Skip to main content

almond puff loaf ~today is your day

 

Today is finally the day I baked one of my favorites, the almost a Danish pastry-almond puff loaf has finally happened.  Does anyone else have the problem of having such a long list of things to bake for the holidays that the baking projects overlap into January?  January is the month of your diet.  January is dessert and alcohol free for the most part but it's different now that we're still under quarantine.  Everything that is normal is now upside down, even my baking, dessert, diet, wine etc schedule doesn't know what month it is.  Hello, it's January No desserts, sad.

So, there you have it, today is almond puff loaf day, a holiday recipe on my list since Thanksgiving that never made it to the top of the list.  Some other things, like special Christmas cookies, pies, cakes or breads took short cuts to the front of the line, I'm sure.  But, finally almond puff loaf moved into first position on the top of my list.  I was so happy that this day had arrived that I used both apricot and raspberry jam on my loafs, plus extra toasted sliced almonds on top and extra icing.  This recipe is one of King Arthur Flour baking challenge recipes and that's how I found it, tried it and put it on my holiday baking list.  I love this almond puff loaf recipe because it's the closest thing to a homemade Danish with jam I can think of that is so much easier and quicker to make than the traditional Danish pastry, ps also so much better than store bought Danish pastry.  This recipe has a few steps and takes a little bit of time but it's so worth it even in January, after the holidays.

Ingredients and Recipe for Almond Puff Loaf
makes 2 loaves

bottom layer
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick or 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup ice water

top layer
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract 

topping
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2/3 cups toasted sliced almonds

icing
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.

first make the bottom layer
Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl, work in the cold butter bits with you fingertips until you have a crumbly dough, then mix in the ice cold water.  The dough will come together in a ball with visible bits of butter.  Cut the dough in half and with slightly wet hand form each piece of dough into a log.  Place the logs on the baking sheets and pat each one into a 10"x3" rectangle.  Leave at least 4 inches between each rectangle and 2 inches from the baking sheet sides.  Set aside.

next make the top layer
In a medium size saucepan, bring the water, salt and butter to a boil, butter should be melted.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together, thickens, steams and comes away from the sides of the pan.  Immediately transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed for about 1 minutes,  to cool the mixture.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the almond extract.
Divide the batter in half, place each half on top of each rectangle.
Spread the batter over the dough rectangles, completely covering the dough, smooth the tops.
Bake the pastries for 55 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

for the jam and icing topping 
Spread the jams on the warm pastry.
Sprinkle on the toasted almonds.
Drizzle with the icing.
Cut into strips to serve.
Store at room temperature, best served same day it's made.
Rewarm briefly if served the following day or freeze for longer storage.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

pear jam with saffron infused honey and cardamom

  Pear Jam with Saffron Infused Honey and Cardamom The summer after high school I worked sorting Bartlett pears at the Scotts Valley Fruit Exchange in Lake County California.  I thought I would never touch or eat another pear again in my life. But, here I am years years later making pear jam in my kitchen with pears, honey and saffron grown in Lake County.  A few weeks ago My husband and I went to visit friends in Kelseyville at their finca, they generously supplied me with the pears from their orchard-Finca Castelero- for my jam.  I will never forget getting up early in the morning and riding my bike across the valley from my cousin's house to work a long hot day sorting pears.  I remember thinking whoever came up with the idea of creating a cooperative to sort, pack and send pears from family farms, including my cousin's family farm on what is now called Hendricks road, to markets all over the country really had a good idea!  I never looked at pears in the grocery store the s

alfajores de tarragon and chives

 well here we are again Christmas 🎄 and covid. This time with a side of alfajores on a fish plate.  Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie or cookies?  As long as the flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar keep flowing- I will be baking Christmas cookies, might even slide over the December 25 cutoff and into January this year. We moved in October.  After a week long getaway to Bandon Dunes, Oregon.  We came back to a new one level, slightly smaller inside and outside new to us home in our same town of Novato.  I think we have electricity gremlins though.  I'm ready to invite my electrician to Christmas dinner since he's here every week.  The latest problem a doorbell chime that almost melted down after continuous buzzing for a day, he's looking for a short in our wiring-don't like the sound of that.  He found it and fixed it, hoorah. We have a ton of unpacked boxes in our new big white garage.  My husband Scott ordered a backyard studio shed for his home office and on

goat cheese, fig and walnut apéro cake

  We're planning a trip to France 🇫🇷  this summer and of course I'm already thinking about the restaurants we will try and the meals, including apéro that we will be enjoying during our visit.  My husband and I are  going to the wedding of a dear friend in the South of France, in Antibes to be precise.  We are staying by the outdoor market which is wonderful, I visited the market a few years ago.  We will be surrounded by bakeries and cheese shops as well as assorted take away food emporiums.  Of course I had to take a small apartment in the middle of the old town which has many outdoor places to sip Rosé🍷  while nibbling on appetizers or apéro as they say in France, which sounds delightful.   I made this savory quick bread or cake inspired by Dorie Greenspan from The NY Times, so we could practice apéro -savoring small bites of thick sliced bread with glasses of crisp cold white wine- before dinner at home in Northern California before our trip this summer to the south of F