The Bear Claw

Call me crazy, but when somebody offers me a pastry called a “bear claw”, I actually expect to see something that looks, at least a little, like a bear’s claw. Hence my years of confusion going into doughnut shops and encountering amorphous blobs of fried dough that bore the name. I swear to you I was in my twenties before I ever realized that a bear claw could be, in fact, representational. Here’s how they’re classically made — out of pastry and not doughnut dough.

First you’ll need to prepare a filling that’s made from:

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped fine in a food processor
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
dash of almond extract

Combine all and mix until uniform.

For the Danishes, start once again with about a pound and a half of Danish dough, rolled into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Exact dimensions are — what? That’s right, not important.

Roll a small log of filling between your palms and place near the edge of one of your dough squares.

Now then, dip your finger in water and moisten the top edge of the square.

Then fold the dough over the filling, leaving a lip on the bottom.

With a sharp knife, make several small cuts in the lip…

…and bend the whole thing to spread them out into “toe”-like shapes. This bear has six toes, I know that. But it’s my bear, and it can have six toes if I want it to, alright?

Proof and paint with egg wash as with classic sweet rolls, then sprinkle the tops with slivered almonds (put on little fingernail “claws” if you feel like being cute). Bake.

9 thoughts on “The Bear Claw”

    1. Hey Vicki! Go to the main Danish entry in the Pastry menu at the left. There you’ll find the dough recipe plus baking times and temps…at the very bottom of the scroll.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  1. Hi Joe! I’ve just crested the difficult part of your Danish dough lamination instructions– the whopbamalama, roll, and fold twice thing. My dough is a chillin for further letter folds. How many folds do you recommend for Bear Claw dough?
    by the way, I just love your website. Clear and concise instructions with humor and a zen mellowness that oms off the screen. Thanks!

    1. Hey Jen! Three letter folds are what you want for Danish dough.

      And thanks so much for your very generous compliments. I do try to keep things relaxed around here, though I never really thought about it until you pointed it out. Have a terrific holiday and some wonderful Danishes. Send pictures!

      – Joe

  2. Working my way through the Danish creations and this past Sunday I made the bear claws – cute toe nails on all six toes even 😉 – but my almond filling was gooey. I was able to get it into log form then fold over the pasty but it was not as solid as yours appears to be. Also when they baked the filling oozed out. Would this be due to the gooeyness? Could the gooeyness be caused by too little almond? I used 1 cup of blanched almonds, food processored them. Should it be measured as a cup after being processed?
    They were quite tasty and next weekend it will be coffee cake time.
    Much thanks,

      1. Fortunately there are lots of other things you can do with the dough, Necey. Let me know what you come up with!

        – Joe

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