Saturday, 10 November 2012

Croissants - Délicieux

A few weeks ago, I attempted croissants.  I had been dying to do them for ages so couldn't wait to get started.  It was a two day process and I have no idea how the french have them ready for breakfast - mine were ready at 3pm on Sunday!

So I started on Saturday evening making the dough.  I combined them quite quickly and didn't really work the dough very much so as not to overwork it.  I clingfilmed the bowl and waited for it to rise.  I don't know if it is my house, but everything always seems to take a lot longer to rise than the recipes say. So about 3 hours later (not 30-45 mins as stated) my dough had doubled in size. I knocked the dough back and put it in the fridge to chill to the morning.

In the morning, I started to "bash" the butter.  It had to be cold but pliable.  This would moulded into a square to go into the middle of the dough.
The 'flaps' were then folded in to seal the butter in, and the first of 3 roll-fold-chill processes were begun.  Now I got this recipe from the second GBBO cookbook, and I think there are some flaws in the recipe.  I'm fairly sure when you fold a 60 x 30cm rectangle into 3 lengthways, you aren't going to get a perfect square.  So I had to freestyle it a bit, but I think it wrked out all right in the end.  So after folding, the dough had to be chilled for 30 minutes before the next roll and fold.
So this process was carried out three times before I could roll it out for the final time.  It had to be rolled out into a rather large rectangle (clear the decks! my worktop was just big enough to cope with everything taken off it).  It seemed every time I rolled the dough it seemed to shrink back again  - it was a very elastic dough.  But I persevered and got the required dimensions in the end! 

Now for some precision cutting of triangles.  Out comes the ruler!
The recipe also said that all my triangles should fit on two baking sheets.  I don't know how big their baking sheets are but I needed four! And I made 20 croissants just like recipe said, so that is another mystery.  Never mind, I made do with what I had, and chilled again.

After the final chill, it was time for the roll up.  This was the fun bit, to finally see them come together.  They were a bit smaller than I thought they would be, but they still had another rise to go before baking.
3 hours of proving later (was supposed to be an hour) and I'm still sure that they hadn't doubles in size as they were supposed to but I couldn't wait any longer.  So after an egg glaze they went into the oven.  And a little while later... ta-dah!
Nom nom nom! They were delicious :)

Until my next bake...

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