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Bread Baking: Reuben Danish

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[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Three words that rocked my world: rye puff pastry.

To quote my mother-in-law, "I never heared of such a ting."

I had never seen a rye puff pastry before the idea took root in that nagging part of my brain where recipes grow. I had no idea if it was even possible. OK so maybe someone has tried it before me, but I had never seen or tasted rye puff pastry before I went into the kitchen with this idea in my head.

It took a little tweaking to get it to work right. You see, rye flour doesn't have the same amount of gluten as wheat flour. Why's this a problem? Gluten is what allows the dough in a puff pastry to stretch around the butter, eventually baking into flaky layers. A rye-based puff pastry just comes out crumbly. The solution? Add a bit of extra vital wheat gluten to give it a boost.

This, by the way, isn't a true puff pastry—it's based on my "cheater" recipe that uses the food processor to cut in the butter, just like you'd do for pie dough. Sure, you can do it by hand though it's probably not worth hauling the food processor out of the cabinet just for a few minutes of processing time.

This Reuben Danish is corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese sandwich all wrapped up like a danish pastry. No corned beef left? Then make it with ham and cheese instead. Or anything else you like on rye that you'd eat warm. Because really, this should be eaten warm from the oven.

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About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie or @cookistry.

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