Dutch almond bars
Dutch almond bars
Amandel bars by our Mark van Wijk
- Use a puff pastry that doesn’t bake ‘wildly’, day-old puff pastry from the cooling cell bakes more mildly than if directly defrosted. An option is to laminate the fresh dough if in a rush whereby it will have a milder effect. Beware that you allow the pastry to rest before rolling out to the final thickness.
- Ensure that the room temperature isn’t too hot and that you have a tidy workbench. This is better for working and makes preparing the dough a more enjoyable process.
- An ideal ratio for a good banket staff is 100 g dough and 175 g almond paste.
- I recommend that, in any case, you use Puff Pastry Extra Tolerant art. no. 3013 and furthermore, since last year we also supply ready-made almond paste bars. Enabling you to make the best quality almond banket staffs easily and reasonably.
- You start by rolling out the dough and turn 90 degrees a few times to minimise shrinkage to one side.
- When rolling in the almond paste make sure that the sheet of shortcrust pastry is slightly moist (not too moist or it can bubble and tear).
- Roll the bars in such a way that they overlap the dough, 2 to 3 cm overlapping. You will be able to feel the seam at the back with your thumb if the bar has been rolled in correctly.
- Now fold the sides neatly closed. I fold the pastry inwards four times, on opposite sides, then you have a nice and firm seam. With letters, always take care with the seam, allow for enough resting time.
- Brush the bars with egg wash, preferably 2 parts whole egg and 1 extra egg yolk, this gives a fuller colour. Brush as far as possible in the direction of the seam but don’t put any wash on it or it will not bake nicely.
- Allow the bars to rest for at least 30 minutes, so that any tension leaves the dough and the egg wash dries.
- You can decorate the bars, but I prefer them without, in particular for St. Nicholas celebrations. An extremely nice looking crafted almond banket bar made with love is more than sufficient. Optionally, you could decorate it for Christmas.
- Make sure your oven is hot and brush the staffs for the second time.
- After brushing the bar for the second time they need to go into the oven as quickly as possible.
- It is recommendable to bake at a high temperature in the initial phase before lowering the temperature (235°C to start then down to 205/195°C). Baking time between 22 and 30 minutes max.
- Curled edges are the result of an incorrect baking temperatures combined with incorrect baking times.
- Allow the bars to cool before packing.