Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The journey of the croissant...or whatever i'm baking...

Should I mention now that I'm not going to actually be making croissants?  The recipe I REALLY want to make utilizes croissant dough.  You see, we have a bakery in town (Gail's) that makes killer cinnamon buns, but they're nothing like american cinnamon buns.  They literally look like croissants rolled into a cinnamon bun and are super flaky, not doughy.  My husband and children adore these and eat them regularly.  I've thought about figuring out how to make them, and recently my good friend and I swapped cook books and I found a recipe for 'morning buns' that mirrored the cinnamon buns I see at Gail's.

The first item in the recipe was croissant dough - big surprise - and it was here that my journey for croissant dough began, especially since my friend mentioned that the croissant recipe in the 'morning bun' cookbook was 'ok', but didn't yield the best croissant she'd ever tasted.

Following Bo Friberg's recipe for croissant dough (see previous post titled, 'the croissant recipe'), I'll take you on my journey for making the perfect 'morning bun' via croissant dough.

Here the tools and key ingredients I used to make the croissant dough:
A scale, plastic wrap, parchment paper, a rolling pin, a ruler, Lurpak unsalted butter (minimum fat content 82%), and organic strong white bread flour. 

Making the 'croissant' dough:

The few drops of lemon juice, 1 ounce (30 g) of flour, and chilled butter cut into pieces prior to kneading it in a mixing bowl. 

Step 1:  Work the lemon juice and 1 ounce (30 g) of flour into the chilled butter by kneading it in a bowl.

Step2: Shape the butter into a 5-inch square/12.5cm.  Place the butter on a piece of baking paper and set aside.  If the room is warm, place it in the refrigerator, but do not let it get too firm.  If this happens, rework and reshape the butter back to the original consistency.

Step 3: Put the following ingredients into a mixing bowl: cold milk, yeast (I used rapid rise yeast as I couldn't locate fresh yeast and have had issues in the past reconstituting dried yeast in warm liquids; NOTE: you will have to proof your yeast first if using dried yeast, and follow the original recipe posted in the prior post if using fresh yeast), granulated sugar, honey, and the salt.  Mix the ingredients together with a fork, then place the bowl on stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and begin to mix it on the stir speed.  Add the remaining 11 ounces of bread flour gradually into the mixing bowl.  Once it is all added, mix the dough on speed 2 for about 1 1/2 minutes until the dough is formed, but is very elastic.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 7-inch square.

Step 4: Place the butter square on the dough diagonally so that there are 4 triangles on the sides, fold in the sides, and seal in the butter.

Dough with butter block folded and sealed.

Step 5: Give the dough 3 single turns, with 30-60 minutes of rest in the refrigerator between each turn, dough covered.  After the third turn, refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Turning the dough: Roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch (1.2cm) thick, as carefully and evenly as possible.  Divide the rectangle crosswise into thirds by sight alone or mark the dough lightly with the edge of your hand.  Fold one-third of the dough over the middle section, then fold the remaining one-third over both of them, brushing away the excess flour from the inside as you fold.  The dough now has one single turn. 

First fold of first turn of dough.  Dough was 12 inches long, so broke the folds into 4 inch sections.

The first turn completed.

I then covered the dough and plastic wrap and refrigerated it for 1 hr.  I did a second turn, then covered the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerated it for another hour.  Completed the last turn, then covered the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight (completed last turn at 4pm, will take the dough out of the refrigerator around 7am and continue on with the cinnamon bun recipe to make cinnamon buns).

My experience: Surprisingly, forming the dough and butter block was very straightforward and dare I say quite easy?!  I'm pretty sure this means i've done something terribly wrong.  We shall see, won't we?  All in all, I'd say a relatively easy recipe, just a bit time consuming based on the turns needed and time required in between each turn.  Can't wait to make the cinnamon buns!

No comments:

Post a Comment