Saturday, April 10, 2021

Almond Croissants the Easy Way

Almond Croissants




After discovering how easy it is to make almond brioche, I decided to use the almond cream on some Sam's Club croissants to create some almond croissants. I can't even tell you how amazing these things are. Sweet, buttery, crispy, soft, decadently delicious. The fact that they are so easy makes them dangerous to anyone trying to eat healthy. Just so you know.

Give these a try. If you like almond croissants at all, you'll thank me.

Almond Croissants
--Adapted from Oh Crumb!

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (from blanched almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 large croissants
  • 1 cup (approx) sliced almonds, toasted
  • powdered sugar
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the butter with the white sugar and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add the almond flour and mix until incorporated.
  • Add cornstarch and flour and mix until incorporated.
  • Add egg and almond and vanilla extracts and mix on medium speed until completely incorporated.
  • Slice each croissant in half horizontally.
  • Spread about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the almond cream onto the bottom half of a croissant, close the croissant, and then spread another 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of almond cream all over the top of the croissant. Repeat with remaining croissants.
  • Press about 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds evenly on the top of each croissant and press lightly so almonds stick.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until almond cream is bubbled is starting to brown along with the sliced almonds.
  • Slide parchment onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before sprinkling with some powdered sugar.
  • Tastes best after cooled to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate any leftover almond cream and seal leftovers in an airtight container or zip top bag.
Makes 7 croissants



Finished almond cream










Bagels






Bagels
    Adapted from kingarthrurflour.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups King Arthur Bread Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 scant tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • toppings like sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning

Water bath:

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and malt powder. Add the 1 1/3 cups water and stir until you get a relatively cohesive ball of dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-15 minutes). Grease a clean large bowl, form dough into a ball and roll around to lightly coat with the oil. Cover bowl and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until puffed, but not necessarily doubled. You can also place it in the refrigerator and let it rise overnight. The overnight rise is supposed to develop more flavor, but since I like mine with the everything bagel seasoning, it's the texture of the bagel that I focus on.
  • When dough had risen sufficiently, put the water, 2 tablespoons malt powder, and sugar in a large wide-rimmed pot (like a Dutch oven), and place pot over medium to medium-high heat until water comes to a gentle boil. Also preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Turn dough out onto work surface, flatten, and cut into 8 equal wedges. I like to shape dough into tight balls, let them rest a bit, and then I poke a hole in the center and swing it around my finger to widen the hole. Other people form each piece of dough into a rope and then join the ends. (Here is a video that shows and explains each method.) Place shaped bagels into the parchment-lined baking sheet. Then cover with plastic and allow to rest for about 15 minutes (if room temp) or 30 minutes (if dough had been refrigerated).
  • Place 2-3 bagels in the boiling water at a time and boil each side for 30-60 seconds. Carefully remove boiled bagels to the parchment-lined baking sheet. (I like to use a slotted spatula and I use a clean folded dish cloth under the spatula because the bagels get slippery.) While bagels are still wet from boiling, sprinkle with toppings, if desired.
  • Bake bagels at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until puffed and browned. Remove bagels to a wire cooling rack to cool. Enjoy when bagels are at a temperature you like. Place uneaten bagels in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze.

Makes 8 bagels


Dough kneaded and set to rise

Bagels formed with rope method

Bagels formed from a ball of dough

Everything bagel formed with rope method

Everything bagel formed with ball of dough method

Plain bagel formed with rope method

Plain bagel formed with ball of dough method




Cinnamon Raisin Bagels



I'm not a big fan of sweet bagels, but my husband is, so I made these for him. They're good--for a sweet bagel, and my husband remarked, "Wow. These are the real deal." As if I don't always produce real deal baked goods. Psh. 

At any rate, this is a good, solid cinnamon raisin bagel recipe that I found at Food52.com. I made a couple of adjustments, but I don't know that I made them taste much different that they would have been had I followed the recipe to a T. 

At this point I'm just typing this intro because it's what I do. Try the recipe. It's good. 


Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
    Adapted from Food52.com

Ingredients:
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon non-diastatic malt powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
For boiling:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder
Instructions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the flours, yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, salt, and non-diastatic malt powder and mix thoroughly. Add water and vanilla and mix until dough is a cohesive mass. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-15 minutes). Dust kneading surface lightly with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. When dough is about done being kneaded, flatten it out and spread surface with the raisins. Knead the raisins in until evenly distributed (I didn't get mine super evenly distributed, but it was fine.)
  • Form dough into a ball. Put oil in to a clean bowl, put the dough ball in and shake and turn dough ball to coat with oil. Cover and allow to rise either at room temperature for about an hour or in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once dough has risen, turn out onto a clean work surface. Cut dough into 8 equal wedges. Flatten a wedge of dough; fold the long tip of dough onto itself and flatten into a rough rectangle (see pics below). Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar (half teaspoon or so). Roll the rectangle into a long, fat rope, pinching the seam to seal. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the 2 quarts water with 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder into a wide-topped pot (like a Dutch oven)  to a gentle boil over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Roll each rope to about 11-12 inches in length, tapering at the ends. Twist the tapered ends together to form a ring shape, pinching to connect the ends. Put your fingers through the center and roll the seam between your hand and the work surface to seal the ends together. 
  • Place formed bagels onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean plastic grocery bag. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes or refrigerate if you won't be ready until later.
  • Place 2-3 bagels in the boiling water at a time, boiling 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully with a slotted spatula or spoon, placing a clean folded dish towel under it because the bagels will be slippery. Place each bagel back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and repeat boiling with the remaining bagels.
  • When all bagels have been boiled, bake them in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Move baked bagels to a wire cooling rack to cool.
  • Freeze any bagels you will not eat by the end of the day.
Makes 8 mid-size bagels



Kneaded dough, set to rise




Before boiling

After boiling





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