So, I finally made the croissant dough from scratch, and the fillings after all my tests. They turned out so good, though we had some high altitude problems with rising.
22 ounces (about 4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) instant yeast yeast
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) milk at room temperature
4 ounces (1/2 cup) half-and-half at room temperature
3 Tbsp flour
12 ounces cold Euro-style (cultured) butter
In a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, combine 2 cups of the flour with the salt, sugar and yeast. Combine the milk and half-and-half and add it to the flour mixture. Beat on low for about 2 minutes until a batter is formed. Add the additional flour a few ounces at a time until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not use all the flour). Switch to the dough hook (or turn it out onto a lightly floured board) and knead on mediums speed for about five minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap refrigerate it for an hour.
About half an hour before you’re ready to roll the pastry, take the butter out of the refrigerator. Let it sit on the counter for about twenty minutes to soften slightly (less time will be required if it’s warm in your kitchen). While you’re waiting, make two double-layered pieces of plastic wrap. When the butter has softened slightly, place it on one of the plastic wrap pieces and sprinkle the flour over it. Lay on the other piece of plastic wrap and begin pounding the butter with a rolling pin, beating, folding and mashing as demonstrated in the How to Laminate Dough post under the Techniques menu. You want to end up with a large, flat slab with all the flour incorporated.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and proceed according to the How to Laminate Dough tutorial, making your butter and dough envelope. Give the dough two “turns” — letter-style folds — one after the other. After than, cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour. The last turn is a style not shown in the tutorial, but it’s call the “book” turn. It’s not difficult, it simply involves folding each edge of the sheet in toward the middle, then folding the one side over the other, closing the dough mass like a book. The end result is that the dough is folded into four layers.
The folding done, return the dough to the refrigerator and let it chill at least four hours before using.
2 medium apples, peeled/cored/chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
Saute in a pan until tender
3/4 cup + 2 T sugar
20 ml light corn syrup
100 ml water
100 g slivered almonds
Add sugar, corn syrup and water to a small heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let the mixture turn dark amber. Do not stir, if you must mix ingredients gently tilt pan back and forth. Once it turns dark amber stir in almonds, and dump onto a parchement lined cookie sheet to cool.
Once cooled, pulse in food processor until you reach desired consistency. I like a little crunch so I didn’t make as fine as flour.
Almond Creme Patisserie
2/3 cup milk
1 t vanilla bean paste
33 g sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for assembly of croissants)
10 g all-purpose flour
Gently heat milk and vanilla bean paste in sauce pan. In a separate bowl mix sugar, flour and egg yolks together. Remove heated milk from stove top and whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Return to heat and let boil. Once boiling turn heat to low and simmer 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the custard so that a film will not form.
Dark Chocolate cut into a 1/4 inch wide by 2 inch bar
Divide dough into three equal parts. Place 2 in the fridge and only work with one at a time. For dough one: Roll dough into a thin rectangle and fill with pastry creme and praline topping. Fold in half and roll again. Cut into six equal strips and shape into a swirl. Top with almonds. Let rise until nearly doubled.
Dough two: Roll into a rectangle and cut into 6 equal squares. Place in a large muffin tin, add apple filling and top with sugar. Let rise until nearly doubled.
Dough Three: Roll into a rectangle and cut into six rectangles about 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Roll with chocolate in the center and place the seam down. Brush with egg white and let rise until nearly doubled.
Preheat oven to 375 F, bake each one for 20 minutes, turning half way through. Let cool and serve.
Almond Praline Roll
Apple Kouign Amann
Pain au Chocolat