Cheese Danish

Can I make my own puff pastry dough?

Of course you can! This recipe uses store-bought dough, which we fully support, but we know that our readers often like to do it themselves. And we have an excellent recipe for quick puff pastry. Give it a try and see what you think.

How do you properly thaw puff pastry?

The hardest thing about store-bought puff pastry is waiting until it’s fully thawed. If you try using it too soon, the dough will crack as your unfolding it. Wait too long, and the dough will get too warm—making it limp and you risk the butter starting to melt. Your best bet is to take the frozen dough out of the box and let it thaw overnight in the fridge.

How do I roll out puff pastry?

In one word—carefully. Use a light touch with puff pastry, just enough to shape it and get rid of any bumps from the packaging. Otherwise, you risk losing those flaky layers. If you find your dough getting too warm at any point, just put it on a baking sheet and pop it back into the fridge.

Is there a specific brand of puff pastry I should buy?

We’ve got no shame about the fact that this easy cheese Danish recipe relies on frozen puff pastry sheets as opposed to homemade. Where our snobbishness and, perhaps a touch of disdain tends to come in regarding different brands of frozen puff pasty.

The most common and affordable brand is Pepperidge Farm, and this recipe was actually designed with the specific dimensions of that brand in mind. Opt for this, and you’ll end up with a perfectly fine cheese Danish.

But if, like us, you want puff pastry made with real butter and just a handful of real ingredients that you can pronounce, and if you want no preservatives or anything artificial, and if you want knee-wobblingly buttery pastry that puffs into über flaky and shatteringly crisp layers, then you want the slightly pricier Dufour brand. Whatever you create with it will be ridiculously magnificent.

If you do use a 1-pound package of Dufour for the package size called for in this recipe, note that the Dufour dimensions are slightly different than that of Pepperidge Farm. As such, you’ll need to scale the recipe back a little by trimming a couple inches from one side of the square dough to obtain a rectangle.

And you probably won’t need quite all the cream cheese filling, which means you can plop a dollop of cream cheese filling smack in the center of those puff pastry trimmings, bring the opposite corners together above the filling, and bake.

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