Growing up in Northern New Jersey our local baker, Mr. Langer, created the most amazing pastries in his brick oven. From crumbcake and water rolls to Danish and Kuchen, he crossed all geographic borders to bring the best recipes to our small town.
From near and far, people would come to satisfy their desire for great pastries. But like lots of great artists, Mr. Langer only created some things when he wanted to, not when there was a demand.
His Danish were a weekend treat for many people, especially on Sundays. Rich with butter, tender stranded yeast dough, encasing a sweet cream cheese filling topped with a bit of fruity jam.
They’ve lived in my memories for years right alongside his meringues.
I’ve dreamed of creating a gluten-free version for years.
When you want a tender butter dough, gluten-free Danish, you’ll likely be disappointed with commercial varieties, if you can even find them. I haven’t found a regular supply of Danish. I miss them, especially on weekends.
The chemistry of a sweet, rich dough is made more complex without gluten. The butter tends to just fall right out, leaving behind a sad, unpalatable, open textured sponge. Many people use lots of xanthan or guar gums to create the web needed for fluffy air bubbles to hold the butter in suspension.
My family reacts to those gums with the same downstream complications as when we eat gluten. So at first, I included my Pixie Dust to create the structure, but the Danish were very chewy, not tender and light.
So I tried using just the psyllium husk since one of my friends, Janice Mansfield uses it in her breads.
And it worked really well to get the butter to stay inside the web of bubbles, keeping the dough tender while rising and baking.
Now I can share my gluten-free version with you.
It took quite a while to get a rich sweet buttery dough that wouldn’t collapse while rising.
Do yourself a favor, spring for grass-fed butter for these treats, it makes a drastic difference in flavor. Why bother making something so wonderful with less than the best?
This simple to make dough will put Danish on the table within a couple of hours including rising time, even less if you have prepared dough in the freezer.
Yes, in the freezer.
This dough can be made far in advance from your weekend, then frozen without the fillings to be pulled out for almost instant pastries.
I’m planning on making several batches of dough, placing them on squares of parchment paper then layering into a container for the freezer before the excitement of the holidays kick off.
When taken out of the freezer, they defrost and begin to rise overnight in the fridge. Topped off once they completely rise, I can have Danish on the table in a half hour or so.
And not one person I’ve served them too has ever complained.
Raspberry Cheese Danish Recipe-GlutenFree
- 248 grams white flour mix
- 110 grams whole grain flour mix
- 3 grams salt
- 10 grams yeast
- 30 grams sugar
- 15 grams psyllium husks powder
- 200 grams ½ and ½
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ pound butter (1 stick) cut into 8 pieces
- 145 grams cream cheese
- 85 grams sour cream
- 30 grams sugar
- 5 grams vanilla extract
- Measure all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl.
- Beat for one minute, it is fine if there are still small bits of butter showing. These will become areas of flakiness in the finished Danish.
- Scoop dough out using a small cookie scoop or two spoons onto parchment paper.
- Let rise in a warm place for one hour.
- Top each Danish with a spoonful of the cheese filling and a spoon of the jam.
- Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes till well browned
- Let cool on a rack till barely warm, and try to not eat the entire batch.