Bear Claws and Bear Paws
By Lizzie on March 12, 2018
Hi everyone!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend wherever you may be! Watching the news lately, I cannot believe how cold so much of the country is. Here in Florida, it seems as if we have skipped Spring, and have jumped straight into summer 🙂 My family and I spent most of the weekend outside enjoying the beautiful weather, but on Sunday, I spent the day doing what I love most…creating and baking a brand new treat for my blog!!
I am so excited to announce my first collaboration with Red Star Yeast ! It is truly the best yeast I have ever used in any of my baking, and all of my doughs come out perfectly every time I use it. For my Bear Claw recipe, I used the Red Star Platinum variety. Red Star Platinum is a premium instant yeast blended with dough improvers commonly used by professional bakers that will make your dough so forgiving that you will never be intimidated by yeast again! It takes the guesswork out of baking with yeast, giving you bakery quality results at home every time! By plugging in your zip code on their website, you can find out which grocery stores near you sell Red Star Yeast! For this and more amazing recipes, be sure to follow them on Facebook , Instagram , Pinterest and Twitter too!!
If you have never tackled making pastry dough before, I promise you can do this by following my step by step instructions! Try not to get intimidated by the thought of making dough. 🙂 With a little patience and time, you too can be a pastry chef in your own kitchen!! I took a lot of photos to help you along the way too! Just be sure to set aside most of the day to make these pastries. To properly rise, chill, and shape dough takes time and care, but when you take a bite of your warm Bear Claw fresh from the oven, you’ll know exactly why you love being a baker in the first place 🙂 Using the very best yeast by Red Star Yeast will also ensure that your dough comes out beautifully every single time!!
Note ** Be sure to have a candy thermometer and a yard stick handy for this recipe!
Have your ingredients ready to go! Make sure the butter stays very cold until you are ready to use it!
Cut your very cold butter into slices, then use a pastry cutter to combine it with the flour.
Cut the butter into 3 cups of flour. Place the bowl in the fridge. In another bowl, combine remaining 2 cups of flour and yeast.
Add the heated cream mixture to the yeast mixture. Add in 1 egg. Beat until smooth and combined.
Now add the cold butter mixture to the existing dough. It will look rough and craggy at this point.
Turn the dough out onto a well flour surface and knead a few times until it comes together. Form into a square.
Roll into a 21″x12″ rectangle.
Starting at the short side, fold dough into thirds, forming a 12″x7″ rectangle.
Give dough a 1/4 turn and roll into a 21″x12″ rectangle. Fold into thirds again starting with short side.
Repeat the process one more time flouring the board and rolling pin as needed. You can brush off any extra flour.
Place the folded dough onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 4 hours.
Make the filling and keep in the fridge until ready to make the pastries.
When dough has chilled, cut in half widthwise. It will take some elbow grease to roll it out at first.
For the Bear Claws, roll one section of the dough into a 12″ square. Cut into three, 12″x4″ strips. Flour your board well.
Fill each strip with about 3 heaping tablespoons of filling.
Fold long edges over filling. Pinch edges and ends well to seal shut. Cut into three equal pieces. Pinch those ends closed too.
With kitchen shears, cut 4 equally spaced slits into the dough. (Seam side facing away) Slightly bend the dough.
Place on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet, 8 per pan. Let rise covered for 1 hour.
Brush with egg white, sprinkle with Turbinado sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for about 14 minutes.
To make the Bear “Paws”, roll second piece of dough into a 12″ square. Cut in half. Fill each one with about 8 tablespoons filling.
Fold the dough over and seal the front and ends. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Seal each end of the individual pieces too. Cut 4 equal slits on the top of the non sealed side. Slightly bow out the pastry to resemble a “Bear Paw”. Place on two different parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheets. Cover and let rise for an hour. Brush with egg white and sprinkle sugar and almonds before baking. The larger pastries will require longer baking times.
Perfectly golden brown right out of the oven.
Whisk the confectioners sugar and half and half to make the perfect glaze. You can add more or less cream to make a thicker or thinner glaze.
How scrumptious does this look ?
Place a baking sheet under the cooling rack to catch the extra glaze.
No matter which size you choose to make, they are equally delectable !
They are the perfect treat for company, your friends, or just you 😉
Bear Claws and Bear Paws
Makes: 9 small and 6 large pastries Prep, chill, and rise time: 7 hours total Bake time: 14 to 22 minutes
1 and 1/2 cups cold, unsalted butter cut into 1″ slices
5 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 package, (1/4 ounce), Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 and 1/4 cups half and half
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
1 and 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
7 ounces almond paste
2 egg whites
3/4 cup almond flour or very finely chopped almonds
1 beaten egg white
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Sliced almonds for sprinkling
3 cups confectioners sugar
8-10 tablespoons half and half
Line 3-4 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Set aside.
For the dough
In a medium sized bowl, place 3 cups of flour. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cold, sliced butter until large pea sized balls form, with larger chunks visible. Place the bowl in the fridge.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the remaining 2 cups flour and packet of yeast.
In a saucepan, heat the half and half, sugar and salt to between 120 and 130 degrees. Add to yeast and flour mixture. Slowly beat in the egg. Beat until combined. Now add the cold flour and butter mixture. The dough will look kind of craggy at this point.
On a well floured surface, turn out the dough and knead a few times. Form into a rough square shape.
Roll the dough into a 21″x12″ inch rectangle.
Starting with the short side, fold dough into thirds, forming a 12″x7″ rectangle.
Give the dough a quarter turn and roll into a 21″x12″ rectangle.
Fold the dough into thirds, starting with the short side.
Repeat, flouring your board and rolling pin as needed. You will end up with the folded 12″x7″ dough.
Place the dough that is now folded into thirds, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge for 4 hours.
Make the filling
In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the softened butter and confectioners sugar until combined. Break off pieces of the almond paste and add to the mixer. Mix until smooth. Add the 2 egg whites, flour and almond flour or finely chopped almonds. Combine until a smooth paste forms. Place in the fridge until you are ready to fill the pastry.
Take the cold dough out of the fridge and flour your work surface. Let the dough stand for about 5 minutes before you attempt to roll it out.
Cut the dough in half widthwise.
Roll each portion into a 12″ square and set one aside.
For the smaller “Bear Claws”, follow these steps:
Cut the first square into 3, 12″x4″ strips.
Spread about 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling down the middle of the each of the strips.
Fold the long edges together over the filling. Press the edges and ends to seal. Cut into three equal pieces. Seal each end of the cut pieces as well, so the filling doesn’t spill out.
With the seam side facing away, cut 4 equally spaced slits about 1/2 inch long. Slightly bow out the pastry. (See photo)
Place 8 bear claws on each lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
For the larger “Bear Paws, follow these steps:
Cut the second square of dough in half.
Fill the dough down the middle lengthwise with 8 heaping tablespoons of filling.
Fold the long edges together over the filling. Press the ends and edges to seal. Cut into three equal pieces.
With the seam side facing away, cut 4 equally spaced slits about 1/2 inch long. Slightly bow out the pastry.
Place 3 pastries per lined baking sheet.
Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour
After all 3 pans of pastries are done rising, follow the next steps :
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, beat an egg white until foamy.
Brush the tops of each pastry with the egg white.
Sprinkle liberally with the Turbindo sugar
Sprinkle with sliced almonds to coat the top.
Bake small pastries for 14 to 15 minutes or until golden brown
Bake large pastries for 22 to 24 minutes or until golden brown
While the pastries are baking, make the glaze:
Whisk the confectioners sugar and half and half until smooth and creamy. You may add more or less half and half until you reach the desired consistency.
Remove the pastries from the baking pans and place on wire racks with wax paper underneath.
Make sure the pastries are cool before you drizzle them with the glaze.
If you have any leftover pastries, wrap each individually in wax paper and foil, then freeze for up to a month.
You can microwave them for about 20 seconds to warm them up nicely before devouring them 🙂