Combine the flour, salt and mix. Add the cold butter cut into cubes and distribute throughout the flour mixture. You don’t need to mix it too much.
Add the cold water then mix everything just until you form your dough. It might be a little sticky.
Grab a large sheet of plastic wrap and pour the dough mixture on top and press the dough with the plastic wrap to fold it into a tight square.
Wrap it well then let it chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Unwrap it and put the dough on a floured surface, then roll it out into a rectangle with a floured rolling pin. Fold it like a newspaper, turn it clock wise then roll it out again. Repeat this process 3-4 times. This allows you to really get those buttery flakey layers.
Wrap the dough with a large sheet of plastic wrap again and chill it in the refrigerator another 2-4 hours or overnight for the best results.
For the cream cheese filling:
Combine your egg yolk, softened cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add the sugar, and vanilla extract and mix.
Set the filling in the refrigerator tightly covered until you’re ready to assemble!
For the assembly:
As pictured in the diagram above, you will want to roll the dough into a triangle, then cut the slits as evenly as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Fill your dough with the cream cheese filling, then fold everything over as if you’re making a braid.
Place the pastry back in the fridge (or even better- the freezer) to chill at least another 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Take it out of the fridge/freezer and brush with egg wash. Pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. If you add fresh berries this might take longer since berries tend to release a lot of liquid. Make sure the bottom is also nice and brown.
Let it cool, then dust with powdered sugar if desired or serve it as is. It’s delicious 🙂
** You want to chill the pastry right before baking because we want to make sure the dough is as cold as possible and goes into a very hot oven. This will create those flakey layers**
Ahh, there’s nothing quite like a delicious buttery pastry to start your morning with a cup of coffee. These pastries are very simple to make! Not much rolling and folding required -but there is some of course ;).
The flavor is absolutely delicious. It’s almost like a cross between a buttery brioche and a croissant. These danishes will rock your world. Feel free to also add your own fillings! It’s such a versatile recipe and there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Hubby’s personal favorite (and mine) is the cheese danish filling. AHHH!
I made a combination of cheese, lemon curd, and strawberry fillings…all delicious (details in the notes down below). I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! We love pastries for breaky, and really all time of day 😉
2 and 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (1 standard packet)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup half and half at room temperature (can use whole milk as well)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
14 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for generously flouring hands, surface, and dough)
For the Filling:
2/3 cup filling total * see notes (I used a combination of a Cheese, Strawberry Jam, and Lemon Curd filling)
For the Egg Wash:
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon milk
For the Vanilla Icing:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the pastry dough: start by activating your yeast. Mix the warm water, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon of the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes (you’ll see bubbles rise to the top and that’s how you know it’s working!)
Add the remaining sugar, egg, half and half, and salt and set the bowl aside to rest.
In a food processor place the cold unsalted butter cubes, and the flour and pulse 15-18 times. The butter pieces will be distributed throughout. Be careful not to over pulse. You may also use a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor.
Very gently, fold the flour mixture into the yeasted mixture with a rubber spatula. Fold just until the flour mixture is moistened. Dough will be very sticky and that’s what we want!
Turn the dough into a surface with a large sheet of plastic wrap and cover it tightly. Place it in the fridge for 4-48 hours.
Now, we will begin rolling and folding for 3 times total. Apply a generous amount of flour to your surface, and place the sticky dough on top. Flour your rolling pin and begin to form a rectangle with the dough.
Fold each edge into the middle as if it was a business letter, and then turn it clockwise and roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold into thirds again. Turn it clockwise. You’ll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.
Wrap up the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator again for at least 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut in half (you may freeze one half for later and defrost overnight when ready).
Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Now, we start putting together our pastries. Place half of the dough into a floured surface and cut into another half, then cut into 4 equal pieces each (8 total pieces of dough).
Shape the dough into rounds and then make a small well in the center for the dough. Continue doing this for each little dough.
Fill each dough with 2-3 tablespoons of your filling of choice.
Make your egg wash by whisking the yolks with the milk, then brushing the sides of the dough with the egg wash.
You may chill the pastries in the refrigerator while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees F for at least 10 minutes.
Bake for 22 minutes or until gold and puffy!
You can make the vanilla icing while they bake and pop it in the fridge until ready to drizzle. Just mix all of the icing ingredients until you get the desired consistency.
Allow them to cool completely then drizzle with vanilla icing on each pastry if desired.
For the strawberry filling: mix 1/3 cup strawberry jam, a pinch of nutmeg, and splash of lemon juice into a small sauce pan until bubbly then cool in the fridge to allow it to thicken.
For the lemon curd filling: you’ll need 2 large egg yolks, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, juice of 1 1/2 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons butter. Place egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into the top pot of your double boiler. Using a whiskuntil completely blended, then continue to whisk as the curd cooks. It will thicken up and should be about the consistency of hollandaise. Remove from the heat then add butter and continue to whisk (butter will melt). Place in a tight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
For the cheese filling (hubby’s favorite): beat one 8 ounce block of full-fat cream cheese that is softened at room temperature in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in 1 large egg yolk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until smooth. Make about 1/2 of this filling if using another filling as well 🙂
Other fillings: You can use other jams or preserves, pumpkin butter, or Nutella- the possibilities are endless!
Be ready to have your house smell like a bakery with these delightful little treats! Who doesn’t love a good cherry pie? And these are to die for. Perfectly buttery and flakey, and not to mention so EASY to make. You can make these ahead, and serve them at your next family get together.
Serve these warm with some vanilla bean ice cream on the side for a decadent dessert or with your morning coffee 😉 Yum!