We all have our own idea of a perfect day, it might be going out to a particular event, meeting someone, or doing something special. I think I have just had that day, I had a day when no one wanted me, no one phoned,no one came to visit, there was nothing I had to do, the weather was changeable, and I woke up really early, so far its not looking good, and I sound really miserable.
In practice what this meant was that we, my wife and I, could do anything we wanted, and I could make anything I wanted, so I did and looking back its no wonder I went to bed on Saturday night exhausted.
I started the day by making croissants for breakfast. Now I have been trying to make these for years and finally I have the recipe just right. If you fancy a go I have put it at the bottom of this missive. Going on from there I had a pleasant mooch with my beloved around Holt in Norfolk a lovely little town with a magnificent food hall where its impossible to escape without spending money. Lunch was home made bread, Then I made this years supply of my favourite Jam – ideal for cream teas, closely followed by a batch of Brandy and Cinnamon Ice Cream. If anyone’s interested I will put the recipes for these up over the next few days.
Dinner was hot Smoked Chicken cooked in the smoker , with potatoes, courgettes, onions and tomatoes from the garden, and whilst it was cooking I just had time to cut the stripes in the grass – its a blokes thing. Dinner was washed down with a Glass of Adnams Ale.
In my world that’s about as good a day as it gets.
Toms Croissant Recipe
250 grams Plain Flour
30 grams caster sugar
0.5 teaspoon of salt
180 grams salted butter
6 grams dry active yeast
60 grams full fat milk at room temperature
1.Put the yeast into 60 grams of tepid water and put to one side for approx. 10 mins until a foam appears on the top.
2.Combine the flour, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and rub in 30 grams of the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the water / yeast mixture. If your mixer has a dough hook your life is easy use that, if you haven’t got one combine it all with a spoon slowly adding the milk until it becomes a dough. Take it out and knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes, then cover it with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 20 mins.
3. Cut a piece of plastic wrap 45cms in length and put the 150 grams of butter in the middle. Fold both ends over to make a very loose envelope containing the butter. Tap it with your rolling pin slowly forcing it out to make what I can best describe as a plate of butter 150mm x 100mm approx. 6mm thick.
4. Retrieve the dough and roll out to approx. 300-400 mm x 200mm x 6 mm thick. Put the butter into the centre and fold the top half of the dough over to cover the butter, and then fold the lower half over to cover the top. Turn the whole butter/dough construction around 90 degrees and roll until its about 300mm long. Fold the top third down across the middle third, and then the bottom third up to cover it all. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins. Do the turning, rolling and chilling three more times. I then leave the dough in the fridge overnight. Apparently it keeps in the fridge for a week, but who knows, I have never managed to keep any that long.
5.When your ready cut off as much dough as you need and roll it out until its about 6mm thick. If your making standard croissants, and I do have a number of variations, you need triangles about 150mm across the base, which you then roll and bend the ends in slightly to make the standard croissant shape
cover and leave in a warm place to prove for about 1 hour, and then back in the over 175 degrees (160 in a fan oven) for about 20 mins until there golden brown. Leave them to cool for as long as you can resist. Delicious with butter even better with my raspberry jam.
Hope you enjoy them