Saturday, April 10, 2010

Croissants from French Women Don't Get Fat

This is a 3-day project. You won't mind though because they are wonderfully buttery and flaky and well-worth the work! You can use this recipe to make the Ham and Cheese croissants if you don't have a bread maker.

1.c milk plus2tbsp to brush over croissants
2 tsp. Active Dry yeast
2.25 c. plus 3 tbsp. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
12 tbsp. unsalted butter

For Glaze:
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk

Friday Evening Directions:

1. Heat 1 cup of milk to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 c. of lukewarm milk. Stir in 2 tbsp flour from the 2.25 cups and whisk until there are no lumps. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in volume. (about 20 minutes)
2. Mix the sugar and salt into the 2 1/8 c. flour.
3. Heat the remaining milk. Transfer the raised dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the lukewarm milk and, with the mixer at high speed, start adding the sugar, salt and flour from step 2, a little at a time, reducing the speed to low-medium until the dough is sticky and soft.
4. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Saturday Morning (Day 2)
1. Bring the butter to room temperature and work it with the heel of your hand to incorporate the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Shape into a square.
2. Sprinkle the work surface with the flour, shape the cold dough into a 6x15 inch rectangle, and spread the butter square on the upper 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border around teh sides and top. Fold the dough like a letter into thirds. Turn the dough counterclockwise (It will open like a notebook with the flap on your right), then again roll out the dough into the 6x15 rectangle and fold as before.
3. Transfer the dough to a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours.

Saturday Afternoon (Day 2)
1. Roll out the dough 2 more times, wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Sunday Morning (Day 3)
1. About 1.5 hours before baking time, remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle flour on the work surface. Roll the dough into a 15 inch circle, working as quickly as possible. Using a knife, cut the dough into quarters and then cut each quarter into 3 triangles.
2. With both hands, roll the base of each triangle toward the remaining corner, Do not curl the ends in the croissant shape. Transfer the croissants to a baking sheet and brush with 2 tbsp milk. Let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes or until the croissants have doubled in volume.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush teh croissants with the glaze and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the croissants brown too fast, cover them loosely with foil and continue baking. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

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