Foodie

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Croissants


There are so many masters showing how to make croissants and i am overwhelmed but after spending hours reading and watching youtube, i think i am ready to make some.  I am not very happy with the appearance of my croissants as i think they looked like Mr. Crab.  I ate the ones i opened up for pictures and i could not stop eating them - they were light, crispy on the outside and the inside is soft and buttery, unlike the ones you get from the store which are all air.  I am glad, i followed the advice of a croissant master whose advice is - "You don't actually need to proof croissants very long. The longer you proof them the more air they take in and the weaker they'll taste. Try not proofing them and you'll be amazed at how much better they will taste. proofing is great if you're selling them - makes the buyer think he's getting more - all they're actaully getting is more air which robs them of intensity. Cheers from the croissant master."

Armed with the book - About Professional Baking - The essentials by Gail Sokol, i made croissants.




Ingredients:

2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm(110f)
3 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 cups/10 ozs/285 g bread flour
2 cups/9 ozs/255 g all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups/12 ozs/340 g unsalted butter, cold but not hard(leave at room temp for 30 mins to soften slightly)


Method:

Croissant Base Dough

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on low speed, blend the honey, brown sugar, and lukewarm milk until well combined.

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and blend on low speed.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together both flours.  On low speed, add the flours, the vinegar, and the salt to the milk and yeast mixture.  Blend until a soft dough forms.  If the dough feels too sticky, add another 1/2 to 1 oz(15 - 30 g) all purpose flour.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Do not overknead.  Using your hands, shape the dough into a rough rectangle about 1 - 2 inches(2.5 to 3 cm) thick.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for about 30 minutes.

Preparing the Butter to be enclosed : 

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and lay the butter in the center of it.  Place another piece of plastic wrap on top.

Hit the butter with a rolling pin until it softens.  Once it has softened a bit, roll the butter into a 6 - 12 inch(15 by 30 cm) rectangle.  Chill the butter while the dough is being rolled out.

Enclosing the butter:

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10 bu 15 inch(25 by 37.5 cm) rectangle.  Peel one sheet of plastic off the butter and flip the butter onto the middle of the dough, lining up the butter with the dough so that the butter covers approximately two thirds the length of the dough.

Fold the unbuttered third of the dough up over the center.  Then fold the remaining buttered third over the top, just like a letter is folded.  Be sure to pull the edges of the dough being folded over so they match the edges of the dough underneath.  Press to make sure the edges are sealed.  If the edges do not eal, brush a small amount of water on the bottom layer to act as glue.

Completing One Three-fold or Letterfold Turn:

Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that when the dough is rolled out, the open ends become the short sides of the rectangle.  Again, roll out the dough to a 10 by 15 inch(25 by 37.5 cm) rectangle and fold it in thirds like a letter.  This completes one three-fold turn.  Using a pastry brush, brush off any excess flour.  Press one finger into the dough to show one turn has been completed.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour.  A marker can also be used to mark the plastic wrap to show the number of turns completed.

Repeat rolling, folding, and marking the dough with a finger to show the number of turns completed two more times for a total of 3 three-fold turns, chilling the dough in between each completed turn.  After three turns have been completed, wrap the dough twice in plastic wrap and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.  Because the yeast in the dough will cause it to expand overnight, be sure to wrap the dough securely.



The above makes one recipe of croissant dough, using one half in this recipe and reserving the other half for another use.

Rolling and cutting croissants:

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into 12 by 16 inch(30 by 40 cm) rectangle.  The dough should be approximately 1/8 inch(3 mm) thick.  Brush off any excess flour and sqaure off the edges using a ruller and a pizza cutter.

Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, remeasure the length of the dough and cut it in half crosswise.  Do not separate the two halves.  Cut down the length of the entire rectangle, dividing it into thirds beginning at one of the short sides.  There shoud be a total of six(6) rectangles.

Separate the six rectangles and cut each one diagonally to form two triangles.  There should be total of 12 triangles.  If at any point in rolling the dough and it becomes too soft, gently place it on a sheet pan and chill it for 10 - 15 minutes.

Using the pizza cutter, make a small 1/2 inch(1.2 cm) slit at the base of each triangle.  Taking one triangle, gently roll over it with a rolling pin so its length is stretched about 50% longer than its original length.  Do not press down hard with the rolling pin or the layers will be flattened.  Using both hands, gently pull the base so that it widens out even more and begin to roll the triangle from the base, pulling the tip of the triangle to elongate it.  Roll it into a tight crescent shape, making sure that the tip of the triangle is tucked underneath the crescent so it will not unroll during baking.  Place the croissant on a parchment-lined sheet pan, curving the ends to resemble a crescent as it is placed on the baking sheet.  Repeat slitting, rolling and shaping the remaining chilled dough to make a total of 12 croissants, maintaining a space between each one.  Place the croissants in a proof box set at no highter than 85f(39c) for 1 hour until they appear spongy and puffed (i do not have a proof box so i left the sheet pan, covered on the kitchen counter).

Preheat the oven to 425f(219c).

Spritz the croissants lightly with water using a spray bottle before placing them in the oven(oops i forgot to do this).  Once the croissants are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400f(205c).  Bake for 10 minutes and then rotate the pan and continue baking the croissants for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.(i baked another 5 minutes only cos i was on convection).























Serves

6 comments:

Sonia said...

Thanks for sharing, I love croissant very much, and have tried few times, still failed. I will try out your recipe soon.

Cat said...

these are indeed amazing !

Ube said...

Once upon time I had promising ambition to bake my own croissant but failed miserably along the way and gave up. You insprired me to drop my feet and follow your track in croissant making. Happy Holidays and Wish You and Your Family the Best of Everything and greatly appreciate all your efforts and hard work in sharing your tested recipes. Thank you much.

lilyng said...

ube

merry christmas to you and your family and a happy new year too

Evi said...

Dear Aunt Lily,

Thanks for sharing, I will try this recipe. Could I use salted butter instead and reduce the salt? Thanks..

lilyng said...

evi

sure by all means

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