Breakfast pastries are one of the things I like to make, to eat and to share with family and friends on a chilly weekend. Almond Braid is a beautiful, delicious dessert or breakfast pa...
Cooler temperatures have me craving comfort foods, and for me that means bread, pastries and anything with yeast. Breakfast pastries are one of the things I like to make, to eat and to share with family and friends on a chilly weekend. The yeasty smell takes me back to my younger days baking with my grandmother. One of my favorite pastries are bear claws, I am sure that you have had them before, this bread has a similar creamy almond taste but is one loaf instead of individual pastries.
The ease of Rhodes bread dough means that you can have a delicious, tasty pastry whenever you want. That said, you do need to take into account the thawing and rising time, so make sure that you plan accordingly. What I like to do is, as soon as I get up in the morning I take a loaf or two, out of the freezer place them in greased bowls, wrap with lightly greased plastic wrap and place into my oven which I preheat to 100 degrees then turn off. This will help the dough rise faster. You could also let them raise in the refrigerator overnight and then proceed from there. Either way works great.
The filling is simple, you take the almond paste, sugar and butter and mix in your mixer until light and fluffy, then add the flour, egg and mix well, then fold in the chopped nuts.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and then knead it on your floured board for a few minutes, then let it rest for at least 5 minutes. This makes it easier to roll out.
Roll the dough into a rectangle, place a layer of filling down the center of the dough and then make 1 inch cuts on each side of the dough. You can cut a square from each side of each end so that you have a flap to fold over the end of the loaf to contain the filling, or you can skip that part and simply crimp the ends when you reach that point.
Alternating from each side, place strips over the filling, stretching the dough if necessary. When you reach the end you fold up the end or crimp the edges to seal. Then let the bread raise for 30 minutes, bake, glaze and eat!
Rhodes Braided Almond BreadServings: 12 | Skills: Intermediate | Prep Time: 30 min (not including thaw time) | Bake Time: 20-30 min
Rhodes Braided Almond Bread
2 loaves Rhodes Bread or Sweet Dough
8 oz. almond paste
1 cup of sugar
4 oz. softened butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 large egg
1/2 chopped nuts
2 cup powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sliced almonds for garnish
Grease or spray 2 large bowls with cooking spray. Place one loaf of frozen dough in each bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to rise and the dough is double in size. Note: You can also let the dough raise in the refrigerator overnight and then proceed from there.
While dough is rising prepare the filling.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the almond paste, sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Then add the egg, flour and mix well. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Once dough has risen punch down and place dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead for a few minutes and then let it rest of 5 minutes. Roll dough on your baking mat into a rectangle. Spread a layer of filling down the middle of the dough, then make 1 inch cuts down the longer side of the dough to within a 1/2 inch of the filling. Starting at one end fold the strips diagonal across the filling, alternating from side to side and stretching the dough if necessary. Fold up the ends or press the ends lightly to seal. Transfer the bread on your baking mat to your baking sheet to bake or alternately if you rolled it out on your counter carefully life the braid onto your parchment paper lined pan.
Let braided bread raise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and prepare glaze while bread is cooling
To make the glaze mix the powdered sugar and vanilla together, add the milk and stir. You may have to add more milk to get the glaze to the consistency that you like.
Drizzle bread with glaze and sprinkle with nuts.
This recipe makes two loaves so that you have one to eat and one to share, or you could keep them both for your own hungry crowd.