Vanilla Danish are filled with vanilla custard, and shaped using croissant dough.
Croissant dough is folded with layers of butter in between dough to create a flakey, buttery texture for Vanilla Danishes.
Learn how to shape your Danishes into 6 classic shapes for Danishes.
Danish Pastry Filling
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar granulated
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp butter unsalted
- 2 cups milk
- Place milk in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat.
- Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Remove the vanilla beans and place them in the milk. Place the whole vanilla bean in the milk.
- Let the milk just come to a simmer, not boiling. Turn off the heat source and remove the milk from the heat. Let the vanilla bean infuse flavor for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, separate your eggs. Place the egg yolks in a large heat proof bowl.
- Add sugar and cornstarch and mix together with a whisk.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan. Slowly temper the eggs by adding a couple of tablespoons of the milk to the eggs at a time and vigorously whisking it until fully emulsified.
- Continue adding the milk very slowly until fully combined. You do not want to cook the eggs.
- Strain the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium heat.
- Whisk the mixture frequently. Heat the mixture until the cornstarch has activated. It should be a few minutes. You will feel the mixture becoming thickened with your whisk.
- Cook for 1 more minute after it has started to thicken.
- Remove the custard from the heat and add butter. Whisk butter into the custard until it's fully melted. If you want to add any more vanilla flavor, you can add 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Let the custard cool to room temperature. Then place plastic cling wrap on top of the custard to prevent a film from forming.
- Chill the custard for 2 hours before using.
Danish Pastry Dough
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 140 g water
- 140 g milk
- 55 g sugar granulated
- 40 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 11 g yeast instant
- 12 g salt
- 280 g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the dough ingredients. Once the dough comes together, knead for another 3 minutes. Remove the dough from the stand mixer, shape into a sphere, and cover it in plastic wrap. Place in the Danish dough the fridge overnight.
- Cut the butter layer into cubes. Arrange the cubes on a silicone pastry mat that will be 15 cm x 15 cm. Fold the pastry mat over the butter and pound with a rolling pin. The butter layer needs to be an exact 17 cm x 17 cm. Place the butter in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out the dough until 26 cm x 26 cm.
- Remove the butter layer from the fridge and arrange the butter at a 45 degree angle from the dough. The dough will be able to be stretched over the butter layer to create an envelope. Seal the dough together by gently pressing the dough together.
- Roll out the dough with the butter fully enclosed to create a long rectangle of 20 cm x 60 cm. Roll the dough lengthwise so it only grows lengthwise.
- Fold the dough to create a letter.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place on a plate. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Repeat rolling the dough out to 20 cm x 60 cm and folding the dough like a letter. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Repeat rolling the dough out to 20 cm x 60 cm and folding the dough like a letter. Cover and refrigerate for overnight.
- Make your Danish filling and chill it overnight so it's ready for the morning.
- Roll the dough out gently, not compressing the folded layers too much. Roll the dough out to 20 cm x 110 cm.
- Shape and Fill the Danishes.
- Let the Danishes sit at room temperature for 2 hours to proof.
- Cover the Danish Pastry dough in egg wash.
- Bake the Danishes for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.