The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bitter almond loaf

Schlake's picture
Schlake

bitter almond loaf

I read on the internet that almond loaf made from bitter almonds has a much better flavor than almond load made from sweet almonds.    From the context, I think the author was grinding up almonds into his almond loaf, whereas most recipes I can find just call for almond extract.  I'd like to try a taste-off between otherwise identical loafs made with bitter and sweet almonds.  The internet tells me it takes 7 bitter almonds to kill a child, 20 to kill a small adult, and 30 to kill a large adult.    Four almonds in a cake with limited portion sizes seems reasonable to me, but I'm not from a culture that still routinely uses bitter almonds in baking and I've been getting all my ideas from the internet.

So I'm here, because I trust this site more than the internet at large, and I'm hoping there might be several people around who cook with bitter almonds who might chime in with their ideas.  A good recipe might help too.  I found one at https://vintagerecipesandcookery.com/sweet-and-bitter-almonds-in-recipes/ (almond bread) that I might use, with the change that I'd substitute 4 bitter almonds in the 1/2 pound of sweet almonds for the bitter almond bread.  Except there is a major worry with that idea, in that the recipe calls for preparing the almonds a day in advance and adding rose water.  The internet tells me that soaking bitter almonds is a very bad idea.

Alternatively, there are lots of modern recipes that call for extract.  I could just use one of those, with four almonds or four bitter almonds added in ground/pounded form.

But again, I'm looking for advice.  My goal is to eat what is supposed to be a very strongly flavored almond bread in contrast with a less strongly flavored almond bread, and then not die.

pmccool's picture
pmccool

I wonder if almond extract might be the better course of action.  You could use all the sweet almonds you wanted but boost the flavor with the extract.  No worries about toxicity that way.

Paul

Schlake's picture
Schlake

I want to see what bitter almonds do.  Extract is already familiar to me.

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

Recently bought some, but haven't used it yet and don't know the flavor profile.  Maybe another option.  I've wondered about bitter almonds for years, as they're used in many recipes I've marked in the cookbooks I collect.  I'll follow your journey with interest.

Schlake's picture
Schlake

I also, because of this exact thing I'm doing here, bought some almond oil.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0748MQQCZ.  It arrived today, I haven't tried it yet.  My bitter almonds have yet to arrive.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Interesting but needs additional research.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/05/certain-almonds-are-highly-poisonous/

Also, check your almond flavoring. Is it "pure" or "natural". There is a difference according to this site:

https://allspiceonline.com/almond-extract

 

I don't think I would use ground bitter almonds but  "pick your poison" as the saying goes.

Schlake's picture
Schlake

I've spent a lot of time reading about almonds.  I picked 4 almonds as my starting point because even a very low body weight human should be able to eat 4 almonds, so 4 spread out in a whole cake with small portion sizes shouldn't pose a problem to any adult brave enough to eat what I bake.  As for pure versus natural just remember that natural strawberry flavor is easily made from the anal glands of a beaver, and always go for words like pure and cold pressed in things made from other things being squeezed.