Sourdough danishes have buttery laminated layers with a crispy exterior and airy, chewy bite that has a touch of sourness. They are filled with delicate Orange Blossom Cream filling.
Make the starter the day before you start the Danish Dough. Mix it all together and knead with your hands into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to ferment for 12 hours. It will get bubbly.
The next day, set up the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the bread flour, milk, egg, sugar, yeast, and salt. Knead on medium low speed for 5 minutes.
Then add the softened butter and knead an additional couple of minutes, until incorporated.
Then add the levain. Knead on medium low speed for 5 minutes.
Then take dough and gently flatten it into a square. Then wrap in plastic and chill overnight.
Prepare butter block by setting the butter on lightly floured parchment. Cover with second piece. Use a rolling pin to tap the butter into an 8 inch square. Chill for 5 minutes.
Take out chilled dough. Roll it into a 12 inch square.
Place the butter block in the middle. Fold dough to enclose the butter.
Then starting from the middle of the square, roll it out into a rectangle - 18 x 8 inches.
Make the first fold. Bring the bottom end to the middle. Then repeat with the top end, bringing it to the middle.
Very gently, tap the seam to seal and then roll out to a rectangle. Fold it then chill for 30 minutes.
Then sprinkle your counter lightly with flour and repeat the process twice. Chill another 30 minutes.
Then repeat the process once again. Then fold the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.
The next day, gently flour your counter. Then gently roll dough to 18 x 8 inch rectangle.
Use a pizza cutter to accurately cut the dough into equal squares. Cut down the middle and then cut into 5 squares on each side.
Shape the danishes as you wish and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave space in between for them to double in size.
Fill with orange blossom cream, using 1 tablespoon for each danish center. Then allow to rise until doubled in size. Note that you can gently spray with water before covering with plastic wrap to keep them from drying. They take a few hours to rise.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Then brush with egg wash.
Bake danishes for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for 10-15 minutes longer.
In a small saucepan set over medium to medium low heat, put 3/4 cup of milk, sugar, and a tiny pinch of salt.
Then in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with cornstarch and remaining milk.
Once milk heats, temper into the eggs by pouring a steady, pencil thin stream into eggs while whisking. Pour whole mixture back into saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, and it thickens in 10 minutes.
Then remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Follow with orange blossom water and vanilla extract. Press plastic wrap against the cream to prevent a film from forming. Chill in fridge until ready to use.