quail and Danish pastry

If you want to impress someone over brunch or breakfast, this one is for you!

Serves 6

Prep time 24 hours

Ingredients for the danish pastry dough

Plain flour, 400g
Dry active yeast, 2 tsp
Fine salt, good pinch
Milk, as needed
Unsalted butter 200g, cold

Ingredients for the coffee butter

Unsalted butter, 50 g, room temp
Dark brown sugar, 1 tbsp
Salt, pinch
Instant coffee, 1 tsp

To assemble:

Quail eggs, 6
Guanciale, 6 slices
Salt, as needed


Begin by making your dough. In a mixing bowl combine the yeast, salt and flour. Slowly add in milk and mix with your hands until a slightly tacky dough forms. All flour is different and will absorb different amounts of liquid so work on feel. Stop adding milk when it starts to come together, scrunch and knead with your hands for a minute and reassess if it needs more milk.

You want it to form a ball yet be a little sticky. Once it has reached this consistency knead for 10 minutes, transfer to a clean bowl, and cover with clingfilm. Allow to rest and rise for 2 hours by which time it should have bulked up.

At this stage knock it down by punching out the air with your fist, wrap the dough ball in clingfilm and transfer to the fridge for a couple of hours. Remove from the fridge and roll into a rectangle. Flatten the cold butter into a rectangle the same width of your dough and one third of its length.

Place it in the middle third of your dough and fold the top of the dough over and then the bottom so that you are encasing it in the middle. Rotate your dough 45 degrees and gently roll it out again into a rectangle avoiding piercing any holes in the dough. Your aim is to create layers of butter in the dough.

Fold the top third into the middle followed by the bottom. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for half an hour. Remove from the fridge and repeat the rolling and folding process twice more. Wrap again, rest for another half another half hour and repeat 2 more folds. Repeat once again after another half an hour. Leave to develop and rise slowly overnight in the fridge, wrapped tightly in clingfilm.

For the coffee butter add a couple of drops of warm water to the instant coffee. Stir to dissolve and add in the sugar and salt, stirring to incorporate. Combine this paste with the butter. Cover with clingfilm until needed.

In the morning preheat your oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and remove your dough from the fridge. On a very lightly floured surface roll it out to a 2 cm thick rectangle and use a knife to cut it into squares with 10cm sides. Transfer them to the baking tray. On each one score a border of 1 cm so that you create a ‘frame’.

Use a teaspoon to cover the border in the coffee butter. Place one piece of guanciale in the middle of each square. Use your thumb to create an indent in the centre to nestle the quail egg. Crack one quail egg into each crevice and season with salt.

Bake in the oven until the pastry is puffed and golden and the eggs have set.

Plate supplied by https://www.cateringcentre.com/