Breakfast at Tiffany’s
I’d hoped to post this a week ago, but making Croissants is about as difficult as putting together a great Halloween costume in under 24 hours, which is another challenge I seek out every year.
So this Halloween as in most previous Halloweens I waited till the last minute to figure out a costume. I have some rather ridged rules about how I get a costume. I prefer to put it together and/ or sew it rather than just buy it. With that said I hate haphazard -can-barely-figure-it-out-only-if-I-explain it to you costumes. I know thats picky, but evermore is the challenge to put together my costume in one whole day. Last year I managed to sew a whole jumpsuit and got a friend to sew me in hair extensions all within a day. I’m sure you’ve seen the Opps I did it again Britney on Flickr.com
With that said, even if I think my costume is spot on (as in I watched the movie over and over while I put it together just to make sure everything was right) sometimes still…Not everybody gets it.
Its not totally obvious in this photo–and thankfully there was another Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) in the room because I had my eye glasses on most of the night, out of necessity, which caused at least half the room to think I was…Sarah Palin. Election day was just around the corner, even if Mrs. Palin has stepped out of politics. All that effort chasing around costume jewelry and opera length gloves, not to mention a dress, when I could have just wore a pants suit from my closet. That second Audrey helped set the record straight a little. Alaaaaskaaaa.
So Breakfast at Tiffany‘s begins with an interesting “walk of shame” if you will. That somewhat awkward walk home early in the morning still wearing lasts nights party dress…Ms. Golightly stops in front a famous jewelry store sipping her coffee and snacking on a breakfast treat. So les croissants is what I set my mind to. If you didn’t have respect for those hard working pastry arts students before, try this recipe and see how you feel. This is why people study the culinary arts. Try this for your next Sunday brunch, just make sure you stay home on Saturday night.
I first attempted what seemed to be an easy recipe, but figured out quickly, when my dough didn’t rise, that the recipe was lacking and I was lacking– lots of information. Then I did some serious research comparing recipes and videos on Pastry making. The recipe below comes from epicurious.com.
The most important thing to know about Crosissants is that they are time and temperature sensitve. Prepare the dough the night before you want to have them. Also plan to stay close by as you will need to roll, refridgerate, roll and refridgerate several times in your preparation.
1 1/2c whole milk heated to warm 105-110 degrres F (I Used 2%)
1/4 c package light brown sugar
1 Tb + 1/4 tsp dry active yeast. (this is about one standard packet.)
3 3/4- 4 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tb Kosher Salt
3 sticks cold unsalted butter
Tools: rolling pin, counter top mixer with dough hook, pastry cutting wheel (or a pizza cutter), garbage bags, parchment paper, pastry brush, spray bottle, large plastic resealable bag, tall drinking glass
Combine milk, sugar and yeast into the bowl of an counter top electric mixer. You will use your dough hook attachment to mix. If you don’t have one you can stir and then use your hands to kneed this.
Its important your milk is warm, as this allows the yeast to foam. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam, its no good and you’ll need to start over.
Add Flour and salt and mix on low speed till a stick dough forms (7 minutes). Now hand knead on a clean floured surface for about two minutes. Form into a ball shape or thick square shape and wrap with plastic wrap. Refridgerate for an hour.
Meanwhile, place 3 sticks of butter in large zipperlocking bag next to each other. Leave the bag unsealed so it doesn’t pop. Now whale on them with any aggression or stress you may be holding in using a rolling pin. haha! Once you give them a few thwacks, you can actually roll the butter out like dough. a 5×8 rectangle is suggested as the ideal size. Place in refridgerator. Its import your butter be cold, otherwise it will be impossible to work with.
After your dough is chilled roll it out to a 16×10 rectangle. Place butter inside so the the longside of the butter is parallel with the short side of the dough.
Fold like a letter: the top third on to the butter the bottom third on top of the dough. Now roll into a 15x 10 square. Fold into thirds again roll again. Fold for hte third time and roll. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate for an hour. You can expedite the process by using the freezer to chill the dough. Only 20 minutes needed to chill. You will repeat this process 3 times.
So by folding you are distributing layers of butter between the dough. When it cooks the butter melts, creating steam which causes little bubbles to form in the dough. It puffs creating a thin flaky layers of pastry.
After completing the last fold wrap dough again and place in the refridgerator for at least 8 hours, but no more than 18 hours. (Are you sick of this yet?) Roll out into two large cirlces (dough should be about 1/4 of an inch thick) slice into wedges– the way you’d cut a pizza. Roll starting with the wide end of the dough.
Now you can, if you want to get fancy add chocolate and go for a pain au chocolat pastry. Most people recommend bittersweet, but semisweet, or milk chocolate work well too. Add chips a few morsels to the wide end of the cut, and roll.
Place all croissants on parchment lined baking sheets. make sure the pointed end of the croissant is underneath the pastry else the dough will unwind in the oven. Place baking sheets in garbage bags. Use a tall drinking glass to prop plastic , and keep it from touching the croissants. Tuck bag’s ends under tray. Croissant will rise. Let stand for 2- 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425. Spray inside of the oven, now remove croissants from bags and place in the oven. Spray again. Close door. Reduce heat to 400 and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate racks and reduce heat to 375. Croissants are done when they are a golden brown.
WOW thats a lot of work!!! Here are some links if you want to take on this project:
Entry Filed under: Breads and Pastry