Why was my Danish pastry dough so wet?

Roy
  • Why was my Danish pastry dough so wet? Roy

    I followed this recipe for a quick "Danish" dough, at http://www.ezrapoundcake.com/archives/11051; scroll down to food processor dough.

    The ingredients were:

    1/4 CUP WARM WATER

    1/2 CUP MILK, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

    1 LARGE EGG, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

    2 1/4 CUPS WHITE BREAD FLOUR

    1 PACKAGE (1/4 OUNCE) RAPID-RISE YEAST OR 1 TABLESPOON FRESH YEAST

    1 TEASPOON SALT

    1 TABLESPOON SUGAR

    1 CUP (2 STICKS) UNSALTED BUTTER, COLD, CUT INTO THIN SLICES

    After following the recipe, when I went to roll out my dough it was quite wet and sticky. Even with moderate flouring on my counter and rolling pin, the dough was very spongy. It was not even close to something I could fold, as the recipe called for. I added at least an extra cup of flour in the end.

    I am a beginner baker, so please bear that in mind.

    What might I have done wrong? One thing about the recipe that troubled me is that the recipe said to let the dough get to room temperature after refrigerating overnight, before rolling out -- this made the butter softer so that when rolled it melted into the dough, but the even before the melting the dough looked way too wet.

    (For what it's worth, I measured my flour packed so if anything I would have expected the dough to be a little too dry.)

  • Different flours (both in terms of brand and even batches of the same brand) have different levels of absorbency, so you often have to experiment a little with new baking recipes. I always need much more water than the recipes in my favourite bread book call for, for example.

    The best thing to do is add more flour gradually until you are happy with the texture, then you will have a better idea next time of how much you will need.

  • When you have to deal with gooey dough, the thing that usually isn't mentioned is that the dough is easiest manipulated between two sheets of plastic film. Before clingfilm, they used polythene sheets, before that waxed paper. Cheffy secrets!

    I don't get why this isn't working for you, the proportions look about right. I get the feeling that the dough should be left at room temperature to rise a little, but there's nothing to say how long to leave it or how much to let it rise.

    I never liked Nigella's cooking anyway.

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