1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup more for dusting
½ cup sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) Red Star Active Dry Yeast*
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz toasted almonds, sliced
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon almond extract
4 oz toasted almonds, sliced
sea salt to taste, optional
Preheat your oven to 350°F. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out your almonds, and bake for about 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. Do not over bake, as they will taste rancid and bitter. Set aside until cool, then put them in a bowl until needed later. Save your parchment sheet to bake your dough. Turn your oven up to 375°F.
Make the dough
In a microwave safe bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine milk and butter. Heat in microwave until butter is barely melted and mixture reaches 120-130° F, about 45 seconds. Set aside. In bowl of stand mixer add 2 cups of flour. Make 4 wells in the flour. Add sugar, egg, yeast and salt into each well carefully, so that they are not touching. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly pour the milk butter mixture down the side of the mixing bowl and mix dough 3 minutes until well combined, scraping as needed. Stir in remaining 1½ cups flour. Knead with dough hook on low speed 3-5 minutes, adding more flour as needed until dough is soft, smooth, elastic and slightly sticky.
Lightly spray the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil. Shape dough into ball; place in bowl and turn once to coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm place 2-3 hours until doubled.
Make the filling
Beat all the ingredients except the toasted almonds together. Set aside.
Fill the dough
Gently punch down risen dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into approximately 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread filling mixture evenly over the dough rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with toasted almonds. Roll up dough tightly from long end into log. Form the dough into a circle on your parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down, tucking the ends underneath to seal.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. At this point – you can cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight instead. Just take out in the morning and let dough get to room temperature before baking.
Uncover dough and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet to cool for 30 minutes.
Make the glaze
Mix all ingredients together to make a smooth glaze, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoon at a time if necessary. Stir very well. Pour glaze over bread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining toasted, sliced almonds. Let set 10 minutes, serve!
*I have used Red Star Platinum Yeast with excellent results.