Hot Cocoa Mix: Test 1

In this hot cocoa mix I aimed for a rich, lush cup of hot cocoa with the idea that adding real chocolate should improve flavor and texture. This recipe incorporates a lot of high quality bittersweet chocolate as well as cocoa to try to achieve a perfect chocolatey cup.
Total Time5 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 18 4 Tbsp servings

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Fine Mesh Sieve

Ingredients

  • cups cocoa powder
  • 18 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsps vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 cups dried milk

Instructions

  • The cocoa powder, vanilla, and chopped chocolate were processed in batches in the food processor until it all resembled a powder. This mixture was sifter and the process repeated until everything was fine enough to go through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. I had no issues with this process but if your mixture starts to get sticky or your chocolate looks like it’s melting, add some of the confectioner’s sugar to keep things a nice even powder.
  • The other ingredients were added in and everything was whisked together.
  • From my testing, I found that 4 Tbsp of mixture per cup of liquid is best. A thin milk, such as nonfat milk or a milk substitute is better because it’s less heavy and less dominant in the drink. For me I used half water and half whole milk because it’s what I had in the house.

Results

I think this resulted in a pretty decent cup of hot cocoa but it wasn’t anything to write home about. I thought that adding in real chocolate would give it a stronger chocolate flavor but in reality I found it to just add a sort of  grittiness as the chocolate had trouble melting despite the effort to powder it. This recipe was good but I think I could still do better.

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Hot Cocoa Mix

Meringue Based Mocha Marshmallows: Test 1

The vanilla marshmallows relied on the heated sugar and the gelatin for its structure but David Lebovitz has a different approach in which he also adds meringue as part of the base. I felt that my marshmallow adventures just wouldn’t be complete without trying this out.
Active Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 2 9” x 13” pans

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • Medium Pot
  • Small bowl

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 14 g Knox gelatin, two envelopes
  • ½ cup cold water
  • cup cold water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup egg whites, roughly 4 large egg whites
  • tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder

Instructions

  • Before starting on these marshmallows I advise that the pans in which the marshmallows are set are prepared. They were first coated in baking spray and then dusted in a mixture of corn starch, powdered sugar, and cocoa.
  • In a small bowl, the gelatin was sprinkled over ½ cup of water to allow the gelatin time to bloom and soften.
  • While the gelatin is softening, the egg whites and sugar were added to the standing mixer and whipped until very thick. The mixer was then turned off while I attended the next steps.
  • In a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, I mixed the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cups of water. This was heated over medium high heat.
  • When the sugar mixture reached 240°F, the mixer was started again on high speed. As the sugar reached 245°F, it was poured into the whipped eggs carefully to avoid hitting the whisk so it wouldn’t splatter all over the mixing bowl.
  • Into the same pot I used for the sugar, I added the bloomed gelatin, salt, and espresso powder. The residual heat of the pot should be enough to melt the gelatin and dissolve the espresso.
  • When fully melted, this last concoction was added to the mixer and everything continued being whipped until fully cooled. Unlike the marshmallows that don’t use egg whites, these are much more forgiving timewise. You want to make sure you really do whip this non-stop until it is fully cooled.
  • Finally, the now cool mixture was spread to the best of my ability between the two prepared pans and allowed to set overnight, uncovered.
  • Cutting these up was not easy, it was like they didn’t want to be pretty. I used a coconut oiled knife to try to get clean cuts but to no avail. I will have to try using a pizza cutter or scissors next time.

Results

These marshmallows have their pros and cons. 
The pros:
  • They are much less sensitive to timing since you have to whip them till they’re fully cooled anyway
  • They have this spongy texture that awoke a nostalgic craving for Krembo (look it up, they’re delicious).
The cons:
  • They take an extra step to achieve.
  • If you don’t cool the mixture completely, you will end up with a “soggy bottom”. No one likes a wet marshmallow.
  • I couldn’t get them to cut pretty. The photo is nice and all but you can clearly see that they are not perfect little squares.
The neutral:
They have a different texture. When you crash them with your fingers they do have some give and they will bounce back but you will also feel the tiny bubbles popping. Those poor tasty bubbles….
Side note: The amount of coffee I added to this recipe was not quite enough. I strongly recommend doubling the espresso powder.

References

Parent Notebook

Marshmallows

Sugar-Free Tangerine Marshmallows: Test 1

These marshmallows won’t spike your insulin but still taste great thanks to allulose! You can’t even tell the difference between these and their sugary counterpart.
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 day
Print Recipe
Yield: 1 9” x 13” pan

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • 9“ x 13” pan
  • Small sauce pan
  • Candy thermometer

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 ½ cups allulose
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp LorAnn Oils tangerine oil flavor
  • 2 drops orange gel food coloring

Instructions

  • 1/2 cup water and the gelatin were added to the standing mixer bowl and mixed briefly using the whisk attachment.
  • In a sauce pan fitted with a candy thermometer, the remaining 3/4 cups of water, 2 1/2 cups of allulose, and salt were mixed and set on medium high heat.
  • The sugar mixture was heated until it reached 230° F which is not quite but almost a soft ball stage for allulose. Heating it more would have been better but unlike regular sugar, allulose begins to burn at a lower temperature.
  • While waiting for the sugar to get to temperature, I prepared the pan by generously coating it in coconut oil.
  • Once the sugar reached the temperature, the mixer was started on a medium low speed, and it was poured carefully against the side of the bowl into the mixer. The goal here is to avoid hitting the spinning whisk which will scatter the sugar mixture against the sides of the bowl.
  • The mixer speed was then increased to medium high and whipped until the mixture was airy and pale. The tangerine flavoring and a few drops of orange gel food coloring were added and the mixture continued to whip until lukewarm to the touch.
    Be careful with flavoring, this particular bran I used required just a few drops to impart enough flavor and more was overwhelming.
  • When thick and cool enough, the mixture was poured out into the prepared pan and left uncovered overnight.
  • Using additional coconut oil and an oiled knife, the marshmallows were cut to the desired size and very lightly coated in corn starch. This is optional but does help a good bit with keeping the marshmallows separated.

Results

These marshmallows came out incredible. Almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Allulose is always my choice for a non-sucrose (table sugar) sweetener because it has nearly no off flavors and is not poisonous to animals, unlike xylitol. The texture of these marshmallows is also very light, bouncy, and jiggly. Even these videos can’t really portray how nice these came out but I hope it helps at least.
 

References

Parent Notebook

Marshmallows

Vanilla Marshmallows: Test 1

These classical vanilla marshmallows will blow away the store bought version. Light, airy, delicate, and richly vanilla flavored.
Active Time30 minutes
Total Time1 day
Print Recipe
Yield: 1 9″ x 13″ pan

Equipment

  • 9″ x 13″ pan or quarter sheet pan
  • Standing mixer
  • Medium Pot
  • Candy thermometer
  • PAM baking spray

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 3 packets Knox unflavored gelatin
  • cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsps vanilla paste
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Before starting, it’s best to prepare the container where the marshmallow will set. I used a quarter sheet pan, sprayed with baking spray and dusted with a mixture of 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup corn starch. You want to dust the pan generously with no bald patches or even thin patches. Marshmallow is very very sticky.
  • The gelatin and 1/2 cup of water were added to the standing mixer bowl, mixed, and allowed to bloom.
  • In the meantime, the corn syrup, sugar, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of water were added to a medium pot set with a candy thermometer over medium high heat.
  • You do not have to mix the sugars but you can before heating. I found that regardless, as the mixture heats, it all mixes together. The sugar mixture was brought to 240°F.
  • As my mixture got close to the desired temperature I got the mixer running with a whisk attachment on medium low speed. On my mixer this was roughly speed 3-6 out of 12. Once the temperature is achieved, the sugar was carefully poured down the side of the mixer bowl. Be careful not to have the sugar mixture hit the whisk as it’s spinning by because this will throw it around the bowl instead of getting it into the he gelatin. This is also why I prefer to keep the speed relatively low while I’m pouring the hot sugar in.
  • Once all the sugar mixture was added, I Increased the speed to medium high, which on my mixer is somewhere in the 8-10 range. Then, I left it to whip for a while.
  • At this point it was good to add my flavoring. For this recipe I used vanilla but other flavored extracts can be added at this point or gel food coloring if desired.
  • I let the marshmallow continue to whip until the bowl was only lukewarm. I don’t like to let it cool further because it makes it hard to handle the marshmallow once it starts to set or when it’s whipped too much. This is one of those situations where a little experience helps. You want the marshmallow thick with enough air whipped in but not so thick that it’s hard to spread or it starts to set on you.
  • When the marshmallow was cool enough to handle and whipped enough to my liking, it was scraped out into he prepared quarter sheet and left uncovered for at least a few hours, though better if overnight.
  • Finally, the marshmallow was cut using a pizza cutter because it’s easier than using a knife, and generously dusted with more of the corn starch and powdered sugar mixture.

Results

This yielded a very light and delicate marshmallow. I make these every year for the holidays and enjoy it immensely as do all of my relatives and friends. If, for some reason, you’re looking for that store bought texture, feel free to let these treats go stale and you will have a very similar product. (That was definitely a back handed insult to store bough marshmallows)

Refrences

Parent Notebook

Marshmallows

Pita Bread: Test 1

These pitas were the first official test but I’ve made them before. They are so simple and fool proof that I don’t know that they will need a retest. I couldn’t recommend this recipe more for real Israeli pitas. I do usually aim for fairly small pitas but you can definitely make them larger without much fuss.
Active Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 20 pitas

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

  • 32 g (1 1/2 Tbsps) granulated sugar
  • 7 g 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 kg all-purpose flour
  • tsp salt
  • Tbsp olive oil
  • cups water

Instructions

  • To keep the dough from drying out I brought out all of my kitchen towels (6-8) and had cut out 20 roughly 6×6 inch sheets of parchment on which my rolled out pitas could rest.
  • Sugar, yeast and 1/2 cup lukewarm water were added to the standing mixer and allowed a few minutes for the yeast to activate. You can tell it’s ready for use when a thin layer of yeast foam forms on the surface.
  • Once the yeast was ready, the flour, salt, olive oil and 1 cup of water were added to the mixer. The dough hook was attached and the mixer started on low to get everything incorporated. As the mixer was running, another 1 1/2 cup of water was added. The mixture was pretty sticky at this point but let the mixer run another 5 minutes or so and it should stiffen a bit and become more easily handled. Keep the dough covered in the next few steps so it doesn’t dry out.
  • The dough was divided into 20 equal pieces. I had balls of dough at roughly 80g each. You don’t have to weigh them out if you’re not as obsessive as I am. You’re welcome to simply cut the dough to roughly the right size and take the risk of making uneven pitas, disappointing your parents and burning in the fires of bread hell. As you’re dividing the dough, keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Take each piece of dough and roll it out to roughly 1/4 inch thickness and as round as you can and place the rolled pita on a piece of parchment. I highly recommend not using too much flour so you don’t end up with a thick flour coating on your final product but using enough that the dough is thoroughly covered so it doesn’t stick. Delicate balances in standards are part of being human, you should be used to it by now or it’s time to come to terms with the hypocrisy. For bread God’s sake, keep the dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
  • I heated up as many skillets as I could get to the same temperature (three). I don’t have actual temperature readings but on my electric stove top, exact medium is the setting that works best. You want to get your pitas to get a nice deep brown coloring after 3ish minutes.
  • When my skillets were heated enough and/or I got tired of waiting, the pitas were removed from the parchment and placed in the pan with the parchment side down. This is not arbitrary, the parchment side is wetter. I found that if the wetter side faced up, I had more large localized bubbles forming instead of the beginning of a nice pocket.
  • The pita was left alone until a large bubble began to form. Giving it enough time is the key to creating a good pocket. If you’re failing to create pockets, give you pitas more time on this first side. Once a decent sized bubble was forming, I flipped it and let it keep cooking until the pita puffs fully into a little bread pillow.
  • When my pitas ran into issues and they wouldn’t rise I would often try to flip the pita again. This fixed the issue about 50% of the time. Once in a while, the pita just refused. These unpuffed pitas became great snacks while cooking or for those visitor that come sniffing about to see if maybe there are any discards. With practice you can eliminate disgraceful flat pitas but then what will you feed your nosy visitors?
  • Lastly, you can tell your pita is done cooking when there are no shiny bits of dough anywhere. They will get all matte all around. Shiny=raw dough, matte=cooked.

Results

These pitas come out the way I remember them from my childhood in Israel. They are fluffy, pillowy, light, and pocketed. I also love that this recipe does not require any rising time for the dough and instead takes advantage of the amount of time it takes to handle each piece of dough and the natural process of creating this bread.

References

Parent Notebook

Pita Bread

Jam filled croissants: Test 2

This round I’m testing a jam filling that is much lower in moisture in order to not impact the bake of the croissants while still retaining the spirit of the initial goal to have fruit as the filling.
Total Time5 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 croissants

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of basic croissant dough
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 Tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground walnuts
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

  • After the major fail of test 1 I was brainstorming how to get jam into my croissant without the detrimental effects of the extra moisture. After my experience with how drying freeze-dried strawberries can be from my two-toned dough experiment, I thought this might be the exact effect I need for the jam filling. I mixed my jam with the freeze dried strawberries and for a little extra texture and to mellow out the flavor I also added some ground walnuts.
  • For this test I made the croissants in a roll shape by cutting out my croissant dough into 3 x 6 inch rectangles and adding about 1 Tablespoon of filling into each one.
  • The croissants were treated the same as in the Basic Croissant Dough: Test 2 and allowed to rise for 2 hours and slightly jiggly, coated in egg wash made from beating 1 egg with 1 Tablespoon of water, and baked at 390°F for 22 minutes.

Results

This time the jam filling worked so well! The strawberry flavor was enhanced by the freeze dried strawberries and the mixture was almost creamy due to a thicker texture. The walnuts were mostly drowned out but I think it still helped in mellowing out the flavor and tartness of the strawberry mixture. If you really want some jam inside of your croissants, I 100% recommend adding some freeze dried fruit to reduce the moisture. The croissants baked great and had great flavor.

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Croissants

Jam Filled Croissants: Test 1

I really wanted my croissants to have a filling. I knew this wouldn’t be very straight forward based on the type of fillings I usually see inside but I wanted to experience first hand what happens if I just add some jam to my croissants.
Total Time2 minutes
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 croissants

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of basic croissant dough
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

  • This was a simple test to see if I could add some jam to my croissants and have them still bake well. I tried to add the jam in two ways. For the first, I rolled out my croissant dough and cut out my triangles. I placed about a teaspoon of jam at the base of the triangle before rolling it into a croissant shape. Definitely the first issue I ran into was how little jam a croissant can handle while raw.
  • For my second test I spread the jam across the whole triangle of croissant dough before rolling it into a croissant.
  • The croissants were treated the same as they were in the Basic Croissant Dough: Test 1 and allowed to rise for 2 hours until slightly jiggly, coated in egg wash made from beating 1 egg with 1 Tablespoon of water, and baked at 390°F for 20 minutes.

Results

These tests did not work out though I’m not socked. The jam added too much moisture and resulted in a poor rise as well as a poor bake. Do not do this! I still really wanted to get some jam in these so I’m thinking already of some ways to reduce the jam moisture.

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Croissants

Two-Toned Croissant: Test 2

After failing test 1 with the freeze-dried strawberries, I decided to step back a bit and try a simpler version in which the basic croissant dough, sans embedded butter, were colored with simple gel food coloring. This test was significantly easier with results that were much more satisfying.
Total Time1 hour
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 Croissants

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of basic croissant dough
  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 35 g water
  • 35 g whole milk
  • 14 g granulated sugar
  • 10 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 g active dry yeast
  • 3 g salt
  • Gel food color

Instructions

  • To a large bowl, I added the flour, water, milk, sugar, softened butter, yeast, and salt. the mixture was incorporated gently and then kneaded by hand until it was smooth and elastic. As I was forming the dough I added some gel color until I achieved the desired brightness. I wasn’t using high quality food coloring and ended up having to use more gel then I would normally have liked. It did add a bit of moisture to the dough but I ignored it as it wasn’t significant enough. That said, I recommend using better quality gel food coloring is possible as it will be easier to work with and produce better color.
  • When the croissant dough was ready, I simply rolled out this colored dough to about 1/4 inch thickness before pulling the croissant dough from the fridge. The colored dough was placed on top of the croissant dough so that the croissant dough was fully covered before rolling them both out and shaping as desired.
  • The colored dough, once rolled over the basic dough, was treated the same as the basic croissant dough. The baking time and instructions were not altered for the two toned croissants. Aside from the addition of the colored dough layer, the croissants were shaped and baked as described in Basic Croissant Dough: Test 2.

Results

The basic premise of the two-toned croissant is very simple. Crete a small batch of the croissant dough and color it. Add this dough over the laminated croissant dough and roll out as usual. This experiment resulted in a vibrant colored dough which retained its elasticity. I have never seen it create the same air pockets as the rest of the croissant dough but I suspect this is because I don’t fold any butter into it or laminate the dough. I suspect the extra moisture from the low quality gel food coloring didn’t do the dough any favors either. 

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Croissants

Two-Toned Croissant: Test 1

This project was my first venture into how bakeries make those beautiful two toned croissants with that pretty swirl of color running through the interior. Turns out the concept is not complicated, a second colored dough is simply rolled on top of the basic dough. Here I attempt to create color and flavor using freeze-dried strawberries because jumping into the deep end is the only way I know to learn to swim.
Total Time1 hour
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 Croissants

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of basic croissant dough
  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 35 g water
  • 35 g whole milk
  • 14 g granulated sugar
  • 10 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 g active dry yeast
  • 3 g salt
  • 17 g freeze dried strawberries, ground

Instructions

  • To my standing mixer, equipped with the dough hook, I added the flour, water, milk, sugar, softened butter, yeast, salt, and strawberries. Then I let my mixer run on low speed for 5 minutes. Because of how little dough there was, the mixer was not effective and I switched to hand kneading. To counteract the extra flour required and the dried strawberry powder, I added a bit of water to the dough as I worked it.
  • When the croissant dough was ready, I simply rolled out this colored dough to about 1/4 inch thickness before pulling the croissant dough from the fridge. The colored dough was placed on top of the croissant dough so that the croissant dough was fully covered before rolling them both out and shaping as desired.
  • The colored dough, once rolled over the basic dough, was treated the same as the basic croissant dough. The baking time and instructions were not altered for the two toned croissants. Aside from the addition of the colored dough layer, the croissants were shaped and baked as described in Basic Croissant Dough: Test 1.

Results

The freeze dried strawberries were not ideal for this purpose. Though they did produce a lovely color and had a please albeit mild flavor the resulting dough was a failure. It was a great proof of concept for creating this effect but, unfortunately, the strawberries were strongly hygroscopic, meaning that they strongly absorbed water. This left the dough tough and it lost its elasticity. What I was left with was a dough that cracked as the croissants rose. You can clearly see this in both the raw and cooked photos above. I would also add that the flavor added was not significant enough to make further testing really worth it.

References

Exploratory Kitchen

Parent Notebook

Croissants

Basic Croissant Dough: Test 2

Croissants are by no means an easy bake but they are worthy of their time and effort. This is my second round of working with the croissant dough. This time I’ve tweaked the refrigeration time, changes how I cut the dough, and how I baked the final pastries.
Total Time3 days
Print Recipe
Yield: 12 croissants

Equipment

  • Standing mixer
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Paring knife
  • Ruler

Ingredients

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 140 g water
  • 140 g whole milk
  • 55 g granulated sugar
  • 40 g softened unsalted butter
  • 11 g active dry yeast
  • 12 g salt
  • 280 g cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

Day 1

  • To my standing mixer, equipped with the dough hook, I added the flour, water, milk, sugar, softened butter, yeast and salt. Then I let my mixer run on low speed for 5 minutes. The only thing to keep in mind in this step is that over-mixing your dough will make it less elastic which will make stretching and folding later on more difficult. This is why I kept the kneading to 5 minutes or less on low speed.
  • Once the dough was ready, I turned it out onto some plastic wrap, wrapped it tightly, and refrigerated it. Because I did this, you guys now get to know that this is a bad idea. Yeasted dough expands, do not wrap this dough in plastic, instead put it into a large bowl with a lid. This will give it space to expand while keeping it from drying out.

Day 2

  • This is definitely the most work intensive day for this project and you need about 3 hours of time. I started by taking out my butter from the fridge or even freezer and weighing. The butter I use is very soft (Kerrygold) due to its high fat content. If you’re using a store brand butter, it will be hard to work with straight out of the freezer.
  • Once I had the correct amount of butter ready, I start slicing it into half inch thick slices. I tried hard to keep them the same width to make it easier later. I arranged these slices into a square roughly 6-7 inches wide on some parchment paper to make the butter easier to handle. Don’t over think this part because you’re going to be rolling this out and cutting it anyway.
  • I then rolled my butter out to about 9-10 inches between two sheets of parchment. At this stage my butter chunks fused into a large slab. I cut the edges to make the slap more square and Placed the cut bits back on top and reroofed. I used the parchment paper and my fingers to shape it as well. Do whatever you can to get this thing mostly square and roughly 9 inches on each side.
  • Once my butter was a shape I was happy with, it went into the fridge while I worked on rolling out my dough. I fished out the dough from the previous day which should have puffed a bit overnight.
  • I rolled this dough out into a 13 to 14 inch square on a very lightly floured surface. Try to use only as much flour as is necessary to avoid toughening your dough as you repeatedly Rolls it out. If you want advice on how to Roll a square successfully, I’m sure there are good YouTube videos out there. I am still mastering this skill myself but essentially I found that a combination of things gives decent results. When you put your dough on your surface it will be rounded. Use your rolling pin to indent a cross in the dough and then rolling from the middle out towards each corner. This will get your shape started. Shape it with your hands or bench scraper as you go and try to roll mostly from the middle. Binge watch some of Great British Baking Show, they have examples of this every so often and it’s a great show!
  • Once I was happy with my dough square, I got that butter out and put it so that the corners of my butter were against the sides of my dough square. Like a buttery diamond on my square dough. Then I folded the corners of my dough to the middle so the butter was fully enveloped
  • My butter encased in dough was then rolled, still from middle out, along just one axis until I had a long sheet that was about 30 inches in length. I then folded it into thirds like a letter and placed it on a small cutting board. It was then covered in plastic to keep it from drying out and placed int he fridge for 1 hour.
  • After an hour, the dough was brought out again and rolled out again To roughly 30 inches. I like to keep my open ends facing up and down and rolling it out towards the open ends. This way each time I fold, fridge and roll, it is rolled in a different direction. This dough is rolled out so much that resting the dough, relaxing the gluten, and the rolling direction are very important.
  • Again, the dough was folded in thirds and refrigerated for an hour.
  • Steps 7 and 8 were repeated one more time and left the dough to rest in the fridge overnight. If you’re following along with the math, this will results in 27 butter-dough layers.

Day 3

  • Finally, this is the day when I got to shape and bake my croissants. Get ready to tap into those geometry classes. The dough was removed from the fridge and rolled out to a 1/8 inch thickness. As I rolled the dough and handled it, it continued to proof and thicken. This is expected and nothing to worry about but I aimed for a thinner dough this time to avoid the oversized croissant issue I had in Test 1.
  • I trimmed the sides of the dough so that I had straight edges. For my second attempt I decided to get more creative with my shapes. I made the same rolls as I did in the first test but I cut them to 3 by 6 inches this time. I also tried these fancy square pastries that I topped with fruit which were 4 x 4 inches before cutting and folding the corners over.
  • These for made for an event for which I knew time would be tight. Previous testing has shown that once formed, this dough freezes very well and so I tightly wrapped the formed croissants in the baking sheet with plastic wrap. On baking day I defrosted them for 2 hours before proofing. This whole step is completely optional though.
  • Once the croissants were formed and arranged on the baking sheet, I whisked together the egg and about half a cup of water to create my egg wash which I strained and added to a spray bottle. The croissants were sprayed with the egg wash to prevent the dough from drying during their long rise. I recoated them as I felt necessary to keep the croissant from drying out and once more just before baking.
  • The croissants were left to rise for 1 hour. You can tell when they’re fully proofed when the croissants are a bit jiggly when you poke them. Unfortunately I ran out of time and they were slightly under proofed but they seemed to still be good. A full 2 hours proof would have been better.
  • To reduce the browning on top which was severe in Test 1, I moved my croissants to the lower third of the oven. Keep in mind that this might be a requirement specific to my oven but do a test batch and see how your oven works for you. To ensure they are fully baked they were baked at 390 for 22 minutes.

Results

These were very successful. The flavor was good, they did not expand as much in the oven though that may be in part to them being under-proofed. Despite the time constraint, they came out quite good and very close to what I would expect from a real bakery.

References

Parent Notebook

Croissants