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Almond Puff Loaf

 Almond Puff Loaf
The recipe for this buttery, tender confection had been around for years and years but, like all fine classics, its beauty never fades. It's incredibly easy to make, yet taste and looks as though a professionally trained pastry chef might have labored over it for hours. Hey, a little subterfuge never hurts any bakers' reputation.—Taste of Home Cooking School
16-20 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • FIRST LAYER:
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • SECOND LAYER:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk or water

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles
  • coarse crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough
  • forms a ball.
  • Divide dough in half; shape each into a log. On a large greased or
  • parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the logs into 11-in. x 3-in.
  • rectangles, leaving a 4-in. space between pastries.

2 of 2

Almond Puff Loaf (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • For second layer, bring water and butter just to a boil over medium
  • heat. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms.
  • Transfer to a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed for 30-60
  • seconds.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue
  • beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. Beat in extract. With a
  • spatula, spread half over one pastry strip until the surface is
  • completely covered. Repeat.
  • Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove
  • to wire racks. Spread warm pastries with jam; sprinkle with almonds.
  • For icing, combine the sugar, vanilla and enough milk or water to
  • achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over pastries. Cut into
  • strips or squares. Yield: 16-20 servings.