Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bear Claws and High school

It is Bleach Boys 60th birthday this week-end. I didn't want to use the gas to go into town for a donut. I suddenly remembered my high school cooking classes included a whole series of pastries. I dug around and in this beat up old note book are my recipes from high school. Looks like I have some great ones, I'll share more later.

Today it's the Bear Claws. A sweet refrigerator dough that raises in the cool of your fridge. I have two recipes sizes. One is the small size we used after braking into work groups in class, the other is a normal size we could take home for family use. Both work fine, if the smaller one isn't good in your mixer you can easily do it by hand. The family recipe is perfect for the mixer. Now all I have to do is make Bleach Boy a nice Bear Claw, put a candle in it and see if I can get up in time to wake him with a little birthday greeting!

Class room size recipe

1/2 Cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)

1 package of dry yeast

1 egg beaten

2 cups unsifted flour

soft butter

1) Heat the milk until bubbles form. Add sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of butter cut in pieces. Stir to dissolve. Cool to lukewarm before adding yeast.

2) Put warm water in the mixing bowl or large bowl you will stir in. add yeast immediately by sprinkling it over the water. Stir to dissolve.

3) With a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture, beaten eggs and 1 cup of flour into yeast bowl. beat until smooth, about 2 minutes

4) Gradually add rest of the flour, beating until dough is smooth and cleans side of bowl, be sure NOT to add too much flour this dough should be a tiny bit tacky but still clean the sides of the bowl. Turn into large, greased bowl. Oil the top.

5) Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is doubled. Can keep in fridge for 3 days

6) Form into one of the treats below. Bake as directed.

dough after 2 hours in fridge


Home Size Recipe

3/4 cup Milk

1/3 cup of sugar

2 teas salt (I use one!)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup warm water 105 to 115 degrees

2 packages dry yeast

2 eggs beaten

4 1/4 cups of unsifted flour

soft butter

Follow directions for class room recipe except in Step 3 stir in 2 cups of flour for about 2 minutes.


sweet roll dough

3 tablespoons melted butter

cinnamon sugar mixture

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1 tsp grated lemon peel

Sugar glaze: 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp milk. Stir until smooth

1) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

2) On lightly floured surface, shape dough into a round, let rest for 5 minutes

3) Roll dough to an 18 by 9 inch rectangle. Brush with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar leaving a 1/4 inch bare all around the pastry.

This is smaller than the recipe size, with only two of us I didn't want too much

4) combine walnuts, raisins and lemon peel, sprinkle evenly over dough

5) folding from long side, fold 1/3 of dough over. Then bring the opposite side over the other side, to make a 3 layer strip. Pinch to seal.

6) With sharp knife, cut strip crosswise into 6 sections. On the folded side of each make 3 inch long cuts. These are for the toes.

7) Arrange on prepared cookie sheet. Spread toes evenly slightly to make toes. Brush with melted butter and cover with wax paper to raise.

8) Raise until double in bulk about 45 minutes in a warm place.

9) bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F

10) cool on wire rack. Pour sugar glaze over warm rolls

Makes 6 with class room size recipe


another sweet pastry using the above dough

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

3/4 teas cinnamon

Class room size recipe or 1/3 of the Home recipe

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg yolk

Cinnamon sugar mixture

1) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

2) in small bowl, toss the brown sugar, chopped walnuts and cinnamon 3) On lightly floured surface, pat dough into a round and let rest 5 minutes

4) Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge. Cut into 8 equal pie shaped wedges

5) Starting from the wide end roll each wedge toward the point. Place with center point down on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Curve to make crescent shape.

6) Cover loosely with wax paper. set in warm place away from drafts until doubled. Approx 45 minutes.

7) With fork, beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Use to brush tops of rolls before baking. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar

8) bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. until golden brown.

9) cool slightly on wire rack, serve warm

Makes 8



One last recipe for the sweet roll dough, feel free to create your own shapes

Streusel Topping

2 tables soft butter

2 tables light brown sugar

1/2 teas cinnamon

1/3 cup unsifted flour

1/3 sweet roll home recipe or all of the class room recipe.

1/4 cup melted butter

Cinnamon sugar mixture

Powdered sugar

1) Make streusel topping: combine butter with sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix well and set aside.

2) lightly grease a large cookie sheet

3) On lightly floured pastry cloth, roll dough to a rectangle 20 by 10

4) Spread surface with half of the melted butter, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar

5) Fold over dough in half, from the long side to form a rectangle 20 by 5 inches

6) Cut crosswise into 2 1/2 inch strips making 8 of them

7) Place strips on prepared cookie sheet making a twist in the center of each to give it a bow look.

8) Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with streusal topping. cover with wax paper

9) Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

10) bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve while still warm

Makes 8.

Thank you Arroyo High School in El Monte. Here are some things I learned there.

If everyone is speaking Spanish you feel left out and you learn to be a great thinker in your head

If your lunch room teacher calls you and your friends the Relief Society you know he really likes you

Having a great typing teacher did me a great service I learned to type really well and it has served me for a very long time

My male math teacher didn't like girls and wouldn't bother to answer my questions even if I could have been bold enough to ask them. If he didn't like your question you had to run the track. Hense I was a good track runner and very bad at math.

The track was my favorite place and I lived on it, going around and around. Girls could wear pants on the track

Drivers ed (which was part of school back then) is a lot of fun when you are the only girl

The lunch cooks made food better than my mom

Choir was too easy but I loved it

My favorite teacher was in my favorite class which was history

You can't be really good at art and get a good grade in high school everything is paint by number!

Rumors worked even in the 60's

Good readers do less homework (read your last class assignments in your next class, but do it on your lap under your desk)

In High school we waste a lot of time so if you can get out in three years DO IT. It was never a mistake to graduate in my Jr. year, I just paid attention and did my work and was done a year faster!

Summer school condenses information and they don't have time to repeat things and if you read my profile you know I hate things repeated. So I learned summer school is the way to take your Government, English and history classes. Science I need to hear things repeated!

So what did you learn in high school, sis? friends? children?


Bleach Boy (the orginal!) said...

In my un-biased opinion as a connoisseur of fine confections and other delights, I would rate the Bear Claws as a 9.9. (I never give the perfect 10 rating). In another rating system they would be a 10M (that is MMMMMM-MMMM good). I only have 1 regret, which is that I have only one birthday a year

Hildred said...

Oh Fonnell, - as always you inspire me to do things, - even naughty ones like making bear claws when we are trying so desperately to lose weight.... but I'll come back again when both of us are slimmer.

Fonnell said...

Oh it is naughty to do all this baking in January. So many birthdays. Bleach Boy has really enjoyed all the fun of today so I guess the calories can be over looked for the moment! BUT tomorrow.............

Eden said...

That's fun that you made the birthday donuts this year.... So did I! Clint got apple fritters for his birthday breakfast. They were excellent. I'll have to post my recipe.