Swedish Almond Bread (Vetelängder med mandelmassa)
As always, my time on Maui has gone by too quickly. Whenever this happens, I always sit and think, where did it all go--my time? So here's what I did and where it went... I spent a fair amount of time at my parent's house, flipping through my mom's old cookbooks. I spent time with my godson and goddaughter (godkids?) building lego trucks, inhaling burgers and furikake fries, and making lots of ridiculous sounds (for my soon to be one-year-old god daughter). I celebrated my grandmother's 92nd birthday with my mom, aunties, uncles, and cousin. I spent Mother's Day hanging with my mom and walking along Thompson Road aka Oprah's road (she lives there, sometimes). I even hopped over to Oahu for a couple of days of eating research and saw one of my best friends, Onaona. So, while my Hawaii days have blown by yet again, I'm heading back to Los Angeles this afternoon with buckets of good memories and lots of good book research under my belt. What I'm not bringing back with me is a tan, which I'm starting to believe is a thing of the past, thanks to all that SPF I now slather on religiously.
Today's post might not seem like it has anything to do with my time in Hawaii, and yet, it kinda has everything to do with it. You see, according to my Aunty, baking is in my blood. Back in the day, my mom's grandparents had a deli/bakery on the Big Island. They baked everything from bear claws to coconut pie. And while I wasn't lucky enough to meet them or even try any of their tasty creations, I feel like they're with me every time I put on my baker's hat. Whenever I roll out dough, I think to myself, I wonder if I love doing this because of them. And since all of their recipes are gone (no one seems to have them written down), I make up recipes as I go and search for recipes I think they may have liked.
Like this Swedish almond bread (Veteländer med mandelmassa). It's basically a length of dough, rolled up tight like a cinnamon roll, then clipped all the way down the roll. You alternate sides, when pulling the clipped rounds of dough and end up with a loaf that looks way trickier than it is. To the dough, I added a bit of orange zest for brightness and instead of a glaze, I topped it with Swedish pearl sugar. It's filled with an almond paste that's not too sweet and has just a touch of cinnamon spice. I baked it all up on a Silpain mat, which just like it's sister product Silpat, helps with even baking. However, the difference between the two is that Silpain is made for bread! It's extra perforated, so the liquid in the dough can seep through the bottom instead of sitting at the bottom of your loaf. Basically, it leaves you with perfect bottom crusts!
Swedish Almond Bread (Vetelängder med mandelmassa)
ADAPTED FROM Swedish Cardamom Rolls
MAKES 2 loaves
- 1 c. + 1 Tbsp. (250 ml) milk, heated to 110°F
- 1 envelope dry active yeast (7 g)
- 1/3 c. (67 g) light brown sugar
- 3 1/4 c. (406 g) all-purpose flour, plus more to flour surfaces
- Zest of 1 small orange
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. (85 g) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
- Oil/cooking spray, to grease the bowl
- 3/4 c. almond flour
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tsp. water
- Eggwash: 1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp. water
- 3 Tbsp. Swedish pearl sugar
- Stand mixer
- Glass measuring cup
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Rolling pin
- Silicone spatula/offset spatula
- Clean kitchen towels
- Baking sheets lined with Silpain mats
- Wire rack
- Pastry brush
- Grease a large bowl with oil or cooking spray and set aside.
- In a bowl, add yeast to the lukewarm milk with 1 teaspoon light brown sugar and stir until yeast has dissolved. Let sit/activate for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, mix together flour, light brown sugar (less 1 teaspoon), orange zest, and salt.
- Change the attachment to the dough hook attachment.
- After yeast has been activated, add your yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix on low until dough begins to come together. Increase speed to medium-low and add cubed butter in handfuls. Once all the butter has been added, increase speed to medium/medium-high and knead for about 5 minutes. You want this to be a fairly loose dough, so whatever you do, don't over knead.
- Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball, tucking the edges toward the center. Place in your greased bowl, flipping once to coat both sides of the dough before coving the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm place and let it rise for at least 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitter with paddle attachment, combine all the filling ingredients and mix together on medium-low until fully incorporated and fluffy.
- Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats and set aside.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll the first piece of dough into a 10-inch x 15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the filling onto the rolled out dough rectangle with silicone spatula or offset spatula so that it covers the entire area from edge to edge.Roll the dough into a tight log (hamburger style not hotdog style) and pinch the ends closed. Using kitchen shears, clip straight down into each loaf, stopping short of the bottom of the round, leaving about 2-inches between each incision. Pull the slices apart gently, alternating directions, left and right.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
- Place the loaves on your pre-lined baking sheets, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.
- While proofing, preheat oven to 435°F (at least 30 minutes before baking)
- Brush the tops of the loaves with an egg wash, then sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the proofed loaves for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then slice, serve, and enjoy!
This post was written in partnership with Silpat. All words and opinions are my own, like using their Silpain mats when baking breads has really made a difference on that bottom crust!