Puff Pastry (Danish Pastry Dough)
- In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Add the egg, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk gently to combine. Set aside.
- Toss the diced butter and flour together in a medium bowl. If there are any larger pieces, break them with your fingers. Add the flour and butter mixture to the wet ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until the flour is completely moistened. Transfer the dough to a smaller bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a heavily floured surface, pat it into a rectangle about 8 x 6 inches, and then roll it into a larger rectangle about 14 x 24 inches. Brush off any excess flour and fold both edges in so that they meet in the center. If the dough is sticking underneath, release it with a long flexible metal palate knife.This is called a "book fold".
- Rotate the rectangle of dough 1/4 turn on the table.This is called a "turn". Roll into a rectangle measuring about 24 x 12 inches, loosening the dough underneath with a the metal spatula, reflouring as necessary.
- Brush off any excess flour and give it another book fold. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and repeat this process two more times, rolling the dough out each time to 12 x 24 inches.
- There are 4 book folds in all. After the final turn, shape the package into a rectangle measuring about 9 x 6 inches.
- Brush off any excess flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to one month.