Gluten Free Danish Pastry (Pain aux Raisins)

This gluten free Danish pastry is the real deal – perfectly flaky and buttery, with a wonderful lamination, and generously filled with vanilla pastry cream and plump, juicy sultanas. It has the characteristic swirl shape of a proper pain aux raisins with gorgeous caramelised edges. While it does require a few steps to make, it’s not overly complicated – and the end result is just incredibly delicious. You couldn’t possibly guess that it’s gluten free!

Gluten free Danish pastries on a piece of white parchment paper.

This recipe has been at the top of my to-to list for months, if not years. I’ve made numerous iterations of it – some were dismal failures that headed straight into the bin, some were almost-successes that pointed me in the right direction.

And now, after so many recipe variations (I’ve honestly lost count), I can finally, finally share with you the recipe for a truly fabulous gluten free Danish pastry.

Specifically, we’ll be talking about gluten free pain aux raisins, also known as “raisin swirl pastry” or “raisin whirls” or just “snails” as I used to call them growing up in Slovenia. This is a childhood favourite and I seriously couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you this gluten free twist on such a delicious classic.

Close-up of a gluten free Danish pastry with a piece torn off, showing how flaky it is.

This gluten free Danish pastry recipe honestly ticks all the boxes:

  • It’s wonderfully flaky, with distinct layers. It really has a great degree of lamination, and when you tear it apart, you can see the individual layers clearly, as befitting a great Danish pastry. The outer crust is pleasantly crisp without being hard, and the pastry as a whole is soft and rich.
  • It has a wonderful buttery flavour. It has that wholly unique taste, specific to Danish pastry and croissants. Even though it’s gluten free, the flavour is incredibly close to that of a wheat-based pastry.
  • The filling of vanilla pastry cream and plum, juicy sultanas is just spectacular. I like my pastries packed with filling, and these are certainly very generous on that front. The pastry as a whole isn’t too sweet, but you can easily tweak the sweetness further by adjusting the amount of sugar in the pastry cream, or by adding an apricot jam or sugar syrup glaze.
  • It has that characteristic swirl shape, with gorgeous caramelised edges.
  • It’s surprisingly easy to make. It only requires two rounds of folding (to achieve the lamination or flakiness) and only a single round of proofing. And so long as you get the chilling times (and thus the texture of the butter in the dough) just right, there’s very little that can go wrong. Just follow the recipe to the letter, and the most perfect gluten free Danish pastry is within your reach.

I know I say this for most of my gluten free bakes, but it’s truly very difficult to guess that these Danish pastries are gluten free at all. Especially when they’re still warm out of the oven, and you bite into them and encounter that wonderful buttery flakiness alongside the creaminess of the filling… they’re just incredibly delicious.

A hand holding a gluten free Danish pastry.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these wonderful pastries – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Making the gluten free dough

First, you’ll need to make the base gluten free dough. It’s an enriched, brioche-type dough but without any butter – the butter will be incorporated later on in the form of the butter block in the laminating step.

While many Danish pastry recipes (especially wheat-based ones) do call for butter in the actual dough, I’ve found that omitting the butter helps to make the dough much easier to handle and work with. What’s more, the lack of butter in the dough seems to result in a better lamination – that is, in more distinct butter-dough layers in the final Danish pastry!

Making this dough is all about getting just the right balance of firmness and softness: you want the dough to be firm enough to easily roll it out and laminate with the butter, but also soft enough so it can expand and rise both during the proofing step and when it first enters the oven.

Here’s what the dough looks like just before rolling:

Hands patting down the dough for the Danish pastries, before it's rolled out.

You’ll notice that in the ingredients list, I tell you to use COLD milk, water and egg yolks in the dough. Now, this might be slightly counterintuitive, as most yeasted dough recipes (like my gluten free artisan bread, gluten free seeded loaf or gluten free hot cross buns) ask for warm or room temperature ingredients, so as to kick-start the yeast action and get the dough proofing ASAP.

Here, however, we want the dough to be as cold as possible for two reasons:

  • Firstly, working with cold dough will prevent the butter block from warming up too quickly during the next laminating step.
  • Secondly, we don’t want the dough to start proofing straight away. Instead, we want to delay the proofing until after the lamination is done and we’ve shaped the Danish pastries.

In fact, many Danish pastry (or croissant) recipes ask you to make the dough and then chill it in the fridge overnight. Well, I’m a rather impatient person and using cold milk, water and egg yolks in the dough is a great shortcut to skip this initial refrigeration step.

The butter block

Much like with the enriched dough, I like to make the butter block in the easiest way possible – while still ensuring that it gives the most delicious (and flakiest) end result.

  1. Start with cold butter, straight from the fridge.
  2. Cut it into slices and arrange it in the middle of a large piece of baking/greaseproof/parchment paper, in an approximately square shape.
  3. Fold all four sides of the baking paper over the butter, so that you get an approximately 8 inch (20cm) baking paper square that completely encloses the butter.
  4. Flip it over, so that the baking paper folds point downwards, and firmly hit the butter with a rolling pin. Make sure to hit it with the rolling pin all over and in all directions. The friction from being hit with the rolling pin will slightly soften the butter and make it more malleable/pliable, without melting it.
  5. Once slightly softened, roll the rolling pin firmly over the butter block, so that you get the butter into all the edges and corners of the baking paper square. Make sure that the butter is of an even thickness all over.

At the end, you should be left with an 8 inch (20cm) butter block that’s fairly malleable/pliable (you should be able to gently bend it) without being too soft or squidgy. If your kitchen is very warm, you can chill it briefly in the fridge for about 5 minutes, but you don’t want it to firm up too much. (I didn’t need to chill it at all, and my kitchen was at a pleasant 70ºF (20ºC)).

The butter block on the rolled out dough rectangle.

Now, we’re ready to proceed to the lamination step.

Laminating gluten free Danish pastry: first book fold

Here’s how you laminate gluten free Danish pastry:

  1. Lightly flour your work surface. I like to work on a large piece of baking/greaseproof/parchment paper, as this allows me to slide the dough onto a baking sheet and into the fridge at any point, if the dough feels too warm or too soft. I recommend you do the same, especially if this is your first time making gluten free Danish pastry (and also if your kitchen is on the warmer side).
  2. Place the dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle its top with flour.
  3. Roll it out into an approximately 8×16 inch (20x40cm) rectangle, so that the shorter side is closest to you.
  4. Test whether the butter block fits comfortably onto the rolled-out dough. The dough should be a few millimetres wider than the butter block, but not by much.
  5. Once you’re happy with the size of the dough, place the butter block on one half of the dough and peel away the baking paper.
  6. Fold the other half of the dough over the butter block, end to end, enclosing it completely.
  7. Turn the dough by 90 degrees, so that the two opposite “open ends” of the pastry point towards and away from you.
  8. Use the rolling pin to gently “tap” the pastry all over – that is, gently press down on the pastry with the rolling pin at regular intervals along the length of the dough. This will ensure that the butter block adheres well to the dough and that it rolls out evenly together with the dough, rather than in uneven patches.
  9. Roll out the dough into an approximately 8×22 inch (20x55cm) rectangle. This doesn’t have to be very precise, you just want to make sure that the rectangle is long enough to easily make the book fold (see bullet points #11-14).
  10. While you’re rolling, make sure that the dough isn’t stuck to the surface, by sliding your hands under it and gently lifting it up.
  11. Fold one end of the dough rectangle towards the middle.
  12. If needed, use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour.
  13. Fold the other end of the dough rectangle towards the middle. That is, at this point, you should have the two ends of the rectangle folded inwards towards the middle, so that they meet in the centre.
  14. Fold this new rectangle in half (along the centre line), as if closing a thick book.
  15. You’ve just made a book fold!
  16. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Don’t chill it for any longer than that – if you do, the butter will firm up too much and will break when you roll out the pastry in the next step.

The first 6 steps of the 16-step process of laminating gluten free Danish pastry.

The second 6 steps of the 16-step process of laminating gluten free Danish pastry.

The final 4 steps of the 16-step process of laminating gluten free Danish pastry.

Laminating gluten free Danish pastry: second book fold

The second fold is essentially a repeat of the first fold:

  1. Position the pastry so that the two “open ends” point towards and away from you.
  2. Tap the dough gently with the rolling pin, then roll it out into an approximately 8×22 inch (20x55cm) rectangle. Make sure that the pastry doesn’t stick to the surface.
  3. Fold both ends of the pastry rectangle towards the middle, then fold the resulting rectangle in half.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Shaping and filling gluten free Danish pastry (pain aux raisins)

Here’s how you assemble gluten free pain aux raisins:

  1. Roll out the pastry until it’s slightly larger than 10×16 inch (25x40cm), then trim it down to a 10×16 inch (25x40cm) rectangle. It should be about 1/3 inch (8mm) thick. Dollop the cooled vanilla pastry cream on top,
  2. and smooth it out into an even layer all the way to the edges.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with the sultanas or raisins.
  4. With the pastry positioned so that that the shorter side is closest to you, roll the pastry towards you.
  5. You will end up with an approximately 10 inch (25cm) long log.
  6. You can use the baking paper to help you with rolling, if needed.

The first 6 steps of the 10-step process of assembling gluten free pain aux raisins.

At this point, if the pastry feels too warm or too soft, you can chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, you can go ahead and divide the pastry log into individual portions.

  1. You want each slice to measure about 1 inch (2.5cm) in thickness – I like to measure that out fairly precisely with a ruler.
  2. Use baker’s thread or unflavoured dental floss to cut the individual pastries. Much like with cinnamon rolls, this preserves their shape and ensures that you’ll get the most beautiful swirl. (Using a knife, on the other hand, would likely squash the pastry.)
  3. I like to fold the end of each pastry swirl underneath the pastry – this prevents the end of the pastry from unfurling during baking.
  4. Finally, place the individual Danish pastries onto a lined baking sheet. You want to space them out, as they will spread (especially in the oven, more on that below). This recipe makes 10 pastries in total, I like to bake them 5 per baking sheet.

The last 4 steps of the 10-step process of assembling gluten free pain aux raisins.

As a side note, you can roll out the dough into a differently sized rectangle and then roll it up into a thinner or fatter/thicker log, depending on whether you prefer smaller or larger Danish pastries, respectively.

Proofing and baking gluten free Danish pastry

So, now that our Danish pastries are shaped, it’s time to proof and bake them.

  1. As mentioned above, make sure that you leave enough space between the pastries for them to expand (ideally around 2 inches/5cm).
  2. Now, the pastries will actually expand only minimally during proofing – as you can see going from photo #1 to photo #2 below, the pastries definitely don’t double in size, they just puff up very slightly (and that’s after about 2 hours of proofing). The major expansion actually happens in the oven – more on that below.
  3. Once the pastries are proofed, egg wash them all over – make sure to egg wash both the tops and the sides.
  4. And then, it’s time to bake them! Once they hit the hot oven, the pastries really expand quite drastically. That’s because as they encounter the high temperature of the oven, the water content in the butter layers rapidly evaporates to form steam, which forces the dough layers apart. At the same time, the yeast in the dough has its last burst of activity before the heat of the oven destroys it (this is called oven spring).

The 4-step process of proofing, egg washing and baking gluten free Danish pastry.

My method of baking these gluten free Danish pastries is optimised to give the maximum amount of flakiness. That’s why I like to start baking my pastries at a relatively high temperature of 430ºF (220ºC). After about 5 minutes, I decrease the temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), which allows them to fully bake through without the tops browning too quickly.

A hand holding a piece of gluten free Danish pastry, showing how flaky it is.

Note: Because these Danish pastries don’t contain gluten (which means that the dough/pastry is far less elastic), what can sometimes happen is that the pastries can split apart in random places. If that happens, it’s really not the end of the world. Immediately out of the oven, while the pastry is still hot, gently press the two ends of the split together to bring the pastry back to its original round shape. It might have a slightly more rustic appearance, but it will be just as pretty and just as delicious.

Hands holding a gluten free Danish pastry.

What can go wrong: troubleshooting

If you follow the recipe to the letter, there honestly aren’t many things that can go wrong with this recipe.

The only problems you can really run into is misjudging the butter temperature in the dough, in one of two ways:

  1. Your butter is too cold and hard. This could be because your original butter block was too cold, or because you’ve left your laminated dough too long in the fridge (either after the first or after the second fold). If your butter is too cold, it will break during rolling and lamination, resulting in “shards” of butter in your dough, rather than even butter-dough layers. Such a pastry will probably have a poor rise, little flakiness and the butter is likely to leak significantly during baking, resulting in puddles of butter on your baking sheet.
  2. Your butter is too warm and soft. This could be because your original butter block was too soft or because you took too long to roll out and fold your pastry (especially if your kitchen is super warm). If you butter is too warm, it will leak out during rolling and lamination, and it can get partially absorbed by the dough. This will result in a dense, heavy, brioche-like dough with little rise and no flakiness.

To avoid these butter problems, make sure that you read the recipe thoroughly and really follow the instructions. I’ve made sure to include lots of tips and advice in the recipe, to really help you achieve gluten free Danish pastry perfection.

Possible substitutions

Although all the ingredients in the recipe should be easily accessible either in your local grocery store or online, I still wanted to include a list of substitutions you can make.

  • Instant yeast: You can use active dried yeast, in which case you’ll need to activate it beforehand. In this case, you will need to use warm milk with a teaspoon or so of sugar (as the yeast is difficult to activate in cold milk). You should still use cold water and cold egg yolks. Also, if using active dried yeast, you’ll need a sightly larger quantity than the one listed in the recipe due to the way in which it’s produced and processed, use about 10g.
  • Psyllium husk: YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE IT WITH A DIFFERENT INGREDIENT. But if you use psyllium husk powder as opposed to the rough/whole husk form, use only 85% of the weight listed in the recipe.
  • Xanthan gum: Just like with psyllium husk, YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE IT WITH A DIFFERENT INGREDIENT.
  • Potato starch: You can use cornstarch (also known as cornflour in the UK), tapioca starch or arrowroot starch instead.
  • Brown rice flour: You can use millet flour instead.
  • Sorghum flour: You can use white teff flour, buckwheat flour or gluten free oat flour instead.

A note on measurements (tl;dr: if possible, use a scale)

While I’ve included the volume measurements (cups and spoons) in the recipe card below, if at all possible (and I really cannot overemphasise this): USE METRIC GRAM MEASUREMENTS IF YOU CAN.

They’re much more precise and produce more reliably delicious results. This is true for pretty much all of baking – a kitchen scale will invariably give better results than cups and tablespoons.

Gluten free Danish pastries on a piece of white parchment paper.

And… I think that just about covers it. This post ended up even longer than expected, but I hope that all the extra details and the step-by-step photos will help you on your gluten free Danish pastry journey.

While it might look overwhelming at the moment (I know I’ve probably overloaded you with information), the recipe actually isn’t super complicated once you get started. Plus, the results are just so incredibly delicious, it’s definitely worth a bit of extra effort.

I really hope you’ll love these gluten free Danish pastries as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

A hand holding a gluten free Danish pastry.

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Gluten Free Danish Pastry (Pain aux Raisins)

This gluten free Danish pastry is the real deal – perfectly flaky and buttery, with a wonderful lamination, and generously filled with vanilla pastry cream and plump, juicy sultanas. It has the characteristic swirl shape of a proper pain aux raisins with gorgeous caramelised edges. While it does require a few steps to make, it’s not overly complicated – and the end result is just incredibly delicious. You couldn’t possibly guess that it’s gluten free!

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Prep Time 1 hour
Bake/Cook Time 50 minutes
Chill + Proof Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings 10 pastries

Ingredients

For vanilla pastry cream:

  • 260 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3 UK medium/US large egg yolks
  • 75 g (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 30 g (¼ cup) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed

For gluten free Danish pastry:

  • 10 g (2 tbsp) whole/rough psyllium husk (If using psyllium husk powder, use only 8g.)
  • 120 g (½ cup) cold water (See Note 1.)
  • 155 g (¾ cup + 3 tbsp) potato starch (You can also use an equal weight of arrowroot starch, cornstarch (US) or cornflour (UK), or tapioca starch.)
  • 130 g (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) brown rice flour (finely milled), plus extra for flouring the surface (You can also use an equal weight of millet flour.)
  • 25 g (3 tbsp) sorghum flour (You can also use an equal weight of buckwheat, white teff or gluten free oat flour.)
  • 50 g (¼ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 5 g (1 ¾ tsp) xanthan gum
  • 5 g (1 tsp) salt
  • 8 g (2 ½ tsp) instant yeast (If using active dried yeast, use 10g. Also see Note 2.)
  • 100 g (⅓ cup + 1 ½ tbsp) whole milk, cold (See Note 1.)
  • 2 UK medium/US large egg yolks, cold (See Note 1.)
  • 200 g (1 ¾ sticks) cold unsalted butter (For the butter block.)

You will also need:

  • 100 g (⅔ cup) sultanas or raisins
  • 1 UK medium/US large egg, whisked (For glazing the pastries.)

Instructions

For vanilla pastry cream:

  1. In a saucepan, cook the milk and vanilla bean paste over medium-high heat until boiling.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and the mixture forms a ribbon when you lift the whisk. Add the cornstarch and whisk well until combined.

    Tip: Whisking the egg yolks and sugar together until smooth is called “blanching”. The sugar essentially protects the egg proteins, preventing lump formation and "curdling" during cooking.

  3. Pour the hot milk in a slow stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture into the saucepan and cook over high heat with constant whisking until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

    Tip: This process is called “tempering” and prevents the egg yolks from scrambling – as they would if you added the egg yolk mixture all at once into the hot milk. By tempering, you gradually increase the temperature of the egg yolks while simultaneously diluting them, ensuring a silky-smooth pastry cream.

  4. Remove from heat and add in the butter. Whisk well until the butter has melted and is completely incorporated.

  5. Allow to cool completely, stirring or whisking occasionally to prevent skin formation on top. Set aside until needed.

For gluten free Danish pastry dough:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the psyllium husk and cold water. After about 20-30 seconds, a gel will form. Set aside until needed.

  2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if using), whisk together the potato starch, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, sugar, xanthan gum, salt and yeast.

  3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the cold milk, egg yolks and psyllium gel into it.

    Tip: If using active dried yeast, see Note 2.

  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until the dough starts coming together. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, making sure that you scrape down the sides of the bowl to remove any dry, un-mixed patches of flour.

  5. Once it starts coming together, knead it by hand until you get a homogeneous dough with no dry patches of un-mixed flour. Just squeeze the dough through your fingers, going around the bowl until you’ve incorporated all the flour. The final dough will be fairly firm and should come away from the sides of the bowl. (Again, you can also use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

  6. Set aside for a few minutes while you prepare the butter block.

    Tip: If your kitchen is very warm, you can place the dough into the fridge while you prepare the butter block.

For the butter block:

  1. Cut the cold butter into slices and arrange it in the middle of a large piece of baking/greaseproof paper, in an approximately square shape.

  2. Fold all four sides of the baking paper over the butter, so that you get an approximately 8 inch (20cm) baking paper square that completely encloses the butter.

  3. Flip it over, so that the baking paper folds point downwards, and firmly hit the butter with a rolling pin. Make sure to hit it with the rolling pin all over and in all directions.

    Tip: The friction from being hit with the rolling pin will slightly soften the butter and make it more malleable/pliable, without melting it.

  4. Once slightly softened, roll the rolling pin firmly over the butter block, so that you get the butter into all the edges and corners of the baking paper square. Make sure that the butter is of an even thickness all over.

  5. You should be left with an 8 inch (20cm) butter block that’s fairly malleable/pliable (you should be able to gently bend it) without being too soft or squidgy.

    Tip: If your kitchen is very warm, you can chill it briefly in the fridge for about 5 minutes, but you don’t want it to firm up too much. (I didn’t need to chill it at all, and my kitchen was at a pleasant 70ºF (20ºC)).

Laminating the gluten free Danish pastry - first book fold:

  1. Lightly flour your work surface.

    Tip: I like to work on a large piece of baking/greaseproof paper, as this allows me to slide the dough onto a baking sheet and into the fridge at any point, if the dough or pastry feels too warm or too soft. I recommend you do the same, especially if this is your first time making gluten free Danish pastry (and also if your kitchen is on the warmer side).

  2. Place the dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle it with flour. Roll it out into an approximately 8x16 inch (20x40cm) rectangle, so that the shorter side is closest to you. At regular intervals, check whether the butter block fits comfortably onto the rolled-out dough. The dough should be a few millimetres wider than the butter block, but not by much.

    While you’re rolling, make sure that the dough isn’t stuck to the surface, by sliding your hands under it and gently lifting it up.

  3. Once you’re happy with the size of the dough, place the butter block on one half of the dough and peel away the baking paper. Fold the other half of the dough over the butter block, end to end, enclosing it completely.

  4. Turn the dough by 90 degrees, so that the two opposite “open ends” of the pastry point towards and away from you.

  5. Use the rolling pin to gently “tap” the pastry all over – that is, gently press down on the pastry with the rolling pin at regular intervals along the length of the dough. This will ensure that the butter block adheres well to the dough and that it rolls out evenly together with the dough, rather than in uneven patches.

  6. Roll out the dough into an approximately 8x22 inch (20x55cm) rectangle. This doesn’t have to be very precise, you just want to make sure that the rectangle is long enough to easily make the book fold in the next step.

    While you’re rolling, make sure that the dough isn’t stuck to the surface, by sliding your hands under it and gently lifting it up.

  7. Fold the two ends of the rectangle inwards towards the middle, so that they meet in the centre. At this point, use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour. Fold this new rectangle in half (along the centre line), as if closing a thick book. You’ve just made a book fold!

  8. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

    Tip: Don’t chill it for any longer than that – if you do, the butter will firm up too much and will break when you roll out the pastry in the next step.

Laminating the gluten free Danish pastry - second book fold:

  1. The second book fold is essentially a repeat of the first one.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, position the pastry so that the two “open ends” point towards and away from you.

  3. Gently press down on the pastry with the rolling pin at regular intervals along the length of the dough. Then, roll it out into an approximately 8x22 inch (20x55cm) rectangle. Make sure that the pastry doesn’t stick to the surface. .

  4. Fold both ends of the pastry rectangle towards the middle, so that they meet in the centre. Then fold the resulting rectangle in half.

  5. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Assembling and proofing the gluten free pain aux raisins:

  1. While the pastry is chilling, in a small bowl, pour boiling hot water over the sultanas or raisins until completely covered. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until the sultanas/raisins have plumped up and re-hydrated.

    Drain the water, making sure to squeeze out any excess water from the sultanas/raisins. Set aside until needed.

  2. Line two large baking sheets with baking/greaseproof paper.

  3. Roll out the chilled pastry until it’s slightly larger than 10x16 inch (25x40cm), then trim it down to a 10x16 inch (25x40cm) rectangle. It should be about ⅓ inch (8mm) thick.

  4. Briefly whisk the cooled vanilla pastry cream until it's smooth, then dollop it on top of the rolled-out pastry. Using a small offset spatula, smooth it out into an even layer all the way to the edges.

  5. Sprinkle evenly with the re-hydrated sultanas or raisins.

  6. With the pastry positioned so that that the shorter side is closest to you, roll the pastry towards you. You will end up with an approximately 10 inch (25cm) long log. You can use the baking paper to help you with rolling, if needed.

    Tip: If the pastry feels too warm or too soft at this point, chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before proceeding with the next step.

  7. Use baker’s thread or unflavoured dental floss to slice the log into the individual pastries, each about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. Fold the end of the swirl of each pastry underneath the pastry (see blog post for photos) – this prevents the end of the pastry from unfurling during baking.

    Tip: Much like with cinnamon rolls, using baker's thread or floss preserves the shape of the pastries and ensures that you’ll get the most beautiful swirl. (Using a knife, on the other hand, would likely squash the pastry.)

  8. Place the individual Danish pastries onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them out so as to allow for their expansion during proofing and baking. This recipe makes 10 pastries in total, I like to bake them 5 per baking sheet. Ideally, allow at least 2 inches (5cm) between the pastries.

  9. Cover them lightly with cling film and allow to proof in a warm spot for about 2 hours or until lightly puffed up. The pastries won't double in volume – see blog post for photos.

Baking the gluten free pain aux raisins:

  1. While the pastries are proofing, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 430ºF (220ºC).

  2. Once proofed, brush the pastries lightly with egg wash all over – make sure to egg wash both the tops and the sides.

  3. Bake the first baking sheet with the Danish pastries at 430ºF (220ºC) for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake them for a further 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.

  4. Remove the first baking sheet with the pastries from the oven, and immediately increase the oven temperature to 430ºF (220ºC). Once the oven reaches that temperature, bake the second baking sheet with the pastries as per the instructions above.

  5. Allow the pastries to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before transferring onto a wire cooling rack to cool until warm or completely cold, depending on how you'd like to serve them.

  6. Optional: You can brush the pastries (while they're still warm) with some apricot jam that you've heated up on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Storage:

  1. These gluten free Danish pastries are definitely at their very best still slightly warm from the oven or on the day of baking.

    However, they keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, you’ll just need to reheat them briefly in the microwave (for about 20-30 seconds) to soften them up again – once re-heated, they’re just as soft and delicious as they were on the first day, but they won't be quite as crisp.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Using cold milk, water and egg yolks in the dough allows you to skip the initial refrigeration step of the dough that's often recommended in Danish pastry and croissant recipes. For more information, refer to the "Making the gluten free dough" section of the blog post.

Note 2: If using active dried yeast, you’ll need to activate it beforehand. In this case, you will need to use warm milk with a teaspoon or so of sugar (as the yeast is difficult to activate in cold milk). You should still use cold water and cold egg yolks. Also, if using active dried yeast, you’ll need a sightly larger quantity than the one listed in the recipe due to the way in which it’s produced and processed, use about 10g.

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