The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ITJB Week 4: Almond Buns (12/24/11 - 12/31/11)

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Urchina's picture
Urchina

ITJB Week 4: Almond Buns (12/24/11 - 12/31/11)

Almond (anything) + bread = bliss, in my book. These almond buns struck me as potentially winning additions to the Christmas brunch table. Or perhaps as a pre-brunch snack. If they last past my getting them off the baking sheet, that is.

Please note that the Bun Dough recipe (p. 152) has an error. The fix is listed in the errata section of the NY bakers website: http://www.insidethejewishbakery.com/files/IJB_Errata.pdf. Scroll down until you see "Bun Dough" and the correction is listed there.

These buns call for three sub-recipes (bun dough, almond filling, and simple syrup), and please note that the almond filling recipe calls for 3 cups of cake crumbs (which I'm assuming most of us will have to make ourselves, not living in a bakery), bringing the baking dominoes that need to fall in line up to 4. Or five if, like me, you plan on concocting your own almond paste (p. 256).

Clearly, these are buns for the bold. But what better way to end 2011?

Looking forward to your posts and pictures!

linder's picture
linder

Hi,

Just a note - fresh bread crumbs will probably work in lieu of cake crumbs if it was a soft white or whole wheat loaf of bread (I wouldn't use rye because of the strong flavor).  I used bread crumbs ground up in my mini food processor when making the rugelach and they came out fine.

Linda

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

used bread crumbs, but didn't bother grinding them up. However, I found that if you use bread crumbs this way, you have to use at least ONE cup more liquid to keep the mixture pliable and soft, b/c the bread crumbs soak up more liquid. I should have pictures soon.

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

I sort of fixed the recipe on the fly. I have also decided that instead of using something abominable like "shortening & butter flavor" (eeewwww) I'm going to go for butter, and instead of "water and dry milk" I'll keep using milk. Why work around something good w/ an inferior substitute?

Anyway, this is the first recipe from this book that I like "as is", and the only caveat I have is that they are waaaay too addictive. They won't last long in this house - I had to fend people off in order to take pictures. :) Last but not least, I baked them "sticky bun style" all touching each other, and they turned out great regardless.

linder's picture
linder

GermanFoodie,

You had the same reaction I did to the butter flavoring.  I think I'll try using just plain ol' butter in my bake too.  The rolls themselves look oh so good!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

Linda

Elagins's picture
Elagins

just remember that US butter contains about 15% water, so you would need to increase the butter amount by about 17.5% to reach the proper fat content, while reducing the liquid by 15% of the butter weight.  cumbersome? absolutely, but that's the way the pros do it.

Stan.

BTW, you guys are turning out some beautiful stuff!!!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

works great

Anna

 

dawkins's picture
dawkins

...if almond paste and marzipan are interchangeable here, please? Marzipan is easy peasy to get here in the UK, especially at Xmas, so if I can use that instead of almond paste, it'd make things easier for me. As marzipan already has some egg in it, would I still need to add the same extra amount of egg to make the filling? Thanks for your help!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

the same.  I make my own and use the paste whenever either almond paste or marzipan is called for.

anna

 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

My two sisters, gmabaking and gmabaking 2 and I made the Almond Buns on Monday morning and we had different and interesting experiences.  One that might be called an issue was the very slow rise after rolling out and cutting... seemed to take forever for these babies to get into the oven.  The simple syrup was kind of a sticky end to the process. But all in all we had a great baking day together -- across the country (two in Texas, one in WA)... I cut mine a bit deeper and put them in a 9x9 pan... they rose up and blended together into a kinda marbled coffeecake creature... gmabaking2 did hers in two round cake pans... and gmabaking (our big sister) did them according to the instructions. She had an issue with her yeast and had to add some after her dough was formed, messy, but it worked... All results were delicious! The dough was a little softer than we are used to working with and quite sweet.   The important thing is, we texted a million messages, talked on the phone, learned some things and had great almond buns as our reward... Thank you all for the opportunity to be involved in this challenge. Thank you to all the other bakers posting -- we learn so much from some of you.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Can just add that I enjoyed making this recipe, and we enjoyed even more the experience of eating them. I learn a lot from the pictures that are posted here, can see from GermanFoodie's that I should have rolled mine out a bit thinner to get those lovely swirls. Baking them an inch apart worked just right. Hope our mail delivery lady will enjoy her gift. We have a long narrow mailbox so in order to fit a package of six almond buns, I cut apart an egg carton, put the top under partitioned part and covered it all with plastic wrap (in retrospect, foil would have worked better).  First time in years that I have had a complete failure with yeast. New pkg of SAF too. Luckily I had a container of SAF Gold. I mixed a teaspoonful in about a fourth cup of water, put the dough back into the mixing bowl with dough hook. Except for the initial splash, it came together perfectly. Added a couple of spoonsful of flour and it was just as I think it should be- soft and silky-

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

    by putting my almond buns into a 9 x 9 pan, I ended up with more of a coffeecake finished product. This is really moist and very tasty. The almond paste that was swirls is more like a marbeled effect, but very good.

 

 

dawkins's picture
dawkins

Think I rolled them a bit thin, but they puffed up nicely. Very tasty and not too sweet, with challah crumbs used instead of cake crumbs. I need to freeze/give away a stack of these as I'm loaded with Xmas treats at the moment! This was a nice straightforward recipe: I used butter instead of shortening, forgot the recipe needed correcting and did it just as it was in the book, so ended up adding a handful of extra flour to bring the dough to a less sticky state but it all came out okay. I made it all in the food processor using the blade and it came together just fine. Still feels weird using plain flour for yeast-based baking, after all these years of only using strong flour, but the results speak for themselves, so thanks for another great recipe. 

carlene's picture
carlene

My almond buns were very good.  I made my own almond paste from the recipe in the book, and I made a cake from scratch.   I made a yellow cake from a KAF recipe because it called for extra egg yolks and I had some extra egg yolks left over from Christmas dinner baking.  I made the entire cake into crumbs and now have a bag of cake crumbs in the freezer to use as I need.  I think that if I were to do this again I would make an almond flavored cake for the crumbs, just to intensify the almond flavor.  I didn’t make any changes to the recipe.  I had butter flavor on hand so used it.   The only real problem I had was getting the seam to seal when I rolled the filled dough.  In fact, some of my rolls came apart when baking.  I put them on a sheet pan about an inch apart as the recipe indicated.  I actually baked these on Monday, but this week has been hectic and I am only now getting them posted.  The buns are long gone by now.

Carlene

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

We 3 sisters again baked together on this challenge, gmabaking, the eldest made her cake in a bundt pan... that is it in the photo... gmabaking2, and myself made ours in loaf pans and the center of ours stayed a little low. All in all, it was an easy recipe and tastes very good... denser than I would want to call "cake", more of a bread along the lines of zucchini or banana bread, in my opinion.  We enjoyed the challenge, and enjoyed the baking.  I wonder if there are any other "teams" of bakers who are comparing results.  Gmabaking2 put walnuts on hers, I put pecans, and up top on this bundt is apricot jam, and then sprinkled with sliced almonds.  Great fun!

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

You posted this under almond buns?

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

was checking to see if I could post a picture... and there was no thread yet for the Week 5 Honey Cake. I will post when they put that up.

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

I realized that as well as soon as I replied. Didn't mean to be a smart-aleck. :) The easiest way for me to post pictures is to switch to non-rich-text mode and post a hyperlink to my flickr - you may wanna try that.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

IF I had any idea what it is that you just said...  your pictures are great, so whatever you mean, it must work.

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

As an example, in flickr:

1. In your photo stream, click on the photograph you want to share, then on "share" on top of the photograph.
2. Select "Grab the HTML/BBCode", click inside the box containing the code (it should highlight all automatically) and hold your CTRL key down while pressing "C" (that copies the code to your "clipboard").
3. On this forum, below your text box is a piece of text that is actually a hyperlink: "Disable rich-text". Click that before you do anything else. Click inside the top left corner of the text box, then hold down your CTRL key while pressing "V" (that pastes the code you just copied in).

If you now switch back to rich-text, you should see your photograph - type away. See if that works for you, even if you don't know HTML.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I printed those instructions so I can go through them SLOWLY... thank you again.

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

you can also just DM me if you get stuck. :)