Lately, I’ve been getting an urge to develop my cooking and baking technique. My recipes are quite restricted to put in the oven, or put in a pan. While this is convenient for me in terms of practicality (as for most home cooks), my curiousity for food and cooking has prompted me to want to learn alternate ways of making things to achieve a variety of results.
Cooking/baking is considered by many to be the most applicable topic in terms of the range of subjects it covers, and a lot of people argue it should be emphasised more in schools as a method of applying maths, science and even geography and history. My degree is in Education Studies, hence my interest in this, but by expressing my own views, this will soon turn into a political dispute post, rather than a recipe post, so I’ll leave you just with the thought to ponder on.
I’m not very experienced at pastry, and it is one of those things that the proportions need to be pretty accurate to achieve the right results. This recipe is based on the wikihow guide on making croissants, but from my research believe that the method I used is easier, and more conventional than the one they suggest.
I will do my best to explain the process of making the pastry, but I used the same method to make the pastry, as one would use to make puff pastry, for which many tutorials can be found online. Similarly, if you can’t understand my explanation of how to roll the croissant into shape, there are plenty enough video tutorials to show you how.
I don’t know if i need to tell you, making pastry can be pretty time consuming, you’ll need an entire morning/afternoon to do this (ie don’t expect to be able to make this for breakfast for that day unless you get up at 3am)
Ingredients (makes 8 medium/large croissants):
1 tsp dry active yeast
3 tablespoons warm water
1 tsp caster sugar
1 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup cacao (or cocoa will work just the same)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1. Mix the flour, ginger, cacao, sugar and salt in a bowl, then mix up. Pour onto the table and spread it out, making a well in the middle.
2. In a seperate bowl, mix the yeast with the water and let it sit for a few minutes.
3. Pour the milk and yeast liquid into the well and incorporate the dry mixture (it is helpful to have a dough scraper). Keep folding the dry ingredients in from the sides and when it is all incorporated, leave to sit for about 20 minutes, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the pastry into a cross shape about 1cm thick (roll out each corner to a diagonal), then place the shortening in the middle, and fold over the corners to form a parcel. Cling film and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
5. Now you must begin turning the pastry. To do this, roll out the pastry evenly to about 1cm thick then fold into thirds, by bringing one end of the pastry two thirds of the way over, and then folding the remaining third over. Use the rolling pin to seal all the edges and then repeat this the other way. refrigerate for 30 minute, then repeat 2 more turns, then refrigerate and a final 2 turns then refrigerate, for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably overnight..
6. The pastry is now ready to use. Roll out into a rectangle, making sure that you do not make the pastry too thin, as the layers are what will make it rise.
7. Cut into rectangular quarters, then diagonally slice each quarter to make a long thin triangle.
8. Take the shortest edge of the triangle and roll towards the point to form your croissants. You don’t need to do this too tightly.
9. Put the croissants in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 160 degrees C.
10. Remove from oven and serve! Optional, you can glaze with golden syrup (I did not do this), it will give the croissants the glaze that egg wash would, but with an added sweetness.