Bread and Yeast Doughs Breakfast Pies, Pastries, Tarts & Crumbles

Easiest Overnight Maple-Nut Danish or Croissant Pastry

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It’s half term at last! Two weeks of uninterrupted freedom, the only time I have to properly relax until the summer. Mock exams, A-level choices and GCSEs are just round the corner, makes me stressed just thinking about it!

So little time, so much to bake.

Most things I’ll probably be able to fit in: breads, layer cakes, macarons, but complex recipes with a multitude of steps? (yeah, I’m talking about you danish pastries), that’s a no…

…or so I thought!

This dough is so easy to make and use! It’s buttery and light, with a crisp, slightly flaky crust. It provides infinite possibilities; the dough can be rolled into croissants, spiralled into cinnamon rolls or filled and shaped into a coffee cake / danish.

I chose my filling in a heart beat – a nostalgic supermarket classic, maple-nut plaits; and some two-bite croissants.
Sun streaming in through the windows and a warm, yeasty, maple smell  filling the kitchen, completed my ideal lazy sunday morning, as it could yours:
Easiest Overnight Danish or Croissant Pastry
makes enough for 3-4 medium plaits (6-8 servings)
1 1/2 cups (6.9 oz) all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp cream cheese (low fat is fine)
a small squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
more a.p. flour and  granulated sugar for rolling
  1. In a food processor, mix the first 6 ingredients briefly so the butter is still visible in pea sized chunks. Add the lemon juice and milk, blend again for about 2 minutes until you get a soft, sticky dough. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning: lightly flour your counter top and sprinkle about 2 tbsp of granulated sugar evenly over the flour. Pour the dough out onto the prepared surface and sprinkle it with flour and some sugar too.
  3. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sugar and press it in with your rolling pin. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter (this is called a ‘turn’)* . Flip dough over.
  4.  repeat step 3 twice more.
  5. Roll dough out and cut into shapes, fill, roll, whatever you’re doing with it.
  6. Leave shaped/filled dough to rise on a lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
  8. Brush risen pastries with an egg beaten with some milk.
  9. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on size of pastry.
*Credits to Nad’s Bakery for this really useful picture. 
Maple Filling
makes enough to fill 3-4 plaits
2 oz demerara sugar
50 ml maple syrup/ corn syrup**
1 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp polenta
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Boil sugar and syrup in a small pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes, take off the heat. Stir in butter.
Mix milk with cornstarch, then add to sugar mixture.
Return to medium/low heat for 3 minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in vanilla and polenta. Let cool before using.
** If using corn syrup or a mixture of the two syrups, add some maple extract to taste.

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  • growntocook October 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This looks delicious! Do you think it’s possible to make the dough without food processor though? I have never made Danish pastry before.

  • izy October 29, 2011 at 11:50 am

    It certainly is 🙂 You can use your hands, a pastry blender or a to rub the butter into the first 4 ingredients ( the same method as for when you make any other pastry or streusel for coffee cakes). Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir by hand or if you have a stand mixer, use that to mix it up. Refrigerate the dough overnight (as in step 1) and proceed from step 2.

  • Two Graces, 68 St. Francis Church Plaza January 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    This looks so good my stomach is aching for a bite!

  • ccp88 April 14, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    What’s your opinion about alternatives to polenta? No nutritional reason…I just forgot to buy it at the store.

  • Sandra October 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Is there a way to make this vegan?

    • Izy October 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      I’m afraid not!

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