Tuesday, July 28, 2015


We finally had some rain this past weekend. I was so happy to wake up to the sound of solid rain fall on Sunday morning (fortunately I had brought the patio cushions in from outside).

It has been beneficial to my parched garden and more importantly, helped reduce or contain the number of forest fires burning around here. I spent the morning in the kitchen baking and it was lovely.

I tried my hand at croissants using a recipe I found on BBC Good Food. In the end, I baked the dough off in three sections, making a pan full of croissants each time, all various sizes. You need to start the dough a day before you want to bake them, to allow the dough to develop and rest. Although the recipe says it takes a lot of elbow grease to make these, I found the hardest part was rolling the cold butter into a rectangle.

Croissants (adapted BBC Good Food)
625 g all purpose unbleached flour
75 g sugar
1 tsp salt
7 tsp bread yeast
500 g butter, cold

The day before you want to bake the croissants, measure the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a food processor fitted with a dough hook. Pour in 350 mL of water and form a dough. Add up to an extra 50 mL to get the dough to form if required. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Set aside to rest.

Take the chilled butter and place between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll out into a rectangle about 30 x 20 cm, about 1 cm thick. Put in the fridge to chill.

Turn the rested dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle measuring about 60 x 30 cm. Place the butter in the center of your dough rectangle (having removed the plastic or parchment paper). Fold one edge of the dough over half the butter (top down) and then the other edge over the other half of the butter (bottom up) and then fold the top half over the bottom half. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and roll out into a rectangle measuring 60 x 30 cm. Repeat the folding, turning and rolling three more times, on the final turn leave the dough after folding, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
wrap well, this dough expands in the fridge!
Once the dough is rested, remove from the fridge and roll out into a rectangle about 0.5 cm thick, cut into strips and then cut into triangles about 10cm wide at the top. From the top end, pull out the ends of the dough a bit, and roll towards the triangle point until the crescent shape is formed and the triangle point is rolled over the middle of the croissant.

Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Beat an egg in a small bowl and once the croissants are risen, brush the egg wash over the surface of each croissant. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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