Nothing Un-Yummy: Croissants, Morning Buns and Fruit-Nut Bread
In celebration of the first three-day weekend of the new year, I made a batch of laminated dough, using Txfarmer’s deservedly celebrated poolish croissant formula and procedures (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection). As with my first attempt at this challenging but rewarding treat (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24692/pâtisserie-lamentation), I split the batch in two and made some croissants and some morning buns.
Again I found Txfarmer’s detailed notes to be very useful, especially the notes about being patient with the dough and letting it rest when it doesn’t want to be stretched to the required dimensions, and letting the shaped pastries proof fully (over 3.5 hours for me).
Coupla notes about my procedures: I used Plugra butter, but about 30 grams less fold-in butter than Txfarmer specifies. I trimmed the dough sheets liberally before each fold to get nice square, layered edges (more on the trimmings below). I let the dough rest overnight in the fridge after the final fold. I haven’t been baking for that long, and each experience with a rolling pin is an education. I’m getting better at keeping the dough sheets regular in shape and even in thickness.
The results were very satisfactory—not significantly better than my first try, but at least as good (repeatability is an encouraging thing). Thanks, again, Txfarmer!
The morning buns pretty much followed the Tartine formula (linked in my earlier blog post), except I left out the orange zest and used a bit more butter in the muffin cups, so the bottoms of the buns are more caramelly.
Since I had about 40 or 50 grams of dough scraps, I decided to try something different. I mooshed the scraps into a ball, rolled it out to about 3/16” thick, covered the sheet with grated Jarslberg cheese, rolled it up like a jelly roll, sliced 1” rounds, proofed for about 90 minutes, and baked them at 350 for about 40 minutes. These are delectable little cheese wheels, crispy and flaky outside and tender inside…very cheesy. Next time, I’ll add a touch of cayenne.
In the midst of the patisserie adventure, I had to fulfill a spousal demand for my usual variation on Reinhart’s Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread. Mine includes a mix of walnuts and pecans and a mix of golden raisins and dried cranberries. This time I tried one little new twist—I soaked the raisins and cranberries in a rum soaker (1/4 cup dark rum, 1 ¼ cup hot water and 1 tbsp of sugar).
There’re almost too many treats in the house now. So I haven’t cut into the Cinnamon-Rum Raisin-Cranberry-Walnut-Pecan Bread yet. I’ll post a crumb shot later.
Added Note: Here's the crumb shot. There is a mild and enjoyable rum flavor in the raisins, an improvement on a really good bread. Kinda like Whisky for Breakfast.