These Raspberry Jam Squares are lovely buttery pastry squares, filled with jam and topped with icing sugar. Like Pop Tarts for grown ups :)
I mentioned in my newsletter earlier this week (you are signed up, arent' you? :), that I like to browse Russian baking forums in my spare time. They are great bakers and I love to explore new and different baking challenges :)
That's where I found this one. To be sure, translation is always an issue, so I always treat these bakes as great experiments, not absolutely sure that things have actually translated properly. And I'm always so pleased when they do!
I was immediately intrigued by this one because the dough for this one is a yeast dough. As you can tell though, it's not a yeast dough in the bread sense. It's more a yeast dough in the pastry sense. So for anyone who is not completely comfortable with yeast, let me assure you that this one needs little in the way of kneading and just one short rest, before it is rolled out like a pie pastry. And the enriched dough rolls beautifully, so it's super easy to work with.
So enough about that, I need to tell you what it tastes like! Think Pop Tart-ish, with a lightly sweet, buttery crust. And with the jam filling, it's a perfect breakfast pastry or with afternoon tea.
So if you're up for a little baking this weekend, I hope you'll try this delicious and fun treat!
Cook's Notes for Raspberry Jam Squares
I used raspberry jam in mine, but any thick jam (or marmalade) would work well here, as well as just about any filling you can dream up (nutella, sugar cinnamon with a bit of apple etc.) The only advice would be to make sure your filling is thick, so it stays in place in the pastry.
The dough is quite enriched with butter, so it doesn't rise as vigorously as say a bread dough would. After the 30-40 minute rest it should look puffy however.
While the dough is quite easy to work with and roll, don't hesitate to dust with flour if you feel you need a bit to prevent sticking. It's especially a good idea to sprinkle the top of the dough with a bit of flour before rolling it around your rolling pin to transfer to your baking tray.
These keep quite well stored at room temperature in an airtight container. While I haven't tried freezing them, I see no reason why they wouldn't freeze well.
Raspberry Jam Squares
- 150 ml water (warmed to lukewarm (2/3 cup))
- 1 Tbsp instant or active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 600 ml all purpose flour (*See notes (2 1/4 cups))
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 200 g butter (cubed cold, then allowed to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before using (7 oz / 14 Tbsp))
- 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam (or enough for a thin even layer over dough)
- Icing/Confectioners sugar (for dusting)
- Dissolve the sugar in the warmed water. Add the yeast, Stir and let stand 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the flour to a large bowl together with the salt. Add the cubed butter and with your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you have a uniform, sandy crumb mixture. Make a well in the centre of the flour/butter mixture and pour the yeast mixture into the well. With a spoon at first, gently draw the flour from the outside into the centre and stir until a rough dough forms. Remove dough to a floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, until you have a smooth dough. *You aren't aiming for a long knead here. Just enough to incorporate enough flour to bring the dough together into a smooth (not sticky) ball.
- Put the dough ball into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 30-40 minutes. It may not to rise completely to double in this time.
- Line a 10x15-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 355F.
- Put the dough on a floured board and divide into two parts with one part being just slightly bigger than the other (this is the part that will be the base of the tart, so it will be a bit bigger).
- With the larger of the two dough pieces, roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch wider and longer than your baking sheet. Roll the dough piece around your rolling pin, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet, laying it evenly over-top with it extending over the edges by 1/2 inch all around. Using your fingers, press the excess around the edges up against the sides of your baking sheet all the way around.
- Spread your jam evenly over the bottom of the dough.
- With your second piece of dough, roll into a rectangle exactly the dimensions of the inner part of your baking sheet. Roll around your rolling pin and carefully lay over-top of the jam, adjusting so that is covering completely. Starting at a corner, start folding the dough that is along the sides over the top dough, pinching together slightly to seal.
- With clean scissors, make small cuts through the top layer of dough, cutting about every 2-3 inches apart all over the top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely. Carefully remove to a cutting surface, by sliding off the tray with the parchment paper still underneath. Dust the top with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar, then using a sharp knife, cut into bars diagonally as shown in the recipe photos.