I just returned from the World Pastry Forum in Nashville, Tennessee. It was 5 days of classes and 2 days of the International Pastry Competition. USA won Gold, Japan won Silver, and Switzerland won Bronze.
My first class was taught by Ciril Hitz and the first item I chose to recreate at home was Chocolate Danish Dough. I made the cinnamon rolls out of this dough. It is a three day process to develop the dough and the flavor but well worth the effort. The finished product is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The chocolate is complimented by cardamom in the dough and cinnamon sugar in the middle and outside of the rolls.
Croissants can also be made out of this dough and of course danish pastry.
Here is the original recipe with the ingredients I used next to each item. I halved this recipe so that it would fit in a 6 quart mixer. One word of caution: watch your mixer carefully so it doesn't get too hot. This is a very stiff dough and I would suggest removing it from the mixer after the first slow clean up stage and finish kneading it by hand.* This recipe was originally designed to be mixed in a professional 20 quart mixer.
Chocolate Danish Dough
Bread Flour 1600g (3 lb. 8.43 oz.) I used Unbleached Bread Flour King Arthur
Cocoa Powder 100g (3.5 oz.) I used Valrhona
Milk, whole 850g (1 lb. 13.9 oz.)
Eggs, whole 200g (7 oz.)
Granulated Sugar 200g (7 oz.)
Salt 32g (1.12 oz) I used Kosher
Yeast, instant 20g (1.76 oz) I used active dry yeast
Cardamom, ground 1 to 2g (.03 oz)
Unsalted Butter, 83% butterfat 44g (1.55 oz.) I used Plugra
1. Place all of the above ingredients in a 20 quart bowl. Mix on first speed until clean up stage (when the sides of the mixing bowl are clean, about 4 minutes).
2. *Start mixing dough on speed 2 for additional 30 seconds.
3. Cover so no crust forms on the dough and allow 2 hours for fermentation at room temperature.
4. Place dough in a rectangular shape on a parchment lined sheet pan, cover in plastic, and place in refrigerator overnight.
5. Prepare butter block.
Unsalted Butter, 83% butterfat 770g (1 lb. 11.15 oz.) I used Plugra
Vanilla Bean 1 each
Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.
Using a paddle attachment, combine vanilla bean seeds and butter in a mixer.
Create a butter block for lamination using parchment paper packet and place in refrigerator overnight.
1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place dough in freezer for 30 minutes.
2. Remove butter block from refrigerator and, using a rolling pin, work the butter to a pliable, playdough-like consistency. The butter block and the dough need to be the same consistency.
3. Remove dough from the freezer and roll out to 1/4" thickness.
4. Roll in the butter block and give two tri-folds right away.
5. Cover and place dough into freezer to rest for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from freezer and give an additional tri-fold.
6. Cover and place dough in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
7. Remove dough from freezer and place into the refrigerator overnight.
1. Remove dough from the refrigerator and place into the freezer for 30 - 40 minutes.
2. Remove the dough from the freezer and roll out to 1/8".
3. Spray with a little water and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
4. Roll into a log and cut into desired size pieces and place into sprayed muffin tins.
5. Cover and let rise 2 1/2 hours.
6. Bake in a 350 - 360 degree F. convection oven for about 15 - 18 minutes.
7. Roll in cinnamon and sugar. Let cool and enjoy.
To reheat these rolls the next day just put them in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. They crisp up perfectly.