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One woman's adventures in cooking for her Dutch-American family.









Monday, March 28, 2011

Paasbrood (Dutch Almond Raisin Bread)

A few weeks ago, my friend Jen made a special trip for us to one of the Dutch stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I used to live. She picked up a new "NL" sticker for The Hubs, and asked if there was anything else we'd like. The Hubs requested some almond paste because it's hard to find around here. When it arrived, I asked him what he wanted me to make with it. The verdict: Paasbrood.

Paasbrood, which means "Easter Bread" is a very popular Dutch raisin (or currant) bread that includes a large log of almond paste in the center. The authentic Dutch almond paste is a little less refined that what you find in the states, but it tastes the same. The bread also often includes bits of fruit. Think of it as the Dutch version of fruit cake, only much, MUCH better!

I've been looking for a good recipe for quite some time, but haven't been able to find one that wasn't too complicated or intimidating. Since I've been having so much luck with BudgetByte's Cinnamon Raisin Bread, I thought I'd use her recipe as a starting point, and then improvise.

That said, here is my version of Paasbrood.

Paasbrood
inspired by Budget Byte's Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2.25 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.25 tsp salt
  • .75 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp orange peel
  • handful of slivered almonds (optional)
  • approximately 1/3 pound almond paste
  • 1.25 cups warm water
Instructions:
  • In a large pot or bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, salt, yeast, orange peel and raisins.
  • Stir everything until evenly mixed (break up any raisin clumps).

  • Add the warm water and stir. If the dough does not come into one cohesive ball (with no dry bits left at the bottom of the bowl) add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it all comes together.
This is my secret to not killing the yeast.
  • Loosely cover the bowl and let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature. (Jen says: I'm not sure why the dough is supposed to be covered and I've read that the towel should be wet, dry, hot and cold. I usually use a warm, wet cloth.)
  • Let the dough rise for two hours. After two hours, it should be roughly double in size.
  • Turn it out onto a floured surface. Give it maybe one or two turns or "kneads" in the flour just to work in enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Flatten and stretch the dough into a long rectangle. The short side of the rectangle should be the same length as your bread pan, the long side double that.
  • I sprinkled the dough with slivered almonds. This is the not traditional, just my own improvisation.
  • Next, roll your almond paste into a log the same width as your dough, and place it close to one end. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Roll the rectangle up and place it in a bread pan coated with non-stick spray.
  • Let the bread rise for 1.5 hours or until it has risen up and out of the pan.
I love how the sun shines on my pretty loaf!
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Brush the top of the bread with water to give it a nice crunchy top.

  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • After baking, turn it out of the bread pan onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
Eet Smakelijk!

2 comments:

  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!

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  2. Oh, I'm so excited to find this! I've been dreaming of the lekker almond raisin bread that Casey's bakery in Sioux Center, IA, makes. Sadly, it's a 15 hour drive. :( Casey's bread had the almond paste layer rolled up the entire length of the bread instead of a log in the middle, it spread out the amazing-ness of almond! I love your addition of sliced almonds in the bread!

    ReplyDelete

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