These pastries take a while to prepare but the wait is worth it. Set aside an afternoon and prepare you taste buds for a treat.
- 250g strong white flour plus extra for rolling
- 250g plain flour
- 1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 150ml milk, the mix may need slightly more
- 1 large egg, beaten plus a little extra for brushing
- 250g butter, sliced into 8 pieces not cold but not soft
- 18 canned apricot halves
- Apricot jam
- Mix together the flours, yeast, sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Gradually add the egg and milk adding more if necessary to form a slightly sticky dough.
- Turn out on to a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Place in an oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Tip the dough out in to a floured surface and shape into a rectangle 1cm thick.
- Place the butter slices down the centre of the dough. Fold the pastry over the top. Bottom and sides until the butter is covered. Press the edges down.
- Start by gently tapping the dough with the rolling pin to begin squashing the butter and then roll the dough out in to a rectangle about 50 x 30cm.
- Turn the dough around 90 degrees and fold the right third over and the left third over that. Do this 3 times, chilling the dough for 15 minutes between rolling.
- Cut the dough into 2 squares and roll one to 35 x 35cm. Cut into 9 squares (don’t worry if the pieces of dough are not very square).
- Put half a teaspoon of jam onto each square, pull each of the 4 corners of the dough onto the jam and gently press together. Place an apricot half onto each one.
- Heat the oven 180°C fan oven, 190°C conventional oven, centre shelf, Gas 4. Place the Danish onto a baking tray and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
- Carefully brush with egg and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown on the tops and base.