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Sourdough Danish Pastries

These are delicious flaky pastries leavened with butter and sourdough starter. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Danish, New Zealand
Keyword Pastry, Sourdough
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 pastries
Calories 462kcal
Author Home Grown Happiness


Dough Ingredients

  • 150 grams active starter
  • 450 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100 ml milk
  • 80 ml water
  • 50 grams butter room temperature

Butter Layer

  • 250 grams butter room temperature

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 100 grams cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Fresh or frozen berries


  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp water



  • 150g active starter is needed, to save time this can be fed the night before.
    Feed your starter at a ratio of 1:2:2 if using it within 6-8 hours, and 1:3:3 if using it within 10-12 hours. Ensure your starter has at least doubled, if not tripled (but not collapsed), before using it.
  • At this stage, if you keep your butter in the refrigerator, take out all the butter needed so it can come to room temperature overnight.


  • In a large bowl mix all the dough ingredients together to form a sticky dough.
  • Tip it on the bench and knead it for 5-8 minutes, pushing it forward and pulling it back, working the glutens in the dough until it begins too smoothen.
  • Shape it into a ball and place it into a clean, greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave this to sit at room temperature for 3 hours.
  • Now take the remaining 250g butter and slice it into rough 2cm slices. Alternatively, you can first mix the butter with 1 1/2 tbsp of flour, to create a soft butter mixture that can be easier to roll.
    Lay these out on a sheet of baking paper to form a rectangle. Place another sheet of paper on top.
  • Now, roll this butter out into an even rectangle measuring about 20cm by 30cm. Once rolled, place it in the refrigerator to firm up a little bit, only place it in for a short time. Later, this butter needs to be the same consistency as the dough, so you don’t want it rock hard.
  • After the dough has finished its 3 hour ferment, roll it out on a lightly floured bench into a rectangle that measures about 45 by 65cm, just over double what the butter rectangle is.
  • Then the butter can be placed on one half of the dough, and the remaining dough half can be folded over. Once folded over, turn it 45 degrees and roll it out again into a long rectangle. I aim for around 45 by 65 cm again.
    Roll firmly but take care not to tear the dough, and try keep it in a rectangle as much as possible.
  • Once it has been rolled out, it’s time to fold the dough like a pamphlet. Take one end and fold it into the middle, then take the other end and fold it over the first end.
  • Wrap the dough up well in the baking paper used for the butter and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This was the first turn.
  • Repeat this process two more times, so that’s three turns in total.
  • After the third turn, the dough needs be kept in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.


  • When you’re ready to bake the dough, take it from the fridge. I like to cut it in half at this stage, so I can roll one half out at a time.
  • Roll half the dough out thin, to about 2mm and cut it into 6 squares. Shape the squares as shown in the pictures in the post above. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Place the shaped pastries on baking paper and let them proof at room temperatue for around 3 hours. They’ll puff up a bit, but don’t expect a huge rise. 
    If they start to dry out, place a damp cheesecloth or similar light weight fabric over top.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C fan-bake (or 210 °C regular oven.)
  • Mix together all the cream cheese filling ingredients, except for the berries.
  • Add teaspoon or two of filling on each danish, then top with berries.
  • Mix together the egg and the water, then brush the pastry edges with this egg wash.
  • Bake the danish for 15-18 minutes until deep golden brown. If your oven is not fan-bake, bake them in two batches to ensure even baking.


Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.1g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 30.8g | Saturated Fat: 19.2g | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 4.8g | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg