Thursday, 11 September 2014

Guest Post: Hazel's Croissants

We all know croissants are famously enjoyed with a capuccino in some famous Piazza of a famous European city and we definitely all know how difficult they are to make. So when Hazel walked in holding a tray full of them at our August Cake Up, all eyes immediately turned on her. 

With our September Cake Up just around the corner (tickets available here) we are sure you are all thinking about what savoury goodness you will be sampling on Saturday, but for those still in the August headspace you will be glad to know Hazel has generously shared the recipe for her delicious croissants with all of us!

Thanks Hazel!


-2 cups unsalted butter, softened
-2/3 cup unbleached bread flour (or all purpose flour)
-2 1/2 cups milk
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 tsp salt
-4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
-8 cups all purpose flour
-2 eggs (Hazel accidentally used 3)
-Jam of your choice

1) In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of flour. Divide into 2 equal parts, and roll each half between 2 pieces of waxed paper into a 6 x12 inch sheet. Refrigerate.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the dry yeast and 3 cups of the remaining flour. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and salt. Heat to 115 degrees F (43 degrees C), or just warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix the warm milk mixture into the flour and yeast along with the eggs, and lemon and almond extracts. Stir for 3 minutes. Knead in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is firm and pliable. Set aside to rest until double in size.
3) Cut the dough in half, and roll each half out to a 14 inch square. Place one sheet of the cold butter onto each piece of dough, and fold the dough over it like the cover of a book. Seal edges by pressing with fingers. Roll each piece out to a 20x 12 inch rectangle, then fold into thirds by folding the long sides in over the center. Repeat rolling into a large rectangle, and folding into thirds. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4) Remove from the refrigerator one at a time, and roll and fold each piece two more times. Return to the refrigerator to chill again before shaping. If the butter gets too warm, the dough will become difficult to manage.
5) To make the croissants Hazel has provided some tips below (in the notes section) but she recommends watching a video on how to roll them properly. 
6) Place some jam of your choice in the middle before rolling them. 
6) Place croissants on an ungreased baking sheet, and let rise until doubled. 
7) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Croissants can be brushed with egg white for a shiny finish.
6) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Hazel's notes: 
Its actually a danish pastry but when I made them the first time they tasted exactly like croissants so I rolled the dough into a rectangle cut into triangles, rolled the triangle out into an isosceles triangle and added the jam before rolling it up from the base of the triangle. I put a little jam under the tip to hold it down too. Would be useful for people to watch a youtube on rolling croissants before the rolling stage.

Apparently the dough can be made a week ahead and stored in the fridge or a month in the freezer before shaping, rising and baking.

Start to finish the process does take a good few hours, but most of that time us waiting for risining or chilling so just pick a day you will be hanging around the house doing other things. Trust me the time and effort is worth the wait. With the size I made at cake up the whole batch if dough made 42 croissants.

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