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There is nothing much better than sitting down to a cappuccino and croissant at a local homey bakery.  The fresh scent of baking bread peaks through the rich coffee aroma, which lingers on my coat, and in my hair for hours.  Yet, of all the scents that surround me in New York City, from cigarette smoke to subway stench, the bakery scent is surely welcomed, especially lingering as the most delicious perfume money can’t buy.

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I can’t help being poetic when talking about croissants.  They are poetic in themselves, with each layer individually delicate creating a perfectly flaky crust that pairs so well with a dab of jam.  Ok I will stop now.  But mmm croissants, yum.

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So, as are most things that I do, this attempt was inspired by Julia Child.  As croissants are the quintessential French baked good, and Julia Child is the quintessential a purveyor of all things French in America, it follows that I would run into a recipe or two directly transcribed from Child’s antiquated cooking show, “The French Chef.”  So after watching Julia Child mix, knead, and roll out the dough over and over I felt I was ready.  With a clean counter, ingredients at hand and the I-pad propped up, Part 1 of the episode on croissants began playing.  

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Now I am no Julia Child.  I stopped every time she moved and rewound it and then watched again, confident I was doing something wrong.  I clicked the screen of the I-pad so many times a crust of dough formed, assuring me that was where the pause button was even though I could not see it through the screen.  I hope I didn’t screw up the I-pad too bad…

But this was the first time that I have actually tried to follow a cooking video and I think it was a success. Good experiment.

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So my New Years Resolution this year was to write a post once a week.  March and I have already failed…(actually it was February when I failed, but now it’s March, oh and it’s spring yay!) But it wasn’t because I just got lazy or tired of it, no not at all!  I just had/have too much going on. I talked about getting enough sleep in my last post (which I then subsequently stayed up nights in a row studying and waking up early to go to practice…), and in this post I would like to talk about overall treating ourselves well (which may include a croissant once in a while 🙂

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This semester started off like whirlwind.  There was no easy introduction or period of getting to know you games, it was down to business, staring off running, figuratively and literally.  And all of a sudden I was not only a part of but fond myself in charge of, it felt like, at least a million and two things.  I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and I was not about to stop.  I ended up getting sick, and because I told myself I had no time to sit down and take a nap, or rest and take a day off, I pushed through it and ended up getting more sick.  That process continued and I feel I am just now (currently on Spring Break) recovering from it.  Being like that, doing too much and being constantly overwhelmed not only tires you out physically but it definitely did a number on me emotionally.  And when I realized that I knew it was time for me to really begin treating myself right.

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And I am working on it, giving myself appropriate amounts of time to rest and relax, eating some crispy croissants and figuring out what I really love and what really makes me happy and then doing that.  That’s my goal, I will see how it pans out, but it is exciting right now, I feel as if I am molding a new healthier, brighter me.

Ok well this post has been all about me, which I guess all of my posts are, but anyways so lets get away from me, back to the food, the French food, shall I say. Yummy croissants, recipe here, eat em up yo.

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Croissants

Ingredients

  • 1 package, active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F is optimal)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 Tbs canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  •  3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled

Directions

  1. Mix the first four ingredients together and let sit
  2. Mix the last five ingredients together in a separate bowl
  3. Make sure the yeast mixture has begun to foam, if it has add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture
  4. Incorporate the yeast mixture into the dough and then pour out on your working surface and begin kneading the dough.**
  5. Knead for 3 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to your hands, then place in a clean bowl, cut two slits in the dough, cover with plastic and let rise for about one and a half hours.
  6. After it has doubled in bulk, punch it down, fold it a few times and place it back in the bowl, recover and place in the fridge for a half an hour
  7. After the dough has chilled place it on a floured surface and roll it out until it is a circle about 9 inches in diameter.
  8. Take the butter from the fridge and begin to pound it down with the roller, once it has become slightly malleable, spread it out using the heel of your hand releasing any lumps.
  9. Gather the butter into a mass and place it at the center of the dough and then bring the edges of the dough to meet in the center completely covering the butter
  10. Roll out the dough until it is about 15 inches long and 5 inches wide.  Then fold the dough in thirds, turn it 90 degrees and roll it out again and fold it again.  Do one more of these turns before wrapping it in wax paper and letting it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  11. Repeat this rolling, turning and resting process two more times
  12. After it has rested after its third turn, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out again until it is 15 inches long and 5 inches wide
  13. Cut the dough (with a pizza cutter) in half, put one half in the fridge
  14. Roll the dough out until it is about 10 inches long and then cut it into thirds.
  15. Take one third and roll it into a square shape and then using the pizza cutter, cut diagonally into a triangle shape.
  16. Roll the triangles from right triangles into equilateral triangles as best you can and then roll them up, wide end first and place on buttered baking sheet
  17. Repeat with other half
  18. Let rise, uncovered for 4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator
  19. After dough has risen preheat the oven to 475 degrees F
  20. Prepare egg wash by whisking one egg and 1 tsp of water together
  21. Spread egg wash over each croissant and place in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on the crust

Notes

ENJOY!

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