Sunday, 8 December 2013

Gold Fish

It was St. Nicholas feast day yesterday. All kind of orthodox names that root from Nicholas celebrate at December 6th - the date when St. Nicholas died 1670 years ago. This saint is a favourite of sailors and fishermen. The main dish in that day is fish.

I prepared:

Danish Pastry Gold Fishes
with cheese

for the Danish pastry dough:

160 ml milk
90 g eggs
310 g unsalted butter
6 g dry yeast
25 g sugar
3 g salt
310 g flour

for the filling:

choice of  medium hard cheese as feta, Emmental, cheddar, mozzarella, etc.
Also small pieces of raw Salmon fillet could be used.

preparing the Danish pastry:

All the ingredients have to be cold. The dough preparation is by hands.

Shape the butter into a square. Keep it cold.

Working with hand whipping tool, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk to the eggs. Dissolve the yeast in the mixture - work intensively with the tool, because the yeast dissolves hard in cold liquid. Add the sugar. Start adding the flour, reserving some for the kneading. The result will be a sticky soft and shiny dough. On the generously floured surface, roll the dough to a slightly larger square. Place the butter block diagonally over the dough square. Cover with the triangle dough edges, wrapping around the butter and sealing the edges, forming an envelope. Gently roll over to a long rectangle and give the dough three folds. Check the folding procedure here. Wrap it in a cling foil and refrigerate for 30 min. Repeat the rolling and three-folding procedure three more times, refrigerating after each time.


Draw your desired fish on a paper. The tail must be connected to the body. Cut it out. 
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it 6-8 mm thick. With a sharp knife, cut out the fishes using your template. These pieces will be the base for the fishes. Make sure that you use only one third of the dough. 
From the template, cut the fish tail - now you have the body separated from the tail. From the body, cut the part where the had is supposed to be. Keep the head and discard the rest of the body. With these two templates - the head and the body, cut as many pieces, as bases you have. Reserve the rest of the dough - here starts the fun part. Use a small piping tip to cut the circles that imitate the fish scales. Have some egg white handy for sticking the parts together and lets start assembling:

Have the base brushed with egg white. Fill with small pieces of filling of your choice, having the edges free. Brush the down side of the head-piece with egg white and place it on top, sealing slightly the edges. Because this is a yeast dough, it is very easy to work with. At the time you will be done with all the assembly, and bake all the fishes, the edges will seal nicely. Just make sure that the egg white has been brushed on every piece of the fish. Place the fish in the same manner. Start placing the scales. Make sure that they go over each other slightly and the sequence of the real fish scales has been followed. This assembly could seem quite overwhelming,  but the result is worth the work. Make some cuts on the tail, small eyes, cut the mouth gently and brush generously the hole fish with the egg white for glazing.

Bake at 190C and serve with white wine. 

Right from the oven - to the table.

St. Nicolas is a gardian to the children as well - they love the gold fishes.

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