Bear Claws and Bear Paws

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

Ingredients

Dough

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 egg

Filling

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

Egg wash

1 beaten egg white

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Sliced almonds for sprinkling

Glaze

3 cups confectioners sugar

8-10 tablespoons half and half

Directions

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 🙂

14 comments

Comments

  1. Denise H says:

    These look so delicious. Bear claws are my most favorite pastry. I’m going to try and make them this week. Winn Dixie carries Red Star yeast so I will get some there first. Love your recipes ❤️

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hi Denise! Thank so much for your sweet words! I hope you make these delicious pastries and let me know how it went. I am sure you will do a fantastic job!! xo

  2. Jett Whitfield says:

    Yum! You make this look so easy =)

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hey Jett! It is really easy when you follow the steps!! Give it a try and let me know what you think xoxo

  3. Johnnie says:

    Hi Lizzie. I wanted to tell you that I have been using Red Star Yeast forever and I love it. It’s the only yeast I use when I make any kind of dough recipes. This one looks great and I want to try it this weekend. I really like your photos and instructions, so I think I have a good chance of making it come out ok 🙂 Love your website…

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hi Johnnie! I am so glad you love Red Star Yeast as much as I do! It was the best thing to happen to my dough making since the discovery of flour 🙂 I know you will do a fabulous job making these pastries! Let me know how you love them ..xo

  4. Maria Campanella says:

    WOW…these sure do look delicious, Lizzie! Anything with almond paste or flavor has always been my favorite, so I am sure these would be so good to taste. Is it easy to find almond paste in the grocery store, or is it a specialty item? I really love seeing all of your recipes and love your step by step pictures too.

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hi Maria! Thanks so much for your comments! You can get almond paste in almost any grocery store now. It used to be more of a specialty item, but I have seen it in all of my local stores. Let me know if you get to make the pastries!! xoxo

  5. Faith says:

    These look scrumptious, Liz!! I’ve never even had a bear claw but I want one now 🙂 And your photos are absolutely stunning!!

    1. Lizzie says:

      Thank you so much, beautiful!!! Love your blog and sweets so much too!! Xo

  6. Anna Baker says:

    These pastries are so delicious!! I made them this weekend with my girls, and we had so much fun. It took some time, but when they were done, we all loved them! The dough was not too sweet and had the best tasting filling. I have always used Red Star yeast and it’s the best for making dough. Love your recipes, Lizzie. What are you making next? Sincerely, Anna Baker, (yes, that is really my name 🙂

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hey Anna!! Thanks so much for your sweet comments, and of course, I love your name 🙂 I am so glad you all had such a good time making the pastries! I know they are a bit of work, but aren’t they so delicious? xoxo

  7. Melody says:

    Yum yum yum. My family made these last weekend. My three kids and I had so much fun and were all covered in flour by the time we were done. I love these and the filling was so yummy. Even when it came out a little it still stayed in tact. Love this recipe. It’s a keeper. ❤️

    1. Lizzie says:

      Hi Melody!! Thanks so much for your sweet comments. I love that you and your kiddos made the bear claws and had so much fun!! Thanks so much for your support!! xoxo

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