Monday, December 31, 2012 | Time: 6:50 AM
I had a few other yummy treats in France, but these babies are definitely on the top of my list of delicious pastries. They are a bit labor intensive, but if you are a kitchen-holic like me, its not a problem to do a little work on them every day for two or three days.
They can be customized a lot of ways, too - add jam or chunks of chocolate in the middle, then roll up, for a sweet treat. Also I'm sure most of you have heard of 'pigs in a blanket', which is probably a white American thing - usually a hotdog wrapped in croissant dough, with cheese or whatever. For a savory snack, you could totally do these fancy-schmancy with some fancy sausage and hard to pronounce cheese, or something like that. Or... y'know... hot dog and American cheese. Whatever floats yours.
It sure beats the hell out of out-of-the-can Pillsbury type, lemme tell ya. Though the process may be intimidating for those who only dabble in pastry, PLEASE TRY THESE because you wont regret it.
Recipe and pictures for steps copied from Daily Delicious blog
1¼ teaspoon of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons canola oil (or other tasteless oil)
½ cup (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash
1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. The best way is as Julia Child does it in the video . It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag.
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.
21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. Roll the dough in to 5mm thick. Cut into 9x22 cm triangle.
38. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
39. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
40. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, creating 12 croissants in total (if you make the same size as me it will be less).
41. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
42. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
43. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
44. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
45. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
46. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This post was sponsored by Anti-Flag and lots of love.
Stovetop Popcorn - Way Easier Than Pie!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Time: 9:44 AM
I dont know why everyone doesn't do this. Or maybe they do and I just didn't know.
Stovetop popcorn is better than that stuff you buy in a bag. Even better than what you get at the movies. Probably the best popcorn you've ever tasted.
Trust me, you will never never never go back...
Also its a super cheap snack with endless flavor possibilities.
All you need are some popcorn kernels and a pot with a tight fitting lid, a little butter and, maybe, a dash of salt.
2-3 tb salted butter (or oil, but butter is best for flavor)
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
optional: 1 tsp salt (if using oil or unsalted butter)
Heat a large pot on medium/high heat, melt butter, put in 3-4 popcorn kernels. Cover with lid. When those kernels pop, pour in the rest of the kernels. Shake occasionally to distribute butter and to keep from burning. Pop until one or two seconds between pops, like you would in the microwave.
That's it. Pour those suckers into a bowl and add a little salt if you need to. Munch while watching, preferably, a wonderful romantic comedy like Cassanova or Moliere... <3
One good classic add in I like is garlic powder. Anything Mrs Dash is generally good too.
For a sweet treat, add: cinnamon+sugar, brown sugar+butter, warm peanut butter, warm nutella, maple syrup+ nutmeg.. etc etc...
There are several great recipes CDKitchen, too, check em out :)
Trying out new things
Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Time: 11:20 AM
Yay! This is my new layout! Only I cant seem to find the comments bit :( So for now, just leave me a MSG on the left there, in the chat window thing. I'm working on it folks. My HTML/XML skills are somewhat rusty.
Well anyhoo. Just wantd to post this and see what it looks like..
I LOVE YOU ALL! YOU KNOW IT!
Classic German Food
Saturday, November 7, 2009 | Time: 10:26 AM
Because, apparently, I'm mostly German. Or something. Well that's America for you.
I love German Food. Its so carby and fattening. Its just delicious. Eat German food! With Beer! With Ale! With all your SCA or Amtgard friends!
Eat it, not because its good for you, but because you just cant help yourself.
Anyways this is one of my fav things to eat so I'm sharing this recipe with you. I really like one-pot meals, this one took me about 30 mins to put together from start to eatin' time, for lunch. You could make a lovely dinner out of this, with german potato salad (see below) and some fresh bread and butter and... maybe a salad if you must. :)
Beer Brats and Apple/Kraut
1 pkg beer bratwursts (about 5 sausages)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 apples, diced
1 to 1 1/2 cups sour kraut
2 cups chicken stock (or water+bullion or Beer)
1 tbsp brown sugar
Pepper to taste (you probably dont need to add salt if you're using stock)
Brown sausages in your handy dandy iron skillet (or regular skillet), on both sides. Pour stock over the top and reduce heat to medium-low. Add apples, onion, kraut, sugar and spices. Cover and simmer for 30 mins or so till sausages are done.
Hot German Potato Salad
3-4 potatoes, sliced into disks
4 slices bacon
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp of parsley (also good with dill and oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes in water till soft (or microwave). Cook bacon and crumble. In a bowl combine potatoes, bacon, vinegar, water and spices. Let sit, covered for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors meld nicely.
Note: You can make the potato salad the night before (its good cold, too) and throw all the sausage stuff in the crock pot in the morning. The sausages will practically melt in your mouth at the end of the day.
((Serves about 4 people))
Not Exactly the Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Time: 9:19 AM
Let's face it, pumpkin pie is totally seasonal. And you get cravings for it, I know you do. Just once or twice a year, maybe, but even so.
I wanted to find a pumpkin pie recipe that was a little more interesting. Its a wonderful pie, but it never hurts to spruce it up a little. And yes, I have to do everything fancy.
This one isn't extreme or weird, really. Still canned pumpkin, still mostly dried and ground spices and even a store-bought pie crust. But instead of evaporated milk as is traditional in pumpkin pie, this recipe uses heavy cream (you could do half and half, instead). Also, a little surprise awaits you in the bottom of the crust - there are crushed, toasted pecans and mashed up ginger cookies.
I enjoyed the addition of a little spicy crunch at the bottom, as an interesting textural change to a classic custard pie.
Also, (see below pie recipe) this pie uses real whipped cream mixed with maple syrup for a topping. Yum Yum Yum.
Fancy Schmancy Pumpkin Pie
adapted slightly from JoyofBaking.com
1/4 c pecan peices
1/4 c ginger snaps (or almond cookies or even graham crackers), crushed
3 large eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or 1 - 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground mace (or fresh grated nutmeg, if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon salt1 premade pie shell (or make your own)
Preheat oven to 325, F.
Toast the pecans in a hot pan or in the oven. Pat the pecans and the crushed cookies into the bottom of the crust.
Beat the eggs, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix together with a whisk until combined. Pour into pie shell.
Bake 45-55 min until filling is set and crust is browned. Insert a butter knife into the side, should come out mostly clean.
Note: You may need to cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil to keep it from getting burned before the filling is set. Just keep an eye on it.
Maple Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Beat the whipping cream and syrup together with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread over cooled pie for best results :)
Friday, October 23, 2009 | Time: 3:22 PM
Its that time of year for ginger cookies. Really, you could eat these whenever but I always consider something baked with ginger nice when it starts to get cold out.
This is actually a recipe from Allrecipes.com, the famous Big Soft Ginger Cookies recipe. I really cant take credit for it but I adapted it just slightly by using freshly grated ginger instead of powdered ginger and adding raisins.
Keep in mind these aren't your traditional ginger-bread-man cookies. The dough is really sticky, more like a drop cookie. But these are yummy and take less time. You can still put candy faces on them if you want.
Soft Ginger Cookies
So easy its Cheesy... Yaki Onigiri
Friday, October 16, 2009 | Time: 12:42 PM
This onigiri recipe is sooooo easy and delicious and salty and crunchy and yum.
Anything yakitori (grilled) is awesome and onigiri (riceballs) are no exception. These are rice balls that have been grilled (or broiled) so theyre crispy and flavorful on the outside, with a chewy inside.
Theres a wonderful recipe for it in a book I've got called Lets Cook Japanese Food! Its a great book, if you like Japanese food, you got to check it out.
But this is a super cheesy easy, pratically hands-free, way of making them that I made up myself! Ha!
This recipe requires a rice cooker. You might be able to do this kind of thing on the stove though but its just easier to use a rice cooker if you've got one.
adapted from Lets Cook Japanese Food!
1-2 cups cooked rice
1/2 c soy sauce
1. Just cook your rice in a rice cooker and leave it. Turn the thing off, take the pan out. Let it cool into a big rice puck. When cool the rice will be totally stuck together.
2. Preheat your broiler on the stove (or a grill if you're extremely talented).
3. Transfer carefully to a plate or cutting board and slice the rice like you would a pizza - starting from the middle, make a diagonol slice, then another going the other way from the center again, to make a triangle shaped peice. Does that make sense? Anyway its like a pizza.
4. Brush the tops with soy sauce. Then, carefully place the slices on an oven proof pan (ie cookie sheet), upsidedown so you can brush the other side with soy sauce.
5. Broil, turning once, until both sides are brown.
These are delicious hot or cold. Wonderful in bentos or for picnics or just a fun snack with the youngling.
Note: How much rice you use depends on how thick your slices will be. I used 2 cups to do mine and they were very thick, so 1 cup would probably be plenty.
Also, you can wrap these guys in plastic wrap and freeze them nicely. To thaw, just let them thaw in the fridge for cold ones, or pan fry them on both sides for hot.
me me me me me meeeee....
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