almond puff loaf

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Sometimes I get my inspiration from restaurants or a particular craving I have. Sometimes they just come to me from my wild imagination or another food blog. But sometimes, it’s literally sent to me… like this one which I received in my Sunday morning King Arthur Flour recipe e-mail. This recipe falls into the latter category. 

This almond puff loaf looks fancy, with its layers of fluffy pastry and dense almond, but is actually incredibly easy to make. The texture is almost akin to that of a danish, but not nearly as sweet. The majority of the sweetness in this comes from the jam and icing on top, with the pastry merely serving as a vessel for the almond flavor and delightful flaky yet creamy texture.

You will need a mixer for this, unless you’ve been doing a lot of working out and have some crazy upper body strength. The first layer comes together after just a few minutes in the stand mixer, while the second layer starts off in a saucepan and is then transferred to the mixture and beat until cool. It will form a very thick batter that is spread on top of the bottom layer and then baked. You will want to use a large baking pan (I used a half sheet pan) for these as they will puff quite a bit in the oven. Once puffed and golden brown, you remove them from the oven and spread them with jam so it warms and melts and gets nice and gooey. Then, top with a drizzle of icing and you’re done!
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almond puff loaf

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

    For the bottom layer:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the middle layer
  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the top layer
  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
  • For the icing
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a half sheet pan with parchment.
  2. Make the bottom layer
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
  4. Cut butter into flour using a pastry blender (or hands) until everything is crumbly. Stir in water until the mixture forms a cohesive dough.
  5. Diving dough in half (each half should be about 4 5/8 ounces). Using wet hands, shape each half into a rectangle approximately 10-by-3 inches on the baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches between the two (they will puff!).
  6. Make the middle layer:
  7. In a small bowl, mix the flour and salt.
  8. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, butter, and salt until the mixture comes to a boil.
  9. Add the flour mixture to the saucepan all at once, and stir until the mixture thickens and bgins to pull away from the sides of the pan. It should take less than a minute.
  10. Carefully transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed for about 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the mixture to cool some. If it is too hot, it will cook your eggs when you add them.
  11. Add sugar and beat until incorporated.
  12. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Continue beating the batter until each egg is totally absorbed and the batter no longer looks slimy.
  13. Add almond and vanilla extracts and beat until incorporated.
  14. Divide batter n half, spreading half of the batter over each of the dough strips on the baking sheet. They should be completely covered by the second layer of batter.
  15. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the pastry is a deep, golden brown and is very puffy.
  16. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack.
  17. For the top layer
  18. While still warm, spread each pastry with jam (I used strawberry for one and boysenberry for the other). The heat of the pastry should help the jam to spread. Sprinkle with toasted almonds (if using).
  19. Make the icing:
  20. Stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until it forms a thick, pourable icing. If the mixture is too thick, add another teaspoon of milk. If the mixture is too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar.
  21. Drizzle icing over pastries and cut into strips to serve.

Notes

* Allow your pastry to cool a bit before drizzling the icing to get nice, clean icing drizzle lines (unlike some of us who don't seem to have the patience to do so).

* If desired, top with toasted almonds for extra crunch and almond flavor.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/07/19/almond-puff-loaf/

[ Recipe source: King Arthur Flour ]

 

2 thoughts on “almond puff loaf

  1. With a title of Almond Puff Loaf, there was no ignoring this recipe! What a wonderful recipe for a spectacular weekend brunch treat! King Arthur Flour has the best preforming recipes, they always delight.

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