Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gluten Free Danishes

Gluten-free cupcakes are not hard to find, nor are muffins, or cookies. But layered doughs are trickier. They are expensive to make, and time intensive so most gluten-free bakeries don't bother. But the rich goodness of layered doughs, like puff pastry and danish doughs cannot be missed. At least I still crave them. Apparently so does Aaron because he picked gluten-free Danishes as a Sunday treat. I love to bite into buttery yeast raised desserts, so this was a treat for me as well.

The recipe seems time intensive and complicated, but it really isn't. However, if you have never made a layered dough you might want to review how to do turns. Here is a nice illustrated tutorial from the wonderful blog Foodbeam.

Of course, we had fun with the filling, so these are filled with a coconut frangipane, roasted plums and a brown sugar glaze. Aaron's creation, Mommy's implementation... But I give you the base recipe below. You can make it your own. Apples and caramel, chocolate ricotta, even rolled with cinnamon, cardamom, butter and dried apricots. Pastry work is all about understanding the fundamentals, and then riffing to taste.

Gluten-free Danish Dough
Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts.
  • 1 cup whole milk, cold
  • 1 oz. yeast
  • 20 oz. gluten free bread flour blend with xanthan gum*
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 1/2 T (1 3/4) ounces butter, softened by pounding
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • extra milk as needed
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • Filling
  • Egg wash (egg with 1 T milk)
  • Glaze (below)

*I am working through pre-made blends, and this used Schar's bread mix.
  1. Mix together yeast and milk, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add 3 1/2 T butter, eggs and yeast and mix, increasing speed until it becomes very thick.
  3. Add milk in 2 T increments if needed until the dough is rather sticky, but doesn't "flow". Because different gluten free flour absorb differently, you have to adjust the liquid.
  4. Pat into a square and chill for 30 minutes minimum.
  5. Place the dough on a silpat, and cover with a piece of parchment.
  6. Roll out the 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Spread on the butter over one half of the dough.
  7. Use a large spatula to help pick up one short side of the dough and fold over the other half. Carefully seal the edges of the dough.
  8. Turn the dough 90 degrees, and roll into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle
  9. Take one short side of the rectangle and fold over 2/3 of the way, then fold over the other short side on top of it, like a billfold. 
  10. Chill for at least 30 minutes. 
  11. Repeat the folding process two more times. 
  12. Chill the dough for 30-40 minutes before using.
  13. When ready to use, work with 1/2 of the batch at a time. 
  14. Roll to 1/4 inch thick square, and cut into 4 inch squares.  Cut small 1/4 inch by 4 inch strips from the remaining dough.
  15. Place a teaspoonful of filling the center of each square. 
  16. Then bring the corners of the squares together and seal. 
  17. Brush with egg wash. allow to rise at room temperature for 15-25 minutes, and then cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (You can freeze them too)
  18. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  19. Bake pastries for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  20. Top with glaze and serve same day.


  • 4 ounces powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces milk 
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
Mix all ingredients together just prior to glazing. 

1 comment:

  1. I would never have believed that these are gluten free just by looking at them. The one with roasted plums and the brown sugar glaze sounds so good.