Friday, April 26, 2024


Baking bread is something I truly enjoy, and if it is a sweet flaky bread, then even better. And this sweet little loaf is just perfect for brunch or a sweet breakfast, depending on your preferences.
Full of vanilla and my rendition of the famed frangipane that simply melts into the dough, it is phenomenal all on its own, but also with a dusting of icing sugar or some vegan honey on top. It truly is best with piping hot black coffee, I have to admit.
And while it is a flaky bread, it is not a croissant type of dough, but it can be toasted the next day, if desired. My personal favourite way is to toast it nicely, then top it with a bit of sugar, and broil it for not even a minute. Delightfully crunchy!
I topped mine with plenty of flaked almonds, for a bit of additional crunchiness, but it is completely optional. It will also be delicious topped with a bit of granulated sugar, or you can omit all of that and brush it with a bit of vegan butter as soon as it comes out of the oven.

For the dough
300 grams plain flour
150 millilitres carbonated water, at room temperature
50 millilitres vegetable oil
25 grams fresh yeast
30 grams sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon almond extract, optional
For the filling
60 grams vegan block butter, lightly softened
30 grams almond butter
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons cold almond milk, or as needed

To make the bread, sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the salt, and whisk lightly. Take a separate small bowl and crumble in the fresh yeast. Add in the room temperature carbonated water and the sugar, mix well, and set it aside for about 10 minutes so the yeast can activate. Once the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, add it to the sifted flour, along with the oil, vanilla, and almond extract, if using.
Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until it comes together. The dough should not be sticky. Turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it for a minute or two, until springy and supple. Return it to the bowl, cover, and let it rest for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
To make the almond croissant filling, place the lightly softened vegan block butter into a small bowl, and mash it through with a fork. It does not have to be perfect. Add in the almond butter and mix with a fork until somewhat combined. Sift in the cornflour and mix a bit more vigorously, until a paste forms. At that point, add half of the cold almond milk, and mix through. If needed, add another teaspoon of milk, so a smooth paste forms. If there are still bits of butter visible, that is perfectly fine. Set it aside for the time being.
Once risen, turn out the soft dough onto a floured surface, and without any kneading, roll it out to about 45-50 centimetres in length and about 30 centimetres in width. Do not force the dough to roll out, if it is pulling back as you roll, let it rest a bit more. Split the dough into two long strips (about 15x45 cm) and spread the filling evenly on both of them, leaving one edge free, so the roll can seal. Roll up each strip towards the free edge and seal it well.
Wrap the two thin rolls together, like a little two-strand plait, and then coil the plait around itself, tucking the ends underneath it. Grease and flour a small round baking pan (16 cm) or line it with baking parchment, position the bread in the centre of it, and let it rise for about 30 minutes, while the oven preheats to 200˚C. Just before baking, generously mist the dough with cold water, and bake in a nicely preheated oven, at 200˚C, for about 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve it warm. Yields one small bread loaf.