Here’s part 2 of my experiments in puff pastry. Now you don’t think, I’d make a batch of laminated dough and then not make croissants, would ya? There are two ways that I know of when it comes to shaping croissants, the first one is described here in the recipe text where you start with a rectangular piece of dough and then cut triangles out from the Cook’s Illustrated “Cook’s Science” cookbook. The second method involves using a circular piece of dough and then dividing it into sectors which you then roll up just like you would for the first method. Save scrap pastry and freeze for later to make danishes or use in tarts, pies, etc.
The possibilities with laminated dough and for that matter, even croissants are endless, with numerous toppings and fillings available, you can go wild and you should! And this year, expect a lot of puff pastry type things from me, for you to eat! Happy Sunday.
croissants (from Cook’s Illustrated Cook’s Science 2016)
one batch of laminated dough
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water or milk
a pinch of salt
1. Keep the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured counter and roll into 18 by 16 inch rectangle with the long side of the rectangle parallel to the edge of the counter. Fold upper half of the dough over lower half. Using a rule, mark dough at 3 -inch intervals along bottom edge with bench scraper (you will have 5 marks). Move ruler to top of dough, measure in 1 1 1/2 inches from left, then use this mark to measure out 3 inch intervals (you should have six marks). Starting at lower left corner, use pizza wheel or knife to cut dough into triangles from mark to mark. You will have 12 single triangles and 5 double triangles; discard scraps. Unfold double triangles and cut into 10 single triangles (you will get 22 equal sized triangles in total). If the dough begins to soften, return to the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Shaping the croissants: Place 1 triangle on counter. (Keep remaining triangles covered with plastic while shaping). Cut 1/2 inch slit in center of short end of triangle. Grasp triangle by 2 corners on either side of each slit and stretch gently, then grasp bottom point and stretch. Place triangle on counter so point is facing towards you. Fold both sides of the slit down. Positioning your palms on folds, roll partway towards point. Gently grasp point again and stretch. To finish, continue to roll, tucking point underneath. Curve ends gently toward one another to create a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining doughs.
3. Place 12 croissants on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets ( 6 per sheet), leaving at least 2 1/2 inches of space between them. Lightly wrap baking sheets with plastic wrap, leaving room for the dough to expand and rise. Let stand at room temperature, until doubled nearly twice in size (2 1/2 to 3 hours). You can refrigerate shaped croissants for up to 18 hours . Remove from the refrigerator to rise and add at least 30 additional minutes to rising time.
4. Before baking, adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and temperature to 425F. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water along with a pinch of salt. Brush croissants with egg wash, reduce oven heat to 400F and then bake for 12 minutes, then switch and rotate baking sheets and bake for another 8 to 12 minutes, until the croissants are golden brown. Transfer croissants to a wire rack to cool until just warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.