Friday, January 11, 2013
croissants - let's do this.
you know how i get on here every day and tell you that what i made was "so easy!" and "comes together in no time!"?
this is not one of those days.
but stay with me. because there are IN-sane croissants at the end of this emotional roller coaster.
disclaimer: this whole process takes, like, 10-12 hours. HAHAHA. i know. but since most of that is down time, you can totally do this. just plan ahead(!) so you don't end up waking your husband up in the wee hours of the night/morning and making him sleep-eat a croissant like a crazy person.
not that i would know anything about that.
croissants (from how sweet eats, who adapted recipes from epicurious and cooks.com)
makes about 20 croissants
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed in microwave on high for 1 minute
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus TONS more for all the kneading, rolling, and folding. seriously, flour is going to be EVERYWHERE.)
1 tablespoon salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold, unsalted butter
lots of plastic wrap
a tape measure or ruler (i wish i were kidding)
1. to make dough, mix together milk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. add 3 3/4 cups flour and the salt, and mix on low until dough just comes together. knead dough by hand on a floured work surface for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is silky and not sticky (you may need to add a bit more flour if it's too sticky.) form dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap, and let chill for one hour.
2. once dough has chilled, set butter sticks next to each other with their sides touching. this is a semi-horrifying/awesome moment, because this is when you realize that THREE sticks of butter are going into your croissants. haha. ok, moving on. pound the butter with a rolling pin to soften it a bit. set the butter between two sheets of plastic wrap. using the rolling pin, continue to press down with the rolling pin and your hands until butter is formed into one 8 x 5 inch rectangle. wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
3. now it's time to go back to the dough. remove dough from the plastic wrap to a floured work surface. using your hands, stretch the dough (especially the corners) to a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. place the dough with the short end facing you. now get the enormous butter slab out of the refrigerator and set in the middle of the dough rectangle. fold the dough like a letter: top half down, bottom half up. now turn the dough to, again, make the short end facing you. roll dough out to a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. again, fold the dough like a letter: top half down, bottom half up. this will form a 10 x 5 inch rectangle (roughly). wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
4. repeat step 3 THREE more times, for a total of FOUR folds. after the fourth and final fold, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours, no longer.
5. preheat oven to 450 degrees F. roll dough out to a long and skinny rectangle, about 20 x 32 inches (or break the dough in half and roll into 2 long, skinny rectangles.) use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut dough into triangles. in each triangle, cut a small, vertical slit into the straight edge so that you can tuck the point into it when you roll up the croissant. using both hands, roll dough into croissant shapes and place on a lined baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. cover with a towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise a bit more.
6. after this final rise (YAY!), beat 1 egg slightly with a fork. brush the tops of each croissant with the beaten egg and bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. let cool before removing from baking sheet.
YOU DID IT! now indulge as much as you darn well please... Lord knows, you deserve it.