Who doesn’t love a morning pastry?!
For some reason the idea of fresh black coffee, pastries and orange juice in the sun has a certain romance in my mind. I suppose it reminds me of scenes from black and white films, the ones where you get to walk into the sunset. But what happens if you can’t have dairy. Don’t you get to walk off into the sunset………….
Well, with the rise of veganism there is hope for all the people that can’t have dairy for whatever reason. Now that you can get a block of vegan butter, the book turns of Danish pastry are possible. Replace the milk with soya and you are on your way.
That’s the theory at least and with a dairy free F2 currently on surgery with me the pressure is on. This F2 isn’t your normal F2 though, if its not from F&M you probs won’t stand a chance. In fact, she’s probably a missing member of Made in Chelsea (I can say this because I bribed her with Danish Pastries luckily)……….
So without delay, I give you dairy free Maple Pecan Danish Pastries
- 8oz Vegan Butter
- 1lb Plain Flour
- 1/2oz Salt
- 4oz Caster Sugar
- 5g Fresh yeast
- 250ml Soya milk
- 4tbsp Maple syrup
- 4oz Pecan nuts
- 4oz Dark brown sugar
- 1oz Vegan spread
As you can tell I’ve got slightly better at the artistic shot of all the ingredients. In addition to the soya milk for the baking I also got some single soya cream for pouring over/having with coffee- on a side note it’s really good.
Start by making a simple dough; combine the flour, salt, caster sugar and yeast in the kitchen aid using a dough hook.
To this, add the soya milk and eggs – knead for 5mins till you have a silky smooth dough which is very pliable (slightly wet). Form into a ball and leave to proof for an hour -perfect time to write the first part of this blog.
After an hour, the dough should have almost doubled in size and the gluten inside relaxed. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and let the fun begin. It’s time for book turns:
Step1 – Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about 40x20cm)
Step 2 – Place half the Vegan butter at the centre in slices in a little raft.
Step 3 – Fold the bottom third of the dough up to cover the ‘butter’
Step 4 – Place the second half of the butter in slices over the top of the fold (to form another raft)
Step 5- Fold up the bottom third as shown in progress above
Step 6 – Seal the edges using a rolling pin – cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for an hour (it stops the vegan butter going soft)
And there you have it – book turns using Vegan butter – at this point I feel obliged to say you can make the recipe with real butter and milk and it will probably be a million times tastier……….
After the hour is up, retrieve the pastry (now it has vegan butter and folds it’s a pastry not a dough) and roll out onto a floured work surface. The idea is to get somewhere close to the original size.
Once rolled out, fold the bottom third up and the top third down like before. Seal again and return to the fridge for 30mins – (cold hands and a cold rolling pin help a lot to stop the Vegan butter from melting and ruining the laminations)
Repeat these further book turns another 3 times which should give you plenty of delicious laminations and ultimately a very flaky pastry.
Once on your last “turn” you can think about making the filling. For this you will need more vegan butter, vanilla paste or extract, dark brown sugar, pecans and maple syrup.
Start by slightly toasting the pecans for 5 mins in an oven set to 180C. Once brown, keep around a dozen back and blend the rest to form a sort of chunky pecan dust.
In a bowl, combine the vegan butter, sugar, vanilla and the pecans. Then fold in the maple syrup to form a deliciously diabetic purée.
Now the pastry should have fully rested, remove from the fridge and divide into two to make working with it easier. Roll it out to form a large rectangle about 5mm thick. Divide this into 6 smaller rectangle which will form the pastries.
In the centre of each pastry place a line of the pecan purée and then cut a fan each side. Wet each side with a little water. It is then simply a case of overlapping the pastry to form the distinctive shape of the pastry.
Remember to pinch the pastry together otherwise it will break open. I learnt the hard way with my first batch – tasty rejects for the theatre team to eat.
With the pastries made – allow one last proof for around an hour in a coolish room before glazing with a beaten egg.
Bake at 180C fan for 20mins
Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then top with a little icing and some of the pecans kept from before (I’ve cheated on the icing because of timing and I had this left over from a cake bake)
Well there you have it – a Dairy free maple pecan danish. For the life of me I can’t understand why you could elect to eat it, but if you can have dairy for allergies then this is a pretty good alternative. It’s wonderfully flaky and very tasty – enjoy with coffee whilst slightly warm.
Right – have to work out what’s next now…………. I’m feeling nostalgic so homemade nachos to celebrate a family trip to Vancouver I think!!