Sunday, March 26, 2006


Croissnats that are well made have a crisp crust and a flaky crumb that is soft but not doughy. The reason I thought of this recipe today is because my daughter suddenly taking about their fold memories of eating croissants in Paris, France. It is possible to make your own croissants at home. The only problem is and it is the same with all bread is it is very time consuming This recipe takes a minimum of about 6 hours, not a easy task when you work all week. This is why any baking I do is on the weekends. But because I raise rare chickens and have other animals needing my attention I may or may not have the time to make any breads. This is one of the reason I do like using a bread machine for at least to do the mixing and first raising of breads. It does a great job of that. I do not, however, really like to bake the bread in the machine and prefer to take out the bread and let it raise for the last time in a regular pan and then bake in a regular oven.

Crossiants are given four turns with a high fat butter. So you have flaky layers.

The Plan:

Dough: minimum 2 hours, Max., 12 hours
Minimum Raising Time: 4 hours
Oven temperature: 250 degrees F, then 400 degrees F.
Baking Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Makes: twelve to fourteen 5 by 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch high crossiants

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk, scaled and cooled to room temperature (70 to 90 F)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, better to use high fat European style butter

Set aside 1 tablespoon of the four in s small bowl.

In a mixer whisk together the remaining flour, yeast and sugar. Whisk in salt. Using a dough hook add the milk at low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed and knead for 4 minutes. The dough should become silky smooth and pull away from the bowl sides yet still be sticky.

Place dough in a 1 quart or larger food storage container or bowl ,lighly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press down dough and lightly spray or oil top. Allow dough to raise for about 30 minutes.

Using a oiled spatula, gently fold the dough by liftening it from the sides and pressing it into the middle to deflate it slightly. Cover and refrigerate it for a minumum of 2 hours or up to overnight.

Place the tablespoon of four on a sheet of plastic wrap and put butter on top. Wrap loosely around it. Pound the butter lightly with a rolling pin to flatten and solfen it. Then knead it together suing the plastic warp and your kuckles to avoid touching the butter it into a 4 1/2 inch square. Use it at once or keep it cool. The butter can not get warmer than 60 degrees F or it will melt into the dough.

Roll out he dough in a well floured surface to an 8 inch square, Place the butter square diagonally in the center of the dough square and with the back of a knife, lightly mark the dough along the edges of the butter. Remove the butter and roll each marked corner of the into a flat. Moisten these flaps lighlty with water and replace the butter on the dough, Wrap it securely by streching the flaps just so they overlap. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refigerate for not longer than 30 minutes.

Place the dough seam side up on a well floured surface. Gently roll the dough package into a long rectangle 7 inch by 156 inches. Brush off all the four from the surface of dough and give it a business letter turn. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 40 minutes before the next turn.

For each turn clean the work surface and reflour it. Position the dough so that the closed side is facing your left, and press down on the edges of the dough with the rolling pin to help keep it straight. Roll and fold the dough a second time exactly the same way, but this time turn it over occasionally to keep the seams and edges even. Be sure to roll into all four corners of the dough and use a pastry scraper to even the edges. Do a total of 4 turns, rest the dough for 40 minutes between each. Don't worry if the butter breaks through, Just cover the exposed butter layer with four and keep going. After the last turn refrigerate the dough for a least 2 hours before rolling it.

Remove the dough and let it set for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough on a floured counter to a rectangle about 14 inches by 24 inches. Brush off all the flour. Fold the dough over lengthwise so that it is about 6 inches by 22 inches. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife trim one short slice on an angle, cutting through two layers, then make another diagonal cut to make a triangular piece of dough with a 5 inch base. Continue until all the dough is cut. Make a 1/2 inch notch in the center of each triangle . Open up the two layers of each triangle and cut in half to from two triangles.

Shape the crossiants one at a time keeping the rest covered with plastic wrap.

Use scrap to make 12 to 14 balls, Keep covered.

Gently strech each triagnle to a bout 09 inches long; first pull the base sideways- gently but firmly- then holding the base in your left hand use your thumb and two fingers of your right hand to work down the length of the dough, elongates t it. Place the triangle on the counter with the narrow point toward you. Shape one of the little balls of dough into a 1 1/4 inch long football, and place it at the base of the triangle. Roll the base over the football to encase it by 1/2 inch. Continue rolling with the fingers of your left hand, keeping the triangle stretched with your right hand. Place the croissant on the lined half sheet pan, with the point underneath. Curve in he sides so that they turn in on the side of the crosissant opposite the point. Keep the crosissant covered with plastic wrap while you shape the others. . Set 6 to 7 on a pan.

Glaze using 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. and set rise. Let it rise until double about 2 hours.

Brush with glaze again an and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. and are golden brown.
Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Best eaten with 3 hours.

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