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danish & bear claws

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
im thinking about trying my hand at some breakfast pastries and i love bear claws and danish rings from the store. but does anyone know what the brown sugar, cinnamon paste stuff they often times put in them is called? or where i could get a good recipe for that stuff? thankyou. also, has anyone made these by hand at all? how did it go?
post #2 of 14
I'm not exactly sure what you mean about the "brown sugar, cinnamon paste stuff".

What you are talking about is making a laminated dough. I would never discourage anybody from trying this (it is the best way to learn after all) but it can be a bit tricky. I would recommend reading as much as you can about laminated doughs to get an understanding of them. Then go ahead and try it. If it doesn't turn out quite as you expect, try again, and again. It is something well worth mastering and there is nothing quite like a home made Danish.

post #3 of 14
From the Sedgewood Book of Baking, two recipes for you:

Filling (This is a dryer filling)

3 T butter, melted
3/4 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C chopped hazelnuts or almonds
1/4 C chopped Brazil nuits
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Brush pastry with melted butter. Combine walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, sugar and cinnamon.

Filling #2

2 C finely chopped walnuts
1/3 C firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
grated peel of 1 lemon
grated peel of 1 orange
2 egg whites

Combine walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon and orange peels. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, fold beaten whites into nut mixture.
post #4 of 14

Laminated Doughs

While this doesn't answer your question about the filling just a note. As Jock said above this is laminated dough. A very time consuming and possibly tricky process and not always better than what a good bakery can produce. However I love it when people jump in and explore and this is my reccomendation.

My opinion is that laminated doughs sort of have this level of difficulty. Puff Pastry is the easiest (no yeast, just flour and water, and butter) Croissant would be the next level (some yeast but still a fairly stiff dough). Danish would be the advanced level because it has yeast and eggs and therefore is a very wet and loose dough and hard to laminate properly.

Read a lot about laminated doughs first to understand what is going on. Or you can always start with brioche.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone, a couple notes. i DID find out what i was referring to, it is an almond paste filling (i will post the recipe a bit later). and thanks for the suggestions on laminate doughs, i will be sure to look into what they are and how they work and stuff like that. as to the level of difficulty... i enjoy a good challenge... seriously though, im not quite yet looking to be getting a professional quality dough, i just dont think it can be done with my tools available to me (itty, bitty, almost dorm room kitchen); im just looking for something that will taste pretty good, and resemble what it is im making my roommates and i need something else to eat besides top ramen for every meal... mastery will take some time... but if i hit the nail on the head the first try, then i will take it. thanks once again, ill let you know how it goes when i get it done.
post #6 of 14

Bear claws

At my bakery i make my bear claws with a sweet dough. butter it and add walnuts a touch of almond extract in the butter. Then i add cinnamon and sugar fold in thirds. Cut into 3 inch sections. cut the toes out then bake at 325 for 8 minutes in a convection oven. They are very big sellers. i started making them as a new item when i took over at the bakery. I made 6 a night and now i'm up to 28 a day. People seem to like them. You don't need the almond paste. Its expensive and really doesn't make bigger flavor than the extract in my opinion. But if your in to spending money go for it. :)
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
referring to the almond paste, yes, it is incredibly expensive to make, but i found a recipe to make it, thanks to the CIA

almond paste
10 oz almonds
10 oz powder sugar
1.25 cup simple syrup

powder the almonds, mix in sugar, add enough syrup to create a paste.

and then there are various fillings using this, but i think id experiment a bit and add some ingredients here and there... depending on what i think it needs. oh, and my apologies, im not sure what the yield of this is, i think it was roughly... 1.5 lbs???
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
so, how do you form a bear claw? got a little ahead of myself and realized i dont really know how to form the bear claws. do i roll it like a cinnamon roll the slice and make toes, or make turnovers and make toes or what?
post #9 of 14

One way of doing it.

The way that I have shaped bear claws is to roll dough into a long strip about 5" high. "Pipe" filling along the top middle of dough. Then close up dough around the filling by folding down the top third to tuck the filling in, seal the top to the middle of the strip. Next bring the bottom edge up and seal in the same place. Now dough has two halves, the top half encases filling the bottom half encases nothing. It is important to seal where the two edges meet.

Now roll the "log" of dough over so the "seams" are facing down. Starting at one edge with a knife cut down about 1/2 " making sure not to go above the bottom seal. Make these 1/2" cuts every 1/2" or so and every 6th or 7th one (depending on how long you want each bear claw) cut all the way through the log. Repeat.

You don't want any of the filling to be showing as it will leak and run all over the oven when it is baking. Take each bear claw and gently bend back to form a slight round shape.

Egg wash, sprinkle with Almonds
Proof and Bake
Ice and eat.

Hope that helps
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #10 of 14

Replying here to a five year old post, see how that goes ;-)


Just a little question :  How thick do you roll laminated dough for a bear claw ?


= = = = = = = = = =


I found directions for making bear claws, although I don't think the dough is really the best :


Also, do-it-yourself Almond Paste


= = = = = = = = = =


But how thick do you normally roll that dough ?

post #11 of 14

I know this is an old thread, but I just saw it for the first time today.

I worked in a bakery and made those bear claws and danish.


The cinnamon mixture I always called it "Super sugar" cause that's what the baker called it. It was brown sugar, cinnamon, and eggs mixed together.

For home use take 1 cup of brown sugar to 2 tablespoons cinnamon to 2 eggs (scramble them first before adding) mix this together.


The almond filling for the bear claws is a bit more tricky. It was more a frosting consistency thicken with powdered sugar and flavored with almond.

No almond paste (retail bakery trying to make a buck or two...)  Basically it was butter and shortening, with powdered sugar, milk and almond flavoring.

We saved all the white icing drippings from when the sales girls iced all the rolls and doughnuts, and mixed that in with the mixture.

I piped it out of a pastry bag on to the dough before sealing it and making the claws.  It's a consistency thing.

post #12 of 14

hmm, we have made these in class before, the inside filling, is just like a normal filling, for a pie or a tart, or even a paste of blended flavor and sugar, with a thickener


the way to make it, is to roll your danish dough out thin, but not so this as it breaks if you touch it,

then cut into a rectangle, usually ours are, 3 X 8 rectangles, we then pipe our filling on one half, and put an egg wash on the other, and then you roll it from the filling side to the egg wash side,


]             filling                             ]

]                                                  ]

]                                                  ]

]_________ egg wash________]


you then take you hand and press lightly on the rolled side that has the eggwash,

you cut the roll into 4ths, and then on each 4th you slice not all the way through, just to the filling,

and bend the danish pieces. we let them proof for 1 hour and then bake.


i dont know them amount of time they take as, the chef makes us watch them.

post #13 of 14

3 1/4mm is a good thickness for Danish

post #14 of 14

If you're interested in learning to make laminated doughs, Craftsy has a video class for making croissants (under their Food Crafts section). It's not a class on Danish pastries, but it will give you a good understanding of how laminated doughs work. You can also ask the instructor questions within the class if you need a little help. I took a pastry class with an actual instructor when I learned laminated doughs, but the video is still handy. You might also see if there's a baking instructor in your area who's giving a class.

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