Dimanche: we really wish we could run to the bakery and savour an almond croissant for breakfast. Quarantine amid, we will knead dough ourselves and talk you through how to make almond buns (with plant based milk) instead. They are more dense than a croissant but they do share a buttery cushion-feel – and salmons, we miss butter.
Ingredients (make approx. 6 buns):
For the pastry:
2/3 cups soya milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
50g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsps cardamom seeds, crushed with a mortar
2 tsps active dried yeast
2 cups strong white bread flour
40g unsalted butter at room temperature
10g almonds, roughly cut, size adjustable to taste
For the filling and glazing:
20g ground almonds
2 tbsps caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm. Keep the heat on the low side (you don’t want your milk to smell thus taste burnt).
- Lightly beat the egg with a spoon of warm milk, then pour the beaten egg into the pan and whisk some more. Add the sugar, salt and cardamon. Mix well. Remove from the heat. Pour into a preparation bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the yeast and flour together. Slowly incorporate the flour to the liquid mixture, whisking hard. You want as much air as possible to travel through the paste. When the mixture becomes too thick for the whisk to work through, switch for a wooden spoon.
- Incorporate the butter with your hands. Make sure no lumps are left.
- Flour a plane surface. Transfer the dough and knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky. Form into a consistent bowl. You can add more flour if you need. Return the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour (until the dough doubles in size).
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan.
- To make the filling, mix the ground almonds and sugar together. We like to add some of the almonds to the filling already, keeping some aside for the final sprinkle (as well as pistachio or cinnamon, depending on taste, see the note below on filling).
- Once your dough is ready, return to the floured surface and work it for a further few minutes.
With a rolling pin (or a glass bottle), roll it into a rectangle of approximately 15×25 cm.
- For the filling, spread the soft butter over the dough. Spread the almond filling over half of the dough only, and fold the bare pastry back on to the filled half. Press together (make sure to close the sides together so you don’t lose some of the delicious filling.
- With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 6 or so stripes (they should be about 2 cm wide). Grab each end of the stripes and fold back in opposite direction, then roughly bring back one side inside and turn the other one around, like a snail-like shape. Or let your imagination run wild.
- Arrange the buns on a baking sheet. Cover for 10 minutes with a kitchen towel (in a warm place if possible).
- Brush the lightly beaten egg yolk and sprinkle the almonds on top.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden (that would be 13 minutes for the salmon pink oven).
Note for the salmon pink bakers: you can match the filling with your taste. It works well with pistachio for instance. We want to make them with blueberries next. We use soya milk out of preference but the original recipe is with milk, so do feel free to switch (we only advise to use less quantity if you do). The original recipe also uses almond flakes but we prefer the strong taste of toasted almonds.
These are delicious served warm or cold, either way they pair beautifully with a hot beverage. Bon appétit !