Saturday, 5 January 2013
Goat's Butter Croissants for the New Year
Its some time now since we have eaten croissants...with so much butter in them, and an intolerance to cow's milk and produce, we have steered clear of them even when abroad on holiday. When in France and even other continental destinations, I love to wander round the patisseries trying to judge where the best were made, and trying to decided which type I like best. Difficult one this, sometimes they seem to be more bready and less fatty, its just a matter of local likes and the baker's style. Much walking is needed to counterbalance the calories!
Wanting to practise this art, and being encouraged by Kong, I started a batch on New Year's Eve with the detrempe, spent New Year's Day doing the turns, and baked the croissants on 2nd January. It did not take long, with the dough resting and cooling in the fridge overnight.
Tips which were useful: Kong's envelope method for the butter, used by others of course, and the envelope of clingfilm so that the dough stays the right shape. I made half the quantity, as I knew I had little room in the freezer. It will be really worthwhile making the whole batch and finding room to freeze them for later weekends. One each is just fine with a nice plate full of fruit to start with.
My findings: the croissants freeze very well, and warmed up from frozen at Gas Mark 2, whilst you lay the table and make the coffee is perfect. Home made Apricot Jam is the best flavour to have with the croissants. I made seven croissants, with two mini ones from the end trimmings....which we tasted that evening. I used Delamere Goat's butter which is less salty than my usual St Helen's Farm butter. I ought to try St Helen's Farm next time, since I can get that brand locally.
At Kenilworth Market, I noticed the French Baker was probably using his croissant dough to make 'French Pastries' just the same as Danish Pastries, so I shall try a couple out next time.
Things which I may do differently next time: one egg wash only, as hubby prefers a paler croissant, I will do half with the double egg wash, the first is applied as the croissants start their rise, and the second just before they go into the oven.
Just after Christmas I made my first batch of Flaky Pastry for a long time....just superb. I made a large pie with roast chicken, ham, and aspagus and invited Lita and her friend round to help us out....eating our way through Christmas goodies....