Not going to lie I have been on a roll with recipe testing and posting on my blog, but this last weekend I felt stumped because I couldn’t think of anything new that would require time and some creativity. I then turned to Facebook and asked for recipe suggestions. Well, thanks to my lovely friend Trisha she suggested I veganize almond bear claws. Thank the Lord she did, because they turned out amazing! As always…keep reading to get this life changing recipe.
The dough came out so flaky and buttery, just like how laminated dough should be. Filled with a rich and delicious almond paste (or marzipan), sprinkled with crunchy slivered almonds, and dusted with powdered sugar. It is like bringing an artisan bakery to your home.
At first, I thought this recipe would be quite challenging to create, as eggs are pretty much a staple in pastries, as they act as not only a leavening agent but to bind AND caramelize the outer crust. Don’t worry though, I figured it out!
Obviously, you can’t substitute a flax egg in this recipe, as it would cause the appearance of the pastry to look grainy, and might yield a slightly gummy texture.
I would also never go the healthy route with these and use mashed banana or applesauce, because who would disrespect a pastry like that?!
A lightly neutrally flavored oil was the best bet! It added some moistness and fat content, and 1.5 tbsp was just the right amount to equal 1 egg.
Do you see all those delicious buttery layers?! Yes, I am salivating over here too…
This recipe is…
Definitely not one to eat on a diet, but worth the cheat.
Super buttery and flaky like a traditional non-vegan bear claw
Worth the patience and time
Almond Bear Claw
By: Taavi Elizabeth Makes: 9 bear claws
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract*
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp warm almond milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
- 1 stick of vegan butter
- 9 1/3-inch slices of almond paste (I used this recipe)*
- “Egg wash” – 1 tsp agave + 3 tbsp almond milk
- Thinley sliced almonds for sprinkling
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- In a small measuring cup with the warm water, stir in sugar. Sprinkle on yeast. Do not mix, but rather slightly swish the cup around one time to slightly incorporate the yeast. Set aside for 5-10 min. or until foamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in milk, almond extract, flour, sugar, salt, oil, and yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Your dough might be a little dry, but that is ok. Knead for 5 min. or until the dough ball is smooth and slightly springy. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp paper towel (to prevent the dough from drying out), and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- While dough is rising, prepare the butter square. On a piece of wax paper, trace out a 6×9 rectangle. Cut the stick of butter into 6 even slices. Arrange the butter in the rectangle, so it’s 3 slices of butter by 2. Lie another piece of wax paper on top and roll out the butter until it is the size of the measured wax paper. Use a sharp knife to trim the butter rectangle to the right size. Try to press the trimmings back on the butter, so none goes to waste. Freeze the butter until the dough has risen.
- Take out risen dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and punch down to release some air. Lightly flour top to prevent hands or rolling pin from sticking. Roll out dough into a 10×13 inch rectangle. Stretch corners of dough to avoid rounded corners as much as possible. Take out butter, remove from wax paper, and lie on bottom half of dough rectangle, leaving an inch below. Fold over top half of dough on butter to create a pocket for the butter. Pinch on all sides to seal butter in. Roll it out to approx. 18 inches long. Fold into thirds, wrap with wax paper, and refrigerate for 30 min.
- Take out dough, repeat rolling out to 18 inches, folding it into thirds, and refrigerating for 30 min. Repeat one more time, before moving on.
- Take out, and roll into a 12 by 12-inch square. Slice into 3 4-inch wide strips. Slice off 9 1/3-inch slices from almond paste log. Arrange 3 slices along one side each strip. Fold over other side and seal in paste.
- Once you have done that for all the strips. Gather them all and slice each into 3 rectangles, so there are a total of 9. Take each individual rectangle, and using scissors make 4 cuts about 1/3 of the way in. Arrange them all on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with “Egg wash,” and sprinkle on sliced almonds. Transfer to a warm place and let them rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bear claws one last time with the egg wash. Bake for 15 min. or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar right away. It is best to eat them the day of, but to store, I would suggest freezing them, and then heating them in the oven when ready to eat.
*If you don’t have almond extract, don’t worry. You can substitute 1/2 tsp almond extract for 1 tsp vanilla. The marzipan will cover that almond taste you need.
*If you are using marzipan paste opposed to a log, spread about 2 tbsp of the paste on the strips opposed to 3 slices.