By Michael Vialpando
Bearclaws are a classic pastry, fluffy, flaky, sweet, and a solid almond filling. What isn’t so classic, is bear fat in the recipe. Let me assure you, these belong in your hunting camp. Early morning perc coffee and one of these bad boys is sure to satisfy that morning sweet tooth.
The use of bear fat is in place of butter in the dough. Butter is used as a mechanical leavening agent in pastry. The layer of a solid fat in dough that is laminated creates a barrier for steam to push against. It also keeps the layers from sticking to each other, which makes that classic flakey crust.
You could use the dough recipe to make croissant, turnovers, or anything you can think up.
- 2 3/4 C Bread Flour
- 1 C Water
- 1 T dry yeast
- 1 T white sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 C rendered fat (or butter) COLD!
- 1/2 C almond flour
- 3/4 C powdered sugar
- 1 Egg white
- 1 t almond extract
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 1 T milk
- 1/2 t vanilla
- Sliced almonds for topping
In a stand mixer, add water (warm), white sugar, and yeast. Let sit until foamy.
Add flour and salt, and mix until dough pulls from the walls of the bowl. Cover and place in fridge over night.
Pull chilled dough onto a floured surface, and roll out to a 8×16 rectangle. Smear out fat into the center 1/3 of dough and fold in the outer thirds in.
Roll out the folded dough to the same 8×16, and fold into thirds again. Place into fridge for 1 hour. Being sure to keep the fat cold and in a distinguished layer is key to proper lamination. Repeat this process two more times, being sure to refrigerate after each fold.
Mix together almond flour, extract, powdered sugar and egg white.
Roll out dough final time to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut rectangles in dough using a pizza cutter to desired size. (the pastries will be folded in half) I simply cut into 6ths for mine
Add desired amount of filling to each filling on one side of the pastry. Brush all sides edges with egg wash and fold in half pressing all edges to seal. Then cut three slits to make the four ‘claws.” Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let proof till doubled in size.
Brush egg wash one last time after rising and add sliced almonds on top. Bake in a 425* oven for 18 min. Then pull, carefully place on a wire rack with a spatula until cooled. This will keep that crispy, flaky quality to the crust.
Add all ingredients for icing in a small bowl, and stir until incorporated. Drizzle desired amount of icing on cooled pastries and any extra almonds you desire.