February 9, 2011

Pierre Hermé 's Croissant

My jeans came today and I couldn't button all buttons no matter how hard I tried. Thanks Zappos for free shipping both ways! I'm going to return the smaller size which I couldn't none of the buttons even came close to button holes, but I want to keep the larger size for a while and pray that my diet works. Zappos gives you a whole year grace period to return an item, and it's all free. I am determined to fit into this pair because I really love it, which means I should stop making things like the above photo. Carb at its best.

Had a new year's potluck last Wednesday with ALA and I love occasions like this where I can pick any recipe I want to make and have people to eat the food. I've made croissants before using the recipe from Bread Bible and they were pretty good. I don't like doing the same recipe again if I was successful already. I like new challenges. I am a fan of Pierre Hermé and so I google searched Hermé and croissant and found this recipe. This is much more complicated than the bread bible recipe, but I do feel the recipe worth the extra effort.

Pierre Hermé's Croissant
(adapted from Le Cerise)

For about 24 croissants

600g all purpose flour
35g very soft butter
325g cold butter
4g instant yeast
15g whole milk powder
280-300g cold water (20°C ie room temperature)
40g sugar
6g salt

Sift the flour in a bowl: add the salt, the sugar, the milk powder, the soft butter and the yeast diluted in two thirds of the water. Work the dough only until all the ingredients are combined, no more [to avoid developing the gluten in the flour]. Add the remaining water if the dough seems too firm.

Cover the recipient with film wrap and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of the room (Ideally room should be at 22°C). The dough should double in size.

Punch down the dough by removing it from the bowl, pushing down on it with your fist to give it its initial size and put it back in the bowl. Cover with film wrap and store in refrigerator (4°C) for one hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Punch it down once more.

At this point you can either continue with the recipe or store the dough in the refrigerator for the next day. In either case, first chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.

When you're ready to continue with the recipe, work the cold butter with a spoon or stand mixer to make it more supple.

Roll the dough into a long rectangle, then spread half the butter on the lower two thirds of the rectangle and give it a simple turn with the butter then another simple turn without adding butter.

Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the fridge for 1 hour, and repeat the turns first with the remaining butter, then with no added butter.

The dough is now ready. Roll it to 2.5 millimeters thickness and cut triangles 20cm tall and 12cm wide (thus about 60g per croissant). Roll the triangles from the base, curve them into croissant shape and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, leaving 5cm of space between them. Let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature.

If you have never made croissant before, you probably have no idea what turning the dough means, please watch this PBS video first before you attempt this recipe.

Once the croissants have risen, brush them with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes in an oven which has been preheated to 350°F.

Optional flavorings:
You can add chocolates, almond paste, cheese to make different flavors. You simply just have to wrap them nicely in the middle of the dough when you are shaping it. Milk chocolate is my favorite.

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