#ElizabethPrueitt #ChadRobertson #Tartine @Tartine #ChronicleBooks @ChronicleBooks
Wow! I have been playing in the most lovely posh baking book! Tartine has some amazing and gorgeous projects to tackle when you’re feeling like something extraordinary and going the extra distance, when taking on the learning curve sounds fun. There’s also some much easier fare with a special spin when you’d just like to keep it simple, and enjoy a really nice treat.
They give measurements in both cups and weights where applicable, so you can work with whichever you prefer. Although it’s a little extra effort, I strongly prefer weights because it comes out perfectly every time.
The croissants in this book are the best I’ve ever made. The croissant dough, once you master it, is the base of other recipes in the book, so I’ll be making it again next week to make their breakfast rolls. They look way too tempting to resist. Thank you to Chronicle for letting me share the croissant recipe with you, and after that, I’ll share my most decadent croissant sandwich. It may seem horrifying to slice that beautiful croissant in half, but I promise it’s worth it! I’ve added in drawings of the folds and cuts for visual shorthand.
Reprinted from Tartine Revisited by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019
Croissants and Variations
Since the late 1990s, there has been a proliferation of small, local bakeries in most cities, and croissants have become one of the benchmarks of showing a baker’s knowledge and deft hand. Although there are a number of origin stories, with details hard to pin down, what is known is that croissants weren’t originally leavened. Raising croissants with yeast didn’t come about until the turn of the twentieth century; before this they were crescent shaped and laminated, made with a puff pastry–style dough. Like craft beer, cheese making, or bread making at home, dedicated bakers will find this dough very satisfying to make, with unlimited ways of rolling and flavoring and an improvement in lamination each time making the dough.
The real test of perfection is in the basic unadorned croissant, however. Most of the croissants you see today aren’t actually crescent shaped as the name implies they should be. At some point a straight-shaped croissant without the ends pointed in toward each other became known as an all-butter pastry, with the curved version indicating it was made with vegetable shortening. The cross section of a perfectly made croissant should have a center like honeycomb, with a discernible swirl pattern and a buttery, wheat-y, lightly yeasted scent. The outside should be shatteringly crisp, contrasted with a center that is pillowy soft. Should you have leftover croissants, they make a remarkable bread pudding; you also can use them to make almond croissants. Crossant dough can be made, shaped, and frozen for use in one project or various projects using this dough. Mixing matcha tea powder into the croissant dough produces a beautiful interior shade of green, and lightly scents the pastry.
Reduced-fat milk 3⁄4 cup │ 180 ml
Active dry yeast (not instant) 1⁄2 tsp
Bread flour 1 1⁄3 cups │ 175 g
Active dry yeast (not instant) 2 tsp
Reduced-fat milk 1 3⁄4 cups │ 420 ml
Sugar 1⁄3 cup │ 70 g
Salt 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
Bread flour 6 1⁄4 cups │ 810 g
Unsalted butter, melted 1 Tbsp
Unsalted butter, at cool room temperature 2 2⁄3 cups │ 600 g
Large egg yolks 3
Heavy cream 2 Tbsp
To make the poolish, in a small saucepan, warm the milk only enough to take the chill off (80 to 90°F [25 to 30°C]). Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour, mixing with a whisk until a batter forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, and let the mixture rise until almost doubled in volume, about 2 hours at moderate room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
To make the dough, transfer the poolish to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. While mixing on low speed, add the yeast and mix until incorporated. Pour in half of the milk, and all of the sugar and salt. Add the flour and mix on low speed for 15 to 20 seconds, until the mixture is 80 percent incorporated. Stop the mixer, and using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, pour in the rest of the milk and mix for 30 seconds, then add the melted butter. Continue to mix on low speed until a loose dough forms, about 2 minutes. Rest the dough, covered, for 30 minutes.
Mix the dough on low speed for 7 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Press the dough into a rectangle 2 in [5 cm] thick. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, or slip it into a plastic bag and seal. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 6 to 8 hours.
For the butter block, about 1 hour before you are ready to start laminating the dough, remove the 2 1⁄2 cups [595 g] butter from the refrigerator. Ten minutes before laminating the dough, put the butter between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper, or slip it into a large plastic bag and seal. With a rolling pin, pound the butter into a rectangle 8 by 12 in [20 by 30 cm]. This is the butter block.
Dust your work surface with flour. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto the floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring 12 by 18 in [30 by 46 cm]. Unwrap the butter block and place it in the center of the dough rectangle so the butter covers the dough, top to bottom, leaving 5 in [12 cm] of the dough exposed on each side of the butter. Fold the left third of the dough over the butter to the middle of the butter block; repeat with the right-hand third. Both sides of the dough should meet in the middle and completely cover the butter block. Using your fingers, push down along the middle seam to make a seal, then seal the top and bottom seams.
That weird stripe in my butter block?? I love both Kerrygold and Land O’Lakes extra creamy, and can never declare a winner, so my butter block has both and their color isn’t even close. ~Jen
Give the block a quarter turn so that the top and bottom seams are to the right and left. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 in [71 by 30 cm]. (I really think this should say 24”x12” because when you fold it into thirds, it results in the 8”x12” as indicated. ~Jen) Fold over the right third of the dough to the center, then fold the left third over the center, as if folding a business letter. The resulting rectangle should be 8 by 12 in [20 by 30 cm]. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and seal, and refrigerate for 11⁄2 to 2 hours to relax the gluten in the dough before you make the last fold or “turn.”
Clean the work surface, dust again with flour, and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap, and place the top and bottom seams to the sides on the floured surface. This time the dough will need to be a little longer, to make a “double turn.” Roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 in [71 by 30 cm]. Fold the right side in to meet the middle of the dough; fold the left side in to meet in the center next to the right. Then fold the left side on top of the right (like closing a book). The dough should measure 7 by 12 in [18 by 30 cm]. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and seal. Immediately place in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. If you intend to make the croissants the next morning, transfer the dough from the freezer to the fridge to thaw for 8 hours before shaping. Or you can leave the dough in the freezer for up to 1 week; just remember to transfer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.
When you are ready to roll out the dough, dust the work surface with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 10 by 30 in [25 by 76 cm] and 3⁄8 in [1 cm] thick. Using a pizza wheel or chef’s knife, cut the dough into long triangles measuring 10 in [25 cm] on each side and 3 to 4 in [7.5 to 10 cm] along the base.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. To shape each croissant, position a triangle with the base facing you. Positioning your palms on the two outer points of the base, carefully roll the base toward the point. To finish, grab the point with one hand, stretching it slightly, and continue to roll, tucking the point underneath the rolled dough so that the croissant will stand tall when you place it on the baking sheet. If you have properly shaped the croissant, it will have six or seven ridges. At this point, you can freeze the shaped pastries. Take them out the morning of or the day before baking, 12 to 18 hours in the refrigerator. They will hold in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours without rising.
As you form the croissants, place them, point-side down and well spaced, on the prepared baking sheet. Set the sheet in a draft-free area with relatively high humidity and let the pastries rise for 2 to 3 hours. The ideal temperature is 75°F [24°C]. A bit cooler or warmer is all right, as long as the temperature is not warm enough to melt the layers of butter in the dough, which would yield greasy pastries. Cooler is preferable, and will increase the rising time and with it the flavor development. A turned-off oven with a pan of hot water placed in the bottom is a good place to proof yeasted pastries. To make sure that no skin forms on the pastries during this final proofing, refresh the pan of water halfway through the rising.
During this final rising, the croissants should at least double in size and look noticeably puffy. If, when you press a croissant lightly with a fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly, the croissants are almost ready to bake. At this point, they should still be slightly “firm” and holding their shape and be neither spongy nor starting to slouch. If you put the croissants in the oven to rise, remove them now and set the oven to 425°F [220°C] to preheat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Ten minutes before you are ready to bake the croissants, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and salt until you have a pale yellow mixture. Using a pastry brush, lightly and carefully brush the yolk mixture on the ridges of the croissants, being careful not to allow the egg wash to drip onto the sheet.
Place the croissants into the oven, immediately turn down the temperature to 400°F [200°C], and leave the door shut for the first 10 minutes. Then, working quickly, open the oven door and rotate the sheet 180 degrees, and close the door. This rotation will help the pastries bake evenly. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes longer. The croissants are done when they are a deep golden brown on the top and bottom, crisp on the outside, and feel light when they are picked up, indicating that the interior is baked through.
Remove the croissants from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. They are best if eaten while slightly warm. If they have cooled completely, you can rewarm them in a 375°F [190°C] oven for 6 to 8 minutes to recrisp them before serving. You can also store leftover croissants in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, and then afterward in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Jen’s Croissant Sandwich
Top each croissant bottom with:
1 Tablespoon sticky raspberry preserves
1 big handful of arugula – extra points if you make the ugly stems face in
3 strips of perfectly cooked bacon
4 slices of juicy fresh peaches
2 slices (about 2 oz) of room temperature brie
Slather 1 more tablespoon of sticky raspberry preserves on the top bun and hand it to someone wonderful.
Back to that book…
My thoughts and pics of the bakes I tried:
1) Savory Scones – p 30. These are fantastic and makes the house smell lovely! They’re filled with bacon, gruyere, and chives. They were so easy to pull together that I had them in the freezer and then the oven while I thumbed through the rest of the book. I need to give them more space next time.
2) Chocolate-Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies – p 206. They are thin and chewy-crisp. Just delicious. They spread out quite a bit, so I’ll give them more spacing next time.
3) Croissants – p 37. These are amazing!!! These involve poolish at the beginning, so there’s great flavor development. The poolish needs at least 2 hours, then you create the dough and it rests for at least 6 hours before rolling in the butter block and chilling for 2 and 1 hour segments, and then shaping and rising for another 2-3 hours before baking, so it takes a little patience and discipline, but nothing’s overly difficult and it’s so worth it! Note: The rolling dimensions listed for the dough are 12”x18”, 12”x28” and 12”x28. I think the second set was a typo and it should say 12”x18”, 12”x24” and 12”x28 for the folds to work out correctly.
4) If you bake off half for breakfast, and save the other half to bake off for dinner, it makes the most decadent sandwich. I did arugula, smoked bacon, room temp brie, fresh peaches, and raspberry preserves.
5) Rocky Road Brownies – p 251 with sweet and salty pecans and meringuey, gooey, marshmallow ooze. These are amazing brownies. The brownie itself is on the super gooey, chocolatey end of the spectrum with unexpected balancing pops of tartness from dried cherries and nice saltiness from the candied pecans. I’m making them again as soon as it cools down for a firepit night with a glass of Pinot Noir.
6) Cranberry Upside-Down Cake – p 193. . This is a gorgeous light, buttery cake with tart punches from the cranberries, bright pops from the orange zest, and rich caramel sauce. Perfect easy fall or winter dessert. Or brunch!
I’ll update this as I play in the book more!
Some otdough) * Croissant Baklava Knots and Wreath – p 51 * Brioche Bread Pudding – p 75 (using the brioche dough on p 61) * Quiche – p 83 (using the flaky tart dough shell on p 286) * Chocolate Hazelnut Tart – p 105 (using the sweet tart dough shell on p 290) * Chocolate Souffle – p 161 * Teff Carrot Cake – p 185
*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.