So, here we go. I used the basic Amish Bread recipe (posted on here) and then went a little artistic with it (just wait until I post the Cheeky Monkey Balls recipe.) ;)
|Today's recipe, Almond Rolls|
So, whip up a batch of that yummy bread, and either use it all for these babies, or do half and half. Prepare the Amish bread, divide into 2-4 balls. (4 balls will give you smaller rolls, but may be easier to work with.)
Now, you may be working with new ingredients, that's cool, don't be afraid. You can conquer the unknown. Just believe in yourself, and you can do anything!
Ingredients: (this is apart from the recipe for the bread)
Large pan (9X13) or 2 of (8X8)
I get the almond paste at Bulk Barn, a bulk store (who knew!). Its yellow, and very sweet, and is stored in a container (near the candied cherries/pitted dates - at least at bulky barn). Growing up, I ALWAYS chose the almond croissants when I would go to Baguettes with my mom... so I had been wanting to work with this stuff forever and a day!
Start with rolling out the almond paste.
I slice ¼ “ thick slices, the thinner the better, (see picture above!) it will be less work.
Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour to prevent the paste from sticking.
Roll it out (work out all those frustrations when doing this, its awesome!) roll it to about 1/8” thick. You don’t want it almost transparent, but not too thick (unless you really want the rolls to be super sweet).
About like this :
|roll out to about 1/8" thick.|
Put aside (I roll about 6 slices, and if I have any leftovers I simply return them to the tub).
When the 1st rising is done, divide the dough, and cover the unused balls with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.
Roll out the ball you are using to about 1/4” thick (this is the “fun” part, cuz believe me that thing won’t wanna stay rolled!) A friend gave me this tip, roll it, and let the pin sit on the edge that was rolled out, and let the dough “rest”. Another way to start the stretching is to do the pizza method, which is basically make a fist, and put the dough on top, turn the dough , move your fist, and so on. Or grab the edges, and let it hang, turn a bit, hang, turn hang (you'll get the hang of it, I promise!) Gravity will pull at the sides. You can try throwing it too, but I’m not that brave yet, and knowing me, the dog would be wearing it so…
Try and roll it out as rectangular as you can. Some people cut the dough, I read you should not as it cuts the gluten fibres in the bread. Whatever. Take a look at mine, this ain't a competition ok? so go with the flow. Don't fight the dough!
Try to keep the long side parallel to you.
Take some melted butter (NOT margarine please), and brush it on, be generous! Stay 1/2 “ away from one edge, so that when you seal your roll, it will stick. (ewee, I used the M word EWEEEE!)
Check for dry spots. Fix the dry spots!
Place 1 sheet of almond paste (I roll away from me, you can roll from the top down, it does not matter – you need to place the almond paste where the roll will start), and then another, side by side, do not overlap. You will NOT add any other toppings where the almond paste is. (SEE the picture above) If you're REALLY picky, you can cut the almond paste, its almost like making a puzzle :)
I sprinkle brown sugar in a layer (about 1/8” thick) like if you were doing nun farts (I'll post THIS recipe next time I do pies :) . Spread it out to all the edges, except that ½” that needs to remain “clean" and where the almond paste is.
Sprinkle the cinnamon. You like the stuff? Go all out! Don’t really care for it, then add it sparingly or skip it (but it DOES add flavor!)
This is what I decided to use for my cinnamon shaker :) Dollar store special!
Sprinkle sliced almonds, I usually use 2-3 handfuls. Its to taste. And then drizzle a LITTLE bit of honey (helps the rolls stick together) You can see almost glowing spots on the picture above, I did not use much.
Now, we start rolling. This is fun.
Grab one end, (where the almond paste is), and put your thumbs under the dough, and hold the almond paste in place with your finger tips, and roll about ½ turn. Watch out for that honey... ;)
Pull on the roll GENTLY, and roll another half turn, making sure its rolled right across. Pull a little, (this thins out the dough a bit). As you go, pinch the ends, so all the good stuff will stay INSIDE the roll, and roll over the “clean” edge.
|The ends are so good, just like that... read on :) you'll see what I mean!|
Place the roll, clean edge on top, and pinch the edge with the roll securely across. Smile, you’re almost done!
Now, slice the roll. ½” will give you MONSTER rolls, be warned lol! So, ½ -1/4” will work well. Its up to you.
|far from perfect, but oh sooooo good!|
If you don't know where to put the weird mishappen ends, just do like I do eat the evidence.
Oh come on you KNOW you WANNA!
Take your buttered pans, and place the rolls, DO NOT CRAM like I did in mine (see pictures above, they turned out doughy.) in an 9X9 pan for example, I’d put 9 rolls. MAYBE 12 if they are small. Use your judgement – experience here will tell you). BE WARNED, they may "crumble" or be a little "loose" depending how you rolled them, try and keep them together, as much as possible. If you DO cram them, your rolls will be either doughy, tough or not cooked enough!
Now hold on a second. Look at your counter... LOOK AT IT! see all this stuff?
Now, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, drizzle generously with honey, and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
Let cool in pan. You can turn them out as for the caramel rolls, but then you’d probably want to top them with toasted sliced almonds.
Provide napkins when serving. And be prepared to make more! Now, listen to this baby!