Behind the scenes of the bakery: How our Danish are made

Danish, not really, but loved by the Danes nonetheless!

The more we write about our pastry at La Patisserie Francaise in Arvada, the deeper the mystery becomes. 

Last week, we told you about the origins of puff pastry, which we use in several of our tasty treats. Legend has it that a French painter, Claude Gelée — who, by the way, also went by Claudius Gelee and Claude Lorrain — invented the dough in the 17th Century to make a buttery bread for his sick father. 
We salute Claude or Claudius, because without his possibly apocryphal contribution to French cuisine — he started off as a baker’s apprentice, according to lore and later became a painter of some renown — we wouldn’t be able to make all those awesome turnovers, straws, strudels palmier and Napoleon. You rock, Claude. Maybe. 

This blog is ostensibly about another delicacy we offer at La Patisserie. You know them. You love them. We are talking of course about the Danish. 
It’s a flaky, buttery circle of awesomeness perfect for Sunday breakfast or really any other time of day.
Our hats off to the good folks of Denmark for blessing us all with this wonderful pastry. 
Wait a minute? According to the Associated Press, a French baker’s apprentice invented the Danish on accident because he forgot to put butter in the flour and added lumps to the dough and folded it in. To everyone’s surprise, the dough was light and buttery, more so than anyone in France had ever seen. 

So that means Danish are less Danish than our croissant maker, who is only an eighth Danish on his mother’s side.
And who was this inept baker’s apprentice who stumbled upon an ingenious way to make pastry dough? Claudius Gelle again? We are beginning to doubt the veracity of this story. 
But no bother, Danish, whether or not they were invented by Claude or Claudius or whoever, are a sure fire way to brighten your day. 
The Danes eat a lot of them —so much that they are associated with the country — and fill them with jam, fruit, nuts or cream. One of their favorite varieties uses sugar and marzipan topped with slivered almonds, and another uses vanilla custard in the middle. A spiral, rum-soaked version is called a snail and the Danes stuff the pastry with raisins on holidays, according to the Associated Press. 
The Danes call them Viennese, according to various sources. The actual Danish word is wienerbrød. The Viennese call them Dänischer Plunder.  

At La Patisserie, our Danish come are topped off with sweet fondant and various fruit fillings, including blueberry, cherry, raspberry, apple and lemon. We also make them with cream cheese. Like our puff pastry and croissants, we measure out the perfect, high altitude friendly mixtures of flour, margarine butter and yeast and a few other ingredients. We let it chill before we start the lamination process, which imparts that flaky, butter goodness in the finished product. 
Once the dough gets five passes through our West German sheeting machine, we roll it out, apply a thin layer of our house made custard, roll them up, weigh them out and, eventually, add our toppings and bake them to perfection. 

Come on by. It’s impossible to have a bad day after you’ve had a cherry Danish and a cup of cafe Americano. We know. We’ve tried.