Friday, January 03, 2014

Almost Entenmanns

It might seem like I'm a great baker of breads and pastries and that I always have been, but during the 20 years or so when I was most involved in raising my kids, keeping the household going, and holding down a job, that really was only true in a very limited way. Cookies and birthday cakes were about it. For Christmas I would buy a Raspberry Danish pastry from our local bakery outlet Entenmanns. The pastry itself was a fairly flat rectangle in a foil pan, about 6 inches by 10 inches. It had two strips of raspberry jam running down the long way and a dense white drizzle of confectioners sugar icing over the top. My kids loved it! I liked it too, especially because it was easy to heat up in the toaster oven and easy to serve.

This Christmas my daughter wanted that pastry for Christmas morning breakfast, along with our usual fruit bowl and scrambled eggs. Although the local bakery outlet has been closed for about a year, I went online and saw that there was one about 20 minutes away, and promptly forgot all about it. On the Monday before Christmas I looked up the outlet location again and saw that it had been closed. No biggie, right? Went to the Entenmann's site and put in the produce, thinking that I would just buy it at a grocery store. Well, that was wrong. It isn't carried by any store in our county, even though they do carry Entenmann donuts and other products. Whoops! Another search on the internet...don't you just LOVE how easy it is to find out so many things so quickly online?...led to a recipe for a clone of the Entenmann's Raspberry Danish, so I could just make the darn thing. It wouldn't have that certain something from the abundance of chemicals found in the original, but we would just have to put up with a Danish that tasted good.

Knowing that a laminated dough like Danish takes some time, I began making the dough in the morning of Christmas Eve. A butter block (a combination of butter and flour, combined and shaped into a rectangle, then chilled until firm) is essential for achieving the many layers of dough that provide the flakiness characteristic of Danish pastries. The soft, rich dough is wrapped around the butter block, then it is beaten with the rolling pin to break it up a bit, then the dough is rolled out and folded up like a letter. The dough is then chilled. The process is repeated a number of times, each time adding more layers to the dough. Eventually the dough is homogeneous and more turns are taken.

I was also preparing a holiday dinner for special guests that day. By dinner time the dough was done, so I divided it into three long rectangles, set side by side as the recipe directed, in a jelly roll pan.  I missed the part of the directions saying this was for 1/2 the amount of dough; with my experience of major rising, I probably should have divided the dough into four pastries instead of making one. With the warmth of the kitchen as dinner finished cooking and during the meal, the dough rose up mightily! After dinner I quickly turned on the oven and put the raspberry jam down the indents between the dough rectangles, but it was still a monster pastry! As soon as the oven was hot enough I baked it, fearful that it would fall before I had a chance to bake it. When I removed the golden brown, gorgeous (if huge) pastry from the oven I knew that it would be better than anything Entenmann's had ever made. Overnight it flattened out some, which was fine, but it was still a super Danish. I made up some glaze in the morning to drizzle over it (leaving out the apricot glaze) and cut narrow slices. I loved it, but Sweetie and my daughter preferred the grocery store version that Sweetie had found at Raley's on Christmas Eve afternoon, just in case. I guess it did taste and look more like the Entenmann's version, but I loved the buttery, flaky, raspberry good Danish that I made. Next time I'll make four smaller ones and freeze the other three, just for those who appreciate it.

Homemade Entenmann’s® Raspberry Danish Twist

Danish Dough (Makes enough for 2 Loafs):

Primary Dough-
16oz. AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 oz. sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon butter, cold
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast

In a saucepan, heat milk and water to 180 degrees. Allow to cool to 110 degrees. Add yeast and whisk to dissolve.

In the bowl of your mixer add flour, salt and sugar. Using paddle, mix to combine. Cut in butter to evenly disperse. Mix in yeast mixture until barely combined.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs to break up. Slowly add eggs to dough until barely combined. Mix using dough hook, on speed 4 for approximately 4 minutes, until dough is elastic. You will need to stop halfway through to peel dough off the dough hook. Dough will be firm but slightly sticky.
Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter Dough-
8 oz. butter, room temperature
2 oz. AP flour

Cream butter and flour together. Form into rectangle shape. Let chill in refrigerator until hardened.
Roll primary dough to 1.5 times the size of butter dough. Encase butter dough in primary dough (as seen in cartoon). Do 2 total turns, chilling the dough from 45 minutes in between each turn.

Apricot Glaze-
2 Tablespoons apricot butter
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
Mix together.

Sugar Glaze-
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon milk
Mix together. 

Assembly (Using 1/2 of dough):
Roll dough into 8″x4″ rectangle, 1″ thick.  Cut vertically into 3 long strips. Lay each strip close to each other, barely touching on a sheet pan covered in  aluminum or parchment.  Turn on oven to 200 degrees for 3 minutes with a cake pan filled with hot water on bottom shelf. Turn oven off. Put sheet pan  with Danish dough into oven and close the door. Do not touch for 60 minutes. (This is how I turn my home oven into a ‘proofer’.)(Note from Elle: my kitchen was so warm that I didn't need to do this...just sitting on top of my microwave was all that was needed.)

After 60 minutes remove tray and cake pan filled with water. The logs that were barely touching should have puffed up.

Fill 1/2 of jam in each crevice between the dough rectangles (logs).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush egg on danish dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until caramel brown.

While warm brush with Apricot Glaze.  Let cool to room temperature. Drizzle with Sugar Glaze.


  1. LOL - just for those who appreciate it, oh I think I might be one of those.
    Sounds like a great time anyway.

  2. Probably can't happen, but if you come by Tanna, I could make some just for us...and give you some for the journey. Hope you are enjoying your travels.