Croissants

Cookery Masterclass with Tatiana Bento

Croissants

(Makes16)

What better start to the weekend than a cup of good coffee and a fresly baked croissant. TATIANA BENTO from MARMALADE COOKERY SCHOOL, has the perfect recipe to make these delicious buttery pastries – they may be a little time consuming but well worth the effort and they freeze very well. 

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Ingredients:

40g Caster Sugar

10g of Sea Salt

300ml of cold water

17g of fresh yeast

25g of milk powder

500g of strong white flour

300g of unsalted butter, cold

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbsp of milk, to glaze.

The dough

Croissants take quite a long time to make so you need to get started about 12 hours in advance.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in 1/3 of the cold water (100ml). In a separate bowl, beat the yeast into the remaining water using a wire whisk, then beat in the milk powder.

Place the flour in a bowl and add both waters. Work the dough until it’s all combined and no longer feels sticky. Shape it into a ball.

Now place your dough back in your lightly floured bowl and cover with cling film. Leave the dough in a warm, draft free place, for about 30 minutes, by then it should have doubled in size.

Reshaping it

Once it has doubled, flip the dough on to your lightly floured work surface and reshape it into a ball. by doing this you will encourage your dough to develop further creating a better taste, however try not overwork the dough as it will result in a heavy texture.

Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 6-8 hours. After one hour in the fridge check if it has risen again, if that’s the case, reshape it into a ball and return it to the fridge.

Layering

lightly flour your work surface and flip the dough on to it.

Cut a cross in the top of the dough, then roll out each quarter of the ball from the centre out, so that it looks like 4 big ears around a small head.

In the meanwhile roll out your block of butter, that should be firm but not too cold, to 1.5 cm thick.

Place the butter in the centre of the dough. Fold the 4 “ears” over the butter, making sure it’s completely enclosed, so that the butter doesn’t ooze out.

Lightly flour your work surface then roll the dough, away from you, into a rectangle of about 40 X 70 cm. Brush the excess flour off the dough and fold into 3 as you were folding a letter to place into an envelope. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Repeat the previous step but this time roll the dough in the opposite direction. Wrap and refrigerate again.

Repeat the process once more.

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Cutting

Roll out the dough into a 40 X 70 rectangle, flouring the work surface very lightly as you go. Now trim the edges so you get a neat rectangle. Then cut the rectangle into 2, lengthwise.

Now you can start cutting your triangles, they should be 20cm long (the same dimension as the smaller side of the rectangle) and 14cm base. By the end of it you should have 16 to 18 triangles.

Now arrange your triangles in a tray and cover with cling film. Place them back in the fridge for a few moments as the dough might get too warm and crack otherwise.

One at a time bring the triangles out and place them on your work surface with the tip pointing towards you. Slightly stretch the 2 shorter points, then starting from the shorter end, start rolling the croissant towards you, making sure that the tip ends up underneath the croissant preventing it to rise during cooking.

As soon as they are shaped, place them on a baking sheet and turn the ends towards the centre to form a typical crescent shape.

Lightly brush them with the egg wash, working from the inside outwards, so that the layers of dough do not stick together, which would prevent them to rise properly. Leave to rise in a warm, draft free place until they have doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Cooking

Preheat the oven to 230C.

Glaze the croissants once more with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

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