Croissants Flaky &Homemade

The bageri girl have spent more than two hours familiarizing herself with the recipe. But in reality, it’s been 5 years of failed attempts to make croissants.
      “Making croissants should be done at least 2 days in advance to avoid rushing the laminating and proofing of dough. The Longer time the dough relaxes, the better the flavor develops. It is also important to keep butter solid as you work with the dough. You can always keep laminated dough in fridge or freezer until ready to use.”
     “So we will have breakfast after two days? Find a shorter version of the recipe. We are not baking for the whole town.” said the Swedish Chef.
     “But I need to master the technique so I can see the layers and good holes in the crumbs,” insisted the bageri girl.
    “No Charmaine, we are not eating just crumbs and holes. We want to have something for breakfast. I’ve heard enough,” grumbled the Swedish Chef.
   “The croissants have evolved from buttered rolls to boomerang rolls to flaky rolls. More to improve but we are getting there,” said the bageri girl as she turned the big bowl of dough on her work area.
Not even listening, the Swedish Chef walked away with his kanelbullar.
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2013 butter roll croissants

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2015 boomerang croissants

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2018 flaky croissants

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The Recipe and Patience Test starts here :
INGREDIENTS: servings 16 -20 crescent rolls
1/4 cup very warm water but not boiling water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast one packet
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk not boiling
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
100 g salted butter softened
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP of water)  and or melted butter, for brushing
INSTRUCTIONS
Make the dough :
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large glass bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix until combined. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes until it smells like bread and is foamy.
In a larger bowl, Mix flour, sugar,salt,  warm milk and egg. (It will look a bit moist and crumbly.) Add foamy yeast and mix dough together to form a sticky ball of dough, it will be sticky at first but will develop into tacky dough as you work on it.
Knead the dough for about five minutes until the dough comes together and you’ve reached the stage of low to moderate gluten development. Do not over knead. You do not want too much gluten development because you will struggle with the dough fighting back during laminating. Use just enough flour on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  You do not want to form gluten, you are just trying to form a rough ball of dough.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until it forms a relatively smooth ball.
Grease the bowl that you mixed the dough in and set the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough relax in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Prepare and shape the butter:
While the dough is relaxing in the fridge, prepare the butter block.
Cut the cold butter (directly from the fridge) lengthwise into thick slabs. Arrange the pieces of butter in a ziplock bag to form a square of about 15 cm x 15 cm. Now pin press and pound lightly until you have a final square of 17 cm x 17 cm. refrigerate the butter slab until needed.
LAMINATING The Dough:
After 1 hour, remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle that’s about 1/4th inch thick.
Place the butter block in the middle of dough, leaving an inch around the sides of the rectangle, being careful not to break through dough with butter.Fold one half of the rectangle towards the center and fold the other half over as well on top of the first layer so you have three dough layers.
Roll** out dough again to a long rectangle (being careful of the butter—roll gently) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush. Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a rectangle. Place back in freezer for 30 more minutes to 1 hour to relax dough and It is very important the butter stays solid.
**Start rolling from the center of the dough towards the edges, and not from one side of the dough all the way to the other side. This technique helps you to keep the dough at an even thickness. You can also rotate your dough 180 degrees to keep it more even, because you tend to use more pressure when rolling away from you than towards yourself. You can use these techniques during all the rolling steps of this recipe. Aim at lengthening the dough instead of making it wider and try to keep all edges as straight as possible.
Fold the dough letter style, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes (fold one third of the dough on top of itself and then fold the other side over it). Repeat the rolling and folding two more times (ending up with 27 layers of butter in total), each time rolling until the dough is about 20 cm x 60 cm. After each fold you should turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling again. The open ‘end’ of the dough should be towards you every time when rolling out the dough
Each laminating step should not take more than a few minutes. However if, due to initial inexperience for example, it should take you longer, you can fold your dough letter style, cover it and refrigerate it for 20 minutes and continue the rolling process after this rest. It is very important the butter stays solid.
Repeat this process two more times for a total of three folds (and 30 minutes in the freezer) After the three folds, you can either proceed with the directions or you can wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or up to three days.
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate until day 3
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 110 cm
Dividing the dough and shaping the croissants :
Three hours before you are ready to serve, form and proof the croissants: Remove the thawed dough from the refrigerator. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat and set aside.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll into a 12×40-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Use a straight edge and a paring knife or pizza cutter to carefully trim 1 inch from each of the long sides; save for another use. Cut the remaining dough into triangles. Stack them and work one at a time on each triangle.
Working one at a time, Cut a notch in the middle of the short end of the triangle. stretch the triangle slightly to extend them Then, starting at the base, roll the two wings by moving your hands outwards from the center tightly all the way to the tip to form an even, straight-armed croissant shape. Try and roll the dough very tightly at the beginning and put enough pressure on the dough to make the layers stick together (but not so much as to damage the layers of course). Press slightly at the tip to adhere and to make a slightly flattened base for the croissant to rest on.
Proofing and baking :
Continue rolling the croissants in this manner, then transfer them, spaced evenly apart and flattened side down on the prepared baking sheets (no more than 6 croissants per baking sheet depending on your croissant size.) Arrange the shaped croissants on baking sheets, making sure to keep enough space between them so they will not touch when proofing and baking. Give the croissants their first thin coating of egg wash.
Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise and proof for 1-2 hours. let rise until the croissants are puffed, very gassy, and about doubled in size (they should slowly spring back when poked with your fingertip and jiggle slightly like gelatin when the tray is shaken)
Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees C. Before baking, brush each risen croissant with the beaten egg wash. Bake croissants for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (Some ovens will take 18-22 minutes, depending on croissant size. Some baking tips : heat up  double fan big convection oven at 200ºC, when heated up put the croissants in the oven and directly lower it to 175ºC. Bake for 10 minutes at 175ºC, they will have a nice brown color by now, then lower the temperature to 150ºC, and bake them for another 6 minutes. Leaving croissants a few 5 minutes to cool in the oven after baking time will also give nice crust and color.)
Best eaten while warm and fresh of course. Croissant we don’t eat or share within a day we freeze. We put them in the preheated oven (180ºC / 355ºF) for 8 minutes straight from the freezer.
Once made up into croissants you can freeze the dough and store it for as long as two months.  Just put the frozen croissants in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and let stand for an hour and a half before baking.
***
Here’s a shorter version I found to be tested :
150 g lukewarm milk (not to hot,you’d kill the yeast)
14 g active dry yeast (2sachets)
40 g sugar (one handful)
Mix it all up and leave 15 minutes or until frothy
300 g flour (strong white ) = 2 cups
6  g salt (a big pinch)
Mix roughly , until combines but as little as possible. Ball up, put in fridge for 8 hours.
125g unsalted butter in thin slices
Squeeze around the edges to bind them then roll to 6-8mm with rolling pin. Do a single fold then freeze for 30 minutes
Repeat twice (3x single fold)
Rest in fridge  1-2 hours then roll 5-6 mm
Cut triangles and roll
Place on a tray with silicon paper,
Brush with egg wash and grow for 2-3 hours
Egg wash again and bake @210 C for 12-15 minutes
Hint : To have fresh croissants in the morning, mix dough at 8am, fold butter in at 4pm, shape at 8pm and keep in the fridge.
In the morning, proof, bake and EAT
If you don’t get nice layers, try adding 3 grams of vinegar in the dough.
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Prinsesstårta or Jordgubbstårta

It’s been four years since Grandma Glasses contemplated making the Swedish Prinsesstårta. After a successful bake of the Jordgubbstarta, she decided it is time to face her fear of failure making the Prinsesstårta.

“I will not stop until I conquer this cake,” Grandma Glasses muttered while going through the recipe.

“I can always buy a dozen eggs if I fail the first time. I know I can make a cake as pretty as those I see on the internet. Or even better than those we had in VeteKatten,” she mumbled to herself.

“I will not stop you on that. I will wait to see them baked and I finish all the cakes for you,” said the Swedish Chef.

If that was meant as a compliment or a challenge, let a clean plate decide. And whether it comes out good or not, the Swedish Chef always likes what Grandma Glasses bakes.

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Swedish Cakes in the House

Sugar rush! These are homemade sweet creations for the Swedish Chef , all time favorite Swedish cakes  Prinsesstårta, Budapestrulle and Schwarzwaldtårta.

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Prinsesstårta

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Prinsesstårta

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Budapestrulle

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Budapestrulle

 

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Schwarzwaldtårta

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Schwarzwaldtårta

The Swedish Chef’s Valentine Cake

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This is a labor of love worth a thousand kisses. In between bowl mixing and batter whisking, the Swedish Chef smothered me with lots of love.

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“That’s how it is,” he says, confirming that with a kiss.

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Cake base( good for 2- 1inch 9x cake layers)
2 c cake flour
125g 70% Lindt dark chocolate
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp vanilla
1 c milk
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil (1/3 c vegetable oil+1/4 olive oil)
1/2 c espresso coffee (or 1/2 c hot water+2tsp strong instant coffee)
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt

To make the cake base:

Preheat oven 350F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.3. In a mug, microwave chocolate for 1 min or until slightly melted. Add hot espresso and stir until chocolate dissolves. Set aside.4. In another bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in oil, milk, vanilla and chocolate- coffee mixture.5. Gradually add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture. Continue whisking until combined.6. Beat all together. This will be very thin. Pour and divide batter into two greased baking pans.7. Bake 20 minutes at 350F. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR IT WILL NOT HAVE THAT WONDERFUL MOISTNESS.

Cool for 1hour at room temperature, before frosting with mousse and ganache. While cake is cooling, prepare the mousse and ganache.

 

For Mousse ingredients:

150g bar best bitter dark chocolate (1 1/2 Lindt 70% chocolate)
 1 tsp instant coffee granules
4 large free-range eggs, just the whites
1 cup icing sugar or golden caster
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Grate 50g/2oz of the chocolate and reserve. Break the rest into small, even-sized pieces and melt over a bain-marie (double boiler or pan of simmering water). When chocolate starts to melt, add coffee until combined. Take the pan off the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water. Don’t worry if the mixture thickens – it will smooth out again later.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they’re standing in stiff peaks. (To test if     whipped cream peaks are stiff enough, you can hold and tip bowl over and it holds its form without collapsing.) Spoon in half the sugar, whisk again, then add the rest of the sugar and whisk until it looks glossy like meringue. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. (Cold bowl and chilled whipping cream results to quick stiff peaks.) Take the melted chocolate off the pan and fold in a heaped metal serving spoon of meringue to loosen the consistency, then tip the chocolate into the meringue and fold in lightly but thoroughly. Gently fold in the whipped cream until no more white streaks.
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Spread generous amount between cake layers. Make sure to leave a bit of mousse to cover the top of the cake.
  5. Drizzle ganache and sprinkle with chocolate bits.
  6. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or overnight to set.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

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“Love is always sweeter when you bake cake together.” – Grandma Glasses

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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Ganache
50g dark chocolate
1tbsp butter
1/4 whipping cream
2tsp icing sugar

In a cup, put coarsely chopped chocolate with cream. Microwave for 30 seconds just to melt chocolate. Mix well. While still warm, add butter and sugar. Continue mixing until well combined. Shiny and smooth consistency is desired.( For thinner chocolate sauce, add 1-2 teaspoon of cream) Use as final frosting for cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight to set.

Moelleux au Chocolat

Up north from the Swedish Chef’s Kitchen, turn left. Then right.  Then go up the hill until you see the village tower. Next to it you will find the Jonsson Bageri. You will never miss it, they have Swedish-speaking Buddy Rabbits and Buddha dogs waiting at the bageri’s main door.

With only the best ingredients used, one can expect the highest quality baked goods from the Jonsson Bageri. It is known for its  Swedish Kanebullar, Jordgubbstårta, homemade bread, sandwiches, and other specialty pastries. Usually  during weekends, business hours start at two o’clock in the afternoon and closes at eight o’clock in the evening.

Today I was lucky to sit next to the Swedish Chef’s table who was having his afternoon fika. Looking over my shoulder towards his table, I can’t help but notice the dessert plate next to his coffee cup. It’s  a French dessert consisting of a chocolate cake with a liquid center.

” Aha!  My name is not Francoise. Wouldn’t it be nice to try something French other than French Fries, ” I mused as I enjoyed the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the air . On today’s list is Moelleux Au Chocolat and Swedish Kanebullar.  Am I daydreaming or is it the sugar rush making me giddy?

Moelleux au Chocolat

Moelleux au Chocolat

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As I finished my Moelleux Au Chocolat, I pulled out  a bill from my purse for the tip jar. Life is good and I feel it is worth to share a good day to the bageri girl named  Charmaine.

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How to Make Moelleux Au Chocolat

You will need
100g  dark chocolate (a bar of dark chocolate)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to around 180C. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie. In a separate bowl, mix together the powder sugar and flour.Then add eggs. Mix well. Butter two ramekin dishes. When the chocolate/butter is truly melted, pour the mixture into the flour-sugar-egg bowl and mix completely. When it looks gooey, pour mixture into the ramekins about 3/4s full. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until they have risen about an inch. Serve in ramekin dish or invert on dessert plate and sprinkle with powder sugar, whipped cream or ice cream.

Jordgubbstårta

The Swedish Chef is in the House with another all-time favorite recipe.. Jordgubbstårta. This is a Swedish midsummer cake.

Prepare ingredients and preheat oven to 180C. For the base cake  you will need : 2cups cake flour mix with 2 tbsp baking powder , 2cups sugar , 4 eggs, 2 tsps of butter , 2 tsps of bread crumbs.

In a bowl,  beat eggs until light. Gradually put in sugar and continue beating. Fold in the flour mixture until batter is of smooth consistency. Generously grease with butter your 10 inch cake tin. Sprinkle bread crumbs on the tin, making sure all sides and bottom surface of cake tin is covered.  

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Pour mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before placing in wire  rack.

 

Next step is to make the strawberry topping. You will need  2 cups strawberries , 3 cups whipping cream, 3 tbsp sugar , and 1/2 cup vanilla custard ( I used premium French vanilla custard)

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Slice 1 cup of strawberries. Set aside for cake topping. Chop and dice the rest of the strawberries. Set aside.

Whisk cream and sugar until frothy.  In a separate bowl, mix the chopped strawberries and 1 cup of whipped cream.

Now let’s assemble the Jordgubbstårta.  Slice cake into three layers. This may be a little tricky and messy layering the cake. Some suggested using a long thin knife to slice the layers, or use thread around the cake and the layers come out neatly. If you know an easier way to layer a cake, let me know.

ImageNo worries if layers are not perfectly even. Whatever technique you use to slice it, your cake will still turn out to be irresistible once plated.

Now back to our cake.. First prepare bottom layer, then generously spread vanilla custard. Place the second layer on top of vanilla layer. 

Spread the strawberry whipped cream on the second layer. Place the top layer on top of strawberry cream. Use the remaining whipped cream to generously cover the whole cake.

frosting the Jordgubbstårta

 Arrange strawberry slices on top of the cake.

a delicious Jordgubbstårta

Didn’t I tell you it will still turn out irresistible? Who would have thought we struggled with the layering?

This is why the Swedish Chef loves Jordgubbstårta. It’s his birthday cake and he always gets the biggest slice in the house. Yum!