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Homemade Croissants

Have you ever been so angry that you want to, well I don't know, spit hairballs?
Well my pup/dog is now over a year old, so he should be acting like an adult, but he isn't.
Practically everything in my house has teeth marks on it.
And then yesterday he ran off with my wallet. Not the old manky one I have had for 5 years, but the newish leather one which I actually like.
Now I'm sitting with a chewed wallet, similar to that of something Björk would wear, and I'm well, still sensitive about it.
The only thing I could think of to cheer myself up with was baking, so I threw myself enthusiastically into the dough, and banged it around sufficiently to let off some steam. Croissants do need a little bit of faffing around in the end, but you'll see the end results are worth the time and effort you put in.

They also seem to have this magical charm about them, because what I have found is that whenever I make them a friend or family member seems to pop in, out of the blue.
However you pronounce these little flakey wonders, ("crossants" and "kwasonts" being the most popular) they are a delicious treat and will taste fantastic no matter how badly you beat up the dough (before the addition of the butter, of course, otherwise you will just have a kitchen covered in squelches of abused butter).

This recipe is not the original croissant recipe because of the addition of egg into the dough. However it helps with the elasticity. I found it best to work with butter that is not very soft and still has the form to be cut, you will also find it easier when rolling in.

Note: Croissant dough needs to be in the fridge overnight, this gives them their characteristic "yeasty" flavour, so prepare these the day before you need them.

If you cut the dough freehand into triangles, you most probably will not get even shaped croissants. Here are the stats for the template for a large croissant:

Base of triangle: 9cm.
Sides: 22cm.

10 things I will gladly eat myself fat on
Number 6: Croissants

Croissants
makes 12 large ones

Dough:
9 g of instant yeast
1 cup (250ml) of lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cups (1000ml) bread flour
1 tsp salt

Roll in butter:
1 cup softish butter (not too soft its melting)

Add the yeast to to the warm milk. Stir 1/2 Tbsp of sugar.
Leave for 15 minutes to froth.
While the yeast is busy frothing. Mix the bread flour, remaining sugar and salt into a bowl.
Add the frothy milk and mix to form a smooth dough.
Knead for 5 minutes until slightly elastic.

Leave to rise for 2 hours, and then punch down (shape into a ball).
Place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day: Knead the dough out on a floured surface until it is 1.5cm thick and in a rectangle shape.

Dust the dough with flour, and place the softened butter in the middle.
Fold the dough over the butter and form a sealed parcel.
Gently roll the dough out into a rectangle shape, of no more than 2cm thick.
Fold the dough to make 3 equal layers. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Gently roll out the dough into the same rectangular shape of no more than 2cm thick. Fold into 3 equal layers. This is now the 2nd folding.
Leave in the fridge for a further 15 minutes.

*Unless you have an autoroller machine, you are going to get butter squishing out from the pastry, there is nothing you can do about this, just roll the pastry in a way to overlap the places where the pastry breaks. Dust the broken pastry with flour to seal it slightly.*

Gently roll the dough out into the same rectangle shape, of no more than 2cm thick.

Fold the dough to make 3 equal layers. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes. This is now the third and final folding.

Once the 15 minutes of time in the fridge is up. Dust the rolling surface with more flour and roll the pastry out into a 1cm thick rectangle.

The pastry should measure to 108cm long by 22cm high.

Using the template or freehand cut out 12 triangles from the pastry.

Placing one triangle in front of you with the point pointing away from you, make a small slit in the middle of the bottom line.

Pull these little tags to the sides (thereby making the edge slightly longer) , and roll up the pastry.

leave to rise for 20 minutes (or until doubled in size). While rising, preheat your oven to 180◦C .

When risen, Mix up one egg yolk and brush over the top of the croissants.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180◦C.


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