Croissants:Take II


Croissants take IIA few weeks back the Tuesday’s with Dorie group made Croissants by Esther McManus. I ended up with the worst croissants. With renewed inspiration I attempted baking them again over spring break and the results this time …were great! My family and friends were impressed :) I have to admit I had the advantage of reading several blogs from the group for tips and tricks to make these babies work. Plus I may have watched the video about 20 times before starting on this adventure – something I did not do earlier.

So, what I did different -

1. This time around I used all the milk and a couple of tablespoons more to get the dough to the right consistency. It turned out perfect. Felt right and soft – not hard. After chilling in the refrigerator with the beaten butter, rolling was easy.

2. After each fold I let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 3 hours before continuing with the next fold.

3. After the last folding and resting. I was easily able to cut and shape them into pretty crescent shaped rolls. It was midnight when I was done with the rolling and egg wash so I let them sit on the counter  overnight.I was in the kitchen around 8 am and they had grown into these huge crescents almost three times the size as the recipe says. I egg washed them a second time and put them in the oven. 15 minutes  of baking and an hour of resting and cooling time later we tasted the best  croissants ever. Flaky. Pillowy . Yum.

This took me 2 full days to complete. So, as much as I would love to make them again, I’m not sure when I would. I have half the dough in the freezer. They will make some delicious pain au chocolat!

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TWD: Croissants

IMG_1835Having baked croissants successfully before, I thought this would be a breeze. Unfortunately this one did not work out for me. I started off with the dough being too tight and after rolling for what seemed like hours, the dough started to crack and break while shaping. The 3 hour proofing time in the oven seemed like a bad idea as well as all the butter started to leak. I will definitely try out this recipe once again, hopefully soon.

The contributing baker for this recipe is Esther McManus from the book Baking with Julia. This month’s host is Amanda from  Girl + Food = Love.

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TWD:Boca Negra

This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, we baked Boca Negra, which translates to Black Mouth. This is a decadent chocolate dessert from the book Baking with Julia. It has a dark chocolate cake and a whipped white chocolate topping. Our host blogger is Cathy of A Frederick Food Garden.

I made only half the recipe and used two small ramekins. After exactly 30 minutes the crust did not form so decided to bake it for extra 10 minutes. When it was ready to take out, I flipped one of my cakes and it broke in the middle with only half of it turning out onto the plate. I decided to put the other one back in for a few more minutes, but also added a lot more hot water in the roasting pan. Several rounds of checking and 30 minutes later, I pulled the cake out of the oven and flipped it over and there were no problems. Although I think is could have stayed in a bit longer as the center was still a bit “mousse-y”.
Here’s a picture of it. I ended up damaging the top with my tongs while transferring from the hot water bath.
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My dark-chocolate-lover hubby and I ate the pudding cake warm with whipped white chocolate cream and I packed the other one for him to take to work without the cream. I will have to make this again…hopefully not another trial and error approach.
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TWD: Focaccia

This is my first recipe with the group Tuesdays with Dorie. The host for this week’s challenge was Sharmini from Wandering Through

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I made half the recipe as I did not want all that bread at home which would go stale anyway. I divided the dough into two and one piece I put in the freezer for pizza and the other piece I used to make my focaccia.

I did not have fresh herbs on hand so I ended up using dry basil. It didn’t come out as airy as the picture but was still very delicious. I should have pulled it out of the oven a little sooner than the recommended 15 minutes as the top got a little crusty brown and dry. The inside was very soft and had a nice easy chewy texture .

With a light dipping of olive oil, it made a great midnight snack(yes, I’m up a lot at midnight). Definitely a keeper.

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Coconut Lemon Macaroons


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I love coconut macaroons. Hard on the outside and chewy on the inside. These cookies are so simple and easy to put together. I mixed in some lemon zest to the coconut mixture and let it rest for about 2 hours in the refrigerator until firm. Once firm, I dropped rounded tablespoon fulls on a lined baking sheet and baked. They were simply delicious. The lemon zest added an extra zing to the cookies. 

This recipe was inspired from joyofbaking.com.

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Rugelach

DSC_6849I baked Rugelach from Baking with Julia yesterday. This is a fairly easy recipe. The dough is a cream cheese dough and comes together pretty well. After chilling it for a couple of hours it got too hard and I had to wait a while before I could start rolling it. I used nutella as the spread and for the filling I used a mix of pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts and almonds and chopped dates and apricots. Although rolling everything into a log was a breeze, it seemed there was way too much filling. It started to fall apart while slicing. I had to stick everything back together and push the cinnamon sugar nut mix on the top. While baking the dough spirals started to unwind and became a big mess. I constructed it all back together while it was still hot. All said, it tasted super yum! The crust was also delicious on it’s own. I might make this again but with much less filling.

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Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

I recently got back from a whirlwind of a vacation and we are all in a miserable state of jet-lag. My sleep schedule is under the control of my two-year old. Since I am up most nights at 3 am and since I missed out on most of the holiday baking fun, I decided to bake Linzer Cookies during one of the long nights. My daughter loved being mommy’s helper and the cookies were a great mid-night snack!

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