Tag Archives: baking

Croissants

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I got a new rolling pin at the market, and since I got it I’ve wanted to use it. I made pie over the weekend (but it’s nearly gone now), and today I decided to make some croissants.

I used a recipe that I’m told is basically Julia Child’s. I do not know one way or the other about this, but I did commit to taking lots of detailed photos of the whole process so you can follow along! It wasn’t hard, just a long process–about 4 hours (granted I rushed here or there).

To start with, the ingredients:

1/3 cup tepid milk, 2 cups of all purpose flour bleached, 4Tbps of grape seed oil*, and some proofed yeast.**

 

You mix all these pretty easy to have around ingredients together, pressing them with a spatula. Next thing you know, you have this thing:

Not super pretty, I admit, but it’s getting there. This was surprisingly not sticky despite not having a ton of flour in it. I kneaded it for a while, until I got a very smooth and elastic dough:

Put that in a bowl and let it rise for a bit. Once it’s done rising, I formed it into a disc and wrapped it in saran wrap and shoved it in the fridge to chill.

Then I whipped out a ‘stick’ of butter***. Look at that pretty butter–this is some English butter I bought last grocery run, and I quite like both the colour and flavour.

Then, you begin to beat it. This helps a LOT if your butter is chilled well before this. I thought mine was, but you’d be surprised how quickly it heats up, so try and work fast.  Here, check out my action shot of beating it with my NEW rolling pin I mentioned:

Keep beating it. Eventually it will be mostly flat, start smoothing it out more with the heel of your hand. You’re going for a disc about 5″ wide. I ended up using my bench scrapper to put my disc on a cutting board for this next step.

Take your dough back out and roll it into a 9″ disc. Then, put your butter disc in the center, like so:

Then, fold the sides in followed by the top/bottom, pinching together to make a pouch:

And finally wrap and chill AGAIN for about 30-hour in fridge. All of this chilling is helping keep the butter from disappearing into the flour and thus ruining the whole point of it–making your croissant flakey. You do something really similar with pie dough.

In any case, once you’ve managed that, set it back out on a lightly floured surface. Then, roll it into a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. I think mine was closer to a foot, but I don’t care! Haha! Take that recipe!

Like so.  Then, fold each of the long ends in, like a business letter:

Turn it sideways (so the folded edge is facing which way you’re rolling out), and roll out again. You’ll do this 4 times total, but you’ll need to stop after roll 2 because it needs to chill again. If the dough gets rubbery at any point (thus too warm) chill is the answer!

Finally, roll it into a 20 x 5 rectangle, keeping it as straight as possible. Slice that in half. On each half, you’ll be cutting three more slices (into 1/3s) and then those rectangles will be slice into triangles and rolled up. Like so:

Line all your pretty crescents on a pan (I lined my pan with wax paper), and then let them rise for about an hour.

Finally, it is time! Preheat the oven to ridiculous hot (475F), shove the croissants in, and then get them out in about 5-8 minutes. Watch them like a hawk, because they cook super fast despite how long they take to prep!

Cool and devour. (But not all at once). Excellent with jam and deliciousness. Mine are super light and flakey, and maybe next time I’ll roll a strip of bacon in them, or something similar, for a super tasty breakfast snack.

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*My own thing, I’m using it nearly every where right now. Fantastic fry oil, as the smoke point is 485F. It has a very subtle flavour when cooked, and makes a great base for things. I think it’s a little nutty in taste, but again, subtle, so it doesn’t overpower. Also, it’s GREEN, which is awesome.

**1/4th cup warm water, 1/2tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar

*** 2 ounces, weighed, due to the fact the butter only comes in 8 ounce blocks.

Completed shawl, current design, and bread

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So it’s been a while since I’ve dared show my words around here, but I blame that on spring break and the luxury of time. This will be a longer post to make up for it. I got relatively little knitting done over spring break, excepting one little beauty: 198 yds. of Heaven ‘shawlette’ to test knit some yarn for Gaia’s Colours.

I put shawlette in quotes because I knit it with heavy fingering/sport weight yarn on US 10.5/6.5 mm needles, and so instead of being a tiny little scarfy thing, it’s much bigger.

How much bigger, you inquire?

28″ from top to bottom of tail and 62″ across bigger, I say. I think, despite the shoddy lighting and cluttered desk, that’s a pretty good idea of scale.

It was a decadently simple and fast knit, for which I was very happy. I loved the pattern and I loved the yarn–as I mentioned, a test knit for Gaia’s Colours. It’s a 30% camel/70 % silk, and one of the nicest things I’ve knit with. Find the oldest, most worn piece of cotton you can–feel how silky smooth it is. That’s almost how soft and cozy the yarn is. Only more so, and it’s just the right type of warmth.

Here’s some more photos!

Preblocking:

During blocking:

Just before I started the shawl, I got in my bone needles (about 4.5mm or US 7) in and simply had to try something. I quite like how they feel, and I started a scarf using the crow print pattern in Haapsalu Shawl with intent to finish it and knit a border. I discovered two things: 1. fingering weight does not have quite the airy I like on 4.5 mm needles 2. I really like bone needles.

The yarn from Gaia’s Colours came in, and I cast on the shawl immediately since I was test knitting the yarn and it had spent five days in transit. I fell in love with triangular shawls knit in fingering weight. No one ever mentions just how quickly they knit up! So I ripped out the scarf, cast on with the 6.5 mm needles, and roughed out a pattern for the crow’s foot to use up the rest of the yarn from the Vilai socks.

I’ll be doing one more repeat and the border, I do believe, and then I’ll fix up a pretty pattern to give out. The crow’s foot is immensely fun to do for me, and I’ve got it memorized–I love when a pattern lends itself to memorization. I’m fairly certain the slow inclusion of the foot on the sides/by center are fairly intuitive as well, and will look nice despite not being ‘full’ feet.

I’ve got several ideas for other shawls to knit as well, and I really like the idea of doing one with a center panel and another pattern or two to segue. I’m going to see about finding out how to do one from the bottom up other than casting on all the stitches I’ll need. I’d imagine it wouldn’t be too unlike doing it top-down.

And finally, with all the bread craze among my friends, the cooking and knitting blogs I read, and just general want to make food, I made white bread:

It’s super tasty, and I ate nearly half of it before it finished cooling. I’ll be picking up more stuff for bread making when I go to the grocery store, since I just enjoyed it so very much. Just to find the time for this stuff….

I may post my recipe, but won’t happen right now. Right now, it’s time for a late lunch.