Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ham and Cheese Croissants

I used a breadmaker recipe from the Bread Machine: Kitchen Handbook by Jennie Shapter for these but if you follow French Women Don't Get Fat croissants recipe and fill them before the second-to-last step, you'll get the same result!
These turned out wonderfully and they were a great way to get rid of leftover Easter ham! Enjoy!

1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp water
1 egg
3 c. unbleached bread flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. caster sugar
2 tbsp. butter plus
3/4 c. softened butter
1.5 tsp. easy-blend dried yeast

For the Filling:
6 oz. gruyere - I used shredded cheddar the first time around
2.5 oz. thinly sliced dry cured smoked ham, torn in to small pieces
1 tsp paprika

For the Glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

1. Pour the milk, water and egg into the pan. Reverse the order in which you add the wet and dry ingredients, if necessary.

2. Sprinkle over the flour. Place the salt, sugar and 2 tbsp. of butter in separate corners. Add the yeast in an indent in the flour. Set the machine to the dough setting; use basic dough setting if available. Press Start. Shape the softened butter into an oblong block about 3/4 in. thick.

3. When the dough cycle has finished, place the dough on a floured surface and knock back gently. Roll out a rectangle slightly wider than the butter block and just over twice as long. Place the butter on one half of the pastry, fold it over and seal the edges using a rolling pin.

4. Roll out again into a rectangle 2/4 in. thick, twice as long as it is wide. Fold the top third down, the bottom turd up, seal, wrap in clear film and chill for 15 mins. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling twice more, giving the pastry a quarter turn each time. Wrap in clear film and chill for 30 minutes.

5. Lightly oil two baking sheets. Roll out the pastry in to a 15 - in. circle. Cut the dough in to quarters, then cut each quarter in to 3 triangles.

6. Place a pastry triangle on the work surface in front of you, with the pointed end facing you. Divide the cheese and ham into 12 portions and put one portion on the wide end of the triangle. Hold and gently pull each side point to stretch the pastry a little, then roll up the triangle from the filled end with one hand while pulling the remaining point gently towards you with the other hand.

7. Curve the ends of the rolled triangle away from you and make a crescent. Place this on one of the baking sheets with the point underneath. Fill and shape the remaining croissants. Cover with oiled clear film and leave to rise for 30 minutes, until almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 400*.

8. Mix the egg yolk and milk for the glaze and brush over the croissants. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Turn out on to a wire rack. Serve Warm.

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