Week 11, Bake 11.
So this weeks bake was something different, I decided that we had had enough sugar recently so this weeks bake was croissants. And may I just say this, never, ever again. Now this isn't to say that that it went horribly horribly wrong, just it took FOREVER. So I will not be making them again, but it was a good test of skill.Ingredients:
- 500g of strong white bread flour, sifted
- 1 packet (7g) of fast action dried yeast
- 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of crushed sea salt
- 325ml of milk
- 250g of unsalted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the dried yeast. Now make a well in the centre of the bowl.
- In a jug, stir the sugar and salt into the milk until it has dissolved. Now pour into the well and mix it in. Use a metal spoon at first, but then use your hands to bring the mixture together.
- Beat together quickly to make sure that all the ingredients are together but do not knead as this will overwork the dough. It will be done when it comes away from the bowl, it will be sticky and rough looking.
- Put it back in the bowl and then cover it with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- Gently punch the air out of the dough and then recover it and but the bowl in the fridge to rest the dough for at least six hours, however I rested it overnight.
- The following day, take the block of butter out of the fridge and allow it to warm slightly. Between two pieces of greaseproof paper flatten down the butter into approx 14cm square. You can do this by beating it with a rolling pin (however this will take a long time and it will give you a headache), roll it like you would do pastry or smoosh it down with your hands.
- Now get your dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a very floured surface. Beat out the air again.
- Roll out your dough into a rectangle 25x60cm . Place the butter into the upper part of the dough. Fold over the dough to cover the butter and cover it completely.
- Flour the surface again if needed, turn the dough a quarter turn and roll the dough out again into a rectangle of 30x60cm.
- Brush off any excess flour and then fold the dough into three like a business letter. This is the first 'turn'. Now cover the dough in cling film and place it back into the fridge fully covered. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Repeat the 'turns' (turning them 45 degrees for each turn) for another 2 turns, overall this will take a couple of hours.
- After the final chilling, roll out the dough thinly to a rectangle of 40x75cm. With a floured knife, trim the edges off the rectangle.
- Cut the rectangle length ways into two equal strips.
- Now cut the triangles, the base of each triangle should be 12cm and the edges should be 20cm. Use the trimmings to make up another couple of croissants.
- Now place the triangles onto trays with baking parchment on them and cool the triangles in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up the dough.
- To shape each croissant,gently stretch the dough. Then place the triangle in front of you and, holding the point, roll the base towards you.
- Now arrange the croissants on the baking trays and cover them once again to let the rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 230c.
- (We are almost there now...) Once they have doubled in size beat an egg and apply it to the top of the croissants using a pastry brush. Then bake them in the oven at 230c for ten minutes, then lower the heat to 200c for a further five minutes.
- Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.
- And now after approximately one day you will have croissants. Was it worth it? I'm not even sure anymore?