Monday, May 27, 2013

Around the World in Food Month, Geneva and croissants…

Edited Me in Geneva
     One of the places we were able to see on our trip was Geneva, Switzerland.  Geneva is a very pretty city, and I loved looking at all of the architecture and sites.  Geneva is a very interesting place, full of diversity everywhere you look.  While we were there we were able to see the UN Building, the Jet d’Eau, and more.  While we were there we stayed and a quaint little bed and breakfast that was nice, it was a nice city to visit and we saw some interesting things.
     We went to the UN Building and took the tour of the facilities, we go to walk though the assembly rooms and see some very interesting things.  Some very historic decisions have been made and discussed with in those walls.  It also interesting to see how people from all over the world all came together to see this place.  Everywhere we looked there were people of every background imaginable, diversity was everywhere.
lfs croissants     We explored quite a bit of the area we were staying in.  Walked up and down cobblestone paths and alleys, looking at the churches and buildings, and marveling at the architecture.  The place that we stayed at made what appeared to be perfect croissants.  Sadly, I couldn’t try them, but Mr. Love From Scratch was more than willing to eat them in my behalf.
     Croissants have always been a favorite of mine, and sadly I can eat several in a mere blink of an eye, simply because there are just that good!  If I were to be honest I would have to admit I felt pangs of jealousy watching Mr. Love From Scratch enjoy all those beautiful croissants while I was left cursing my new gluten free life.  Croissants are another one of the recipes that I want to learn to remake gluten free.  I am trying to recreate certain recipes, and when I feel like I have a quality gluten free recipe I will share it with you.  Any recipe I share on here will always be a recipe that I have full confidence in its outcome.  So it will take me a bit till I get there with gluten free baking and cooking.
     I love it when I have a homemade croissant because besides just being delicious, I can appreciate the work that went into it.  Croissants aren’t so much hard to make, they just take a lot of time to do it right, so if someone makes them for scratch for you, you know they are making it for you with love.

Love From Scratch Croissants


6 cups flour; more for rolling
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold whole milk ( you can use 2% or 1% if you really want, no skim)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter (make sure it is unsalted)
3/4 tsp. instant yeast
3 tsp. salt
1 1/2 –1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter (this is for the butter layer
2 large eggs (for egg wash)

    Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, then mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured plate where it can rise. Lightly flour the top of the dough and wrap well with plastic so it doesn’t dry out. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4-6 hours.
     Once the dough has chilled as needed begin the butter layer.  cut the cold butter only  lengthwise into 1/2-inch or so thick slabs.  Place the pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to form a 6-inch square, top with another piece of parchment or waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll the butter together.  As the pieces begin to adhere, use more force in rolling the butter, roll it until is is about an 8 inch square.. Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
     Unwrap the dough onto  a lightly floured work surface, make sure you have PLENTY of room. Roll into a 10 inch or so square. Brush  the excess flour off the dough and set aside.  Remove the butter from the refrigerator hopefully it should be pliable but cold. If not, refrigerate a bit longer. Center the butter in the middle of the dough.  Do this with each corner, and press the edges of the new square and edges as to seal in all of the butter.      Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With your rolling pin, firmly press the dough to stretch it slightly and then begin rolling not.  Begin lengthening the dough not widening it.       Roll the dough until it’s 8 by 24 inches. as much as possible maintain a rectangle shape with cornered edges.  Brush any flour off the dough. Pick up one shorter end of the dough and fold it back over the dough, leaving one-third of the other end of dough still exposed. Brush the flour off and then fold the exposed dough over the folded side. The dough should have just be folded into a third of the original size.  Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes this relax and chill the dough.          Repeat the rolling and folding step above,  this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends until the dough is about 8 by 24 inches. Fold the dough in thirds again, as before.  Cover and freeze for another 20 minutes.           Give the dough a third rolling and folding, then put the dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, tucking.  Refrigerate overnight or 4-6 hours.
     Divide the dough.  Roll the dough into a long, narrow strips, 8 inches by about 44 inches. the dough  will stick as you roll, so liberally sprinkle with flour.  Cut the dough into 8 inch square
     Lightly roll each square into a 10 inch square and then cut on the diagonal.  Roll each portion into the croissant shape.
     Make the egg wash by whisking the eggs with 1 tsp. water, and lightly brush it on each croissant.     Refrigerate the remaining egg wash (you’ll be using it again).   Place the croissants in a cool dry place for about 2 hours, this will “proof” the croissants.  Wherever you proof them, be sure the temperature is not so warm that the butter melts out of the dough.   The croissants should at least double in size at this stage.
     Bake the croissants, at 425°F. Brush the croissants before baking  with egg wash a second time. After baking for 10 minutes, rotate the sheets and swap their positions with in the oven. Bake until the bottoms are an even brown, the tops are browned, and the edges are browned which should be about another 8 to 10 minutes.   Once baked let cook on wire racks.

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