Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Rosemary, Sea Salt and Crème Fraîche Croissants

Rosemary and Sea Salt Crème Fraîche  Croissants
for Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Rosemary, Sea Salt and Crème Fraîche Croissants 

Helen, in Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, lives in Nantucket, and yet she dreads the sea. Her father's girlfriend, Kate, makes delicious croissants that reflect Helen and her story.  The sea salt in the croissants represents the ties Helen has to the sea; the rosemary is the subtlety with which Helen learns about her heritage; and the crème fraîche embodies the richness of the setting, and the background that is based in mythology. These croissants are time consuming but oh, so worth the trouble.

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoons white sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cup warm milk
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
11/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
10-12 Tablespoons crème fraîche (see recipe below)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water

Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of white sugar. Set aside. Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar and the salt in warm milk.  Add the milk mixture to the flour along with yeast, oil and rosemary. Mix until smooth.  Cover and let rise until triple in volume.  Deflate and let rise again until doubled.  Deflate and chill 20 minutes.

Divide the dough in two. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch slices and knead with fingers until pliable but not oily. Pat each dough ball into a14x8 inch rectangle.  Smear the buter over the top two thirds of each rectangle. Don't worry about it looking pretty at this point. For each rectangle, fold the unbuttered third over the middle third and the buttered third down over that. Turn 90 degrees so that the folds are to the left and right.  Roll out to a 14x6 inch rectangle.  Fold in three gain.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour and deflate gently.  Roll to a 14x6 inch rectangle and fold again.  Turn 90 degrees and repeat.  Wrap the two rectangles separately from each other and chill two more hours.

To shape, roll one dough rectangle out to 20x5 inched. Cut in half crosswise and put one half in the fridge. When you have cut both dough rectangles, you should have three in the fridge and one to work with. Roll out to a 15x5 inch rectangle.  Cut into 5x5 inch squares.  Spread one tablespoon crème fraîche on each square. Cut each square in half diagonally.  Roll up each triangle to form a crescent. Place on a backing sheet.  Repeat with the other three chilled dough rectangles. Beat together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water.  Glaze the croissants with the egg wash.

Bake at 475' for 12-15 minutes. Recipe yields 2 dozen flaky and flavorful croissants.

Crème Fraîche

1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons buttermilk

Combine the whipping cream and buttermilk in a glass container.  Cover with a cloth and allow to stand on the counter for 24 hours.  Mix and store in the refrigerator.


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