You don't have to head to gourmet bakeries to indulge in this sweet pastry. This recipe lets you master rich flaky pastries at home.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- BUTTER MIXTURE:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 6 tablespoons prepared almond filling or filling of your choice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons water
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Stir in sugar, salt and egg; mix well. Add the flour all at once, stirring until mixed. Set aside.
- For butter mixture, sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour on a work surface; place butter on surface and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Press and roll out with a rolling pin. Scrape butter from rolling pin and continue to work the butter until it forms a smooth mass without any hard lumps. Knead in remaining flour, working quickly to keep butter cold.
- Place butter mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a small rectangle. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap; roll into a 9x6-in. rectangle. Set aside.
- Turn dough onto a floured work surface; roll into a 14x10-in. rectangle, with a 10-in. side toward the bottom. Unwrap butter mixture; place on dough 1 in. above bottom edge and 1/2 in. from each side edge. Fold top half of dough over butter and pinch edges to seal.
- Turn dough a quarter turn to the right; sprinkle lightly with additional flour. Lightly roll into a 16x8-in. rectangle. Fold bottom third of rectangle up and top third down, as when folding a business letter, making a 5-1/2x8-in. rectangle (this is called one turn). Rotate dough a quarter turn to the right. Lightly roll into a 16x8-in. rectangle and again fold into thirds, finishing the second turn. Repeat rotating, rolling and folding two more times for a total of four times. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll dough into a 12-in. square; cut square into three 12-in. x 4-in. strips. Spread 2 tablespoons filling down the center of each strip to within 1 in. of long edge. Fold lengthwise over filling and pinch seam to seal. Cut each strip into three pieces. With scissors, cut each piece four times from pinched seam to about 1/2 in. from folded side. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Curve folded side slightly to separate strips and allow filling to show. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Brush bear clasws with egg. Bake 10-14 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; brush over warm rolls. Cool. Yield: 9 rolls.
Originally published as Bear Claws in Complete Guide to Baking 2004, p350
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