a couple hours on the second day right before you bake it. That is a lot of waiting. And time. But you gotta do it if you want them to turn out. 

Growing up I used to always get a Butterhorn danish when my dad and I would walk into town to the local bakery. They were the best. My fave. These tasted very very similar (except they are gluten free now) and really put a huge smile on my face. You know when you eat something, or smell something, or see something, or hear something and it just takes you back to a really happy moment? I got that when I took my first bite into these beauties. 


The dough is trick and delicate to work with. It doesn't like to be molded. But stay with it, roll it into rope like shape, then curl it and press down to at least get the sort of idea of the danish shape.

Pretty flower above, plain and classic below

Icing on top. Nuts on top. Sweet combination.

Butterhorn Danish (adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook)
Makes 8 small danish

1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup each arrowroot flour and coconut flour (For a non gluten free version use 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup real butter
1/4-1/2 cup quinoa flour

1. Put the yeast and sugar in a small bowl, add the warm water and let sit 10 minutes.
2. Measure the arrowroot and coconut flour, second amount of sugar and salt into a bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender. You should have very small pieces of butter when you are done.
3. Warm the milk until the chill is off.  Add the slightly beaten egg to the milk.  Next add the yeast, milk, egg into the dry ingredients.  Stir well until it all blended together. It will be a batter, not a knead-able dough.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (it is best to refrigerate overnight).
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and sprinkle the quinoa flour on your counter. Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thick rectangle. The dough will be sticky and delicate but stick with it. Add the quinoa flour to help the dough stick together.
6. Cut 3/4 inch strips, and roll them into balls. Adding quinoa flour as necessary roll out the balls into long rope like pieces. Carefully roll the ropes into cinnamon bun like rolls, and then press to flatten to about 1/2 inch thick. Because the dough is so delicate I was basically trying to make the general shape so that when they baked they looked like the rope like structure of danish. 
7. Put each danish on to a greased baking pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
8. Bake at 400 for about 10 - 15 minutes. Allow to rest on the pan for 5 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool. After the danishes have cooled for about 10-15 minutes, ice and top them. I used honey and crushed almonds. You can also use a simple icing by combining 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and enough milk to make the icing to have a drizzle-able consistency.

*Note: If you want to put something in the middle of the danish (like cherry filling that I used for some), add it to the middle prior to baking.

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