Tag Archives: Croissants

Pastries fresh from the oven

Chocolate, Almond and Vanilla Danish Pastries

Danish Pastries are a recent addition to my baking repertoire, but after my success with croissants moving on to danish pastries was a natural progression. Again I turned to Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake‘ for advice on how to make a basic danish pastry dough and then I filled them with whatever I wanted. These particular ones are filled with vanilla creme patissiere, flaked almonds and dark chocolate chips. My favourite danish pastries are Pain aux Raisin, really just because I love the shape, so I opted to use the snail shaped swirl for these pastries too. They make take time to make but homemade croissants and danish pastries really are so much better than the ones you buy in the shop, the smell they fill your kitchen with when they are baking is also wonderful and the bonus is that you can add to them whatever you want. You can see my chocolate orange croissants here. Just be prepared as to how much butter both of these doughs really do use!

Danish Pastries

To make these Chocolate, Almond and Vanilla Danish Pastries you will need:

For the dough:
500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
80g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
2 medium eggs
90ml water
125ml warm whole milk
250g chilled, unsalted butter

For the filling:
100g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
40g cornflour
500ml whole milk
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
40g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate chips
100g flaked almonds

To finish:
Beaten egg
Flaked almonds
Apricot jam
200g icing sugar

Start the dough the night before you plan to eat the pastries. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl, mix together. Add the eggs, water and milk and mix until well combined. If making in a mixer leave on a medium speed for 6 minutes, if making by hand then knead the dough for up to 10 minutes. Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

After 1 hour remove the dough from the fridge and roll to a rectangle approx 50cmx20cm. Take the butter and flatten it with a rolling pin. You want to make it into a rectangle that will cover two thirds of the dough. You can sandwich the butter between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and use the rolling pin to roll it out. Once the butter is flattened place it on top of the bottom two thirds of the dough, it should come almost to the edge. Fold the top third of dough over a third of the butter and then fold the bottom half up over the top. Pinch the edges and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.

Flatten the butter

After another hour take the dough out of the fridge and put on a floured surface. Have the short end towards you and roll the dough into a 50cmx20cm rectangle again. Fold up one third and then the other third. Chill for another hour. Repeat this twice more, chilling between each turn.

Dough

Now leave the dough in the fridge overnight to rise.

You can make your creme patissiere ahead of time too. Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks (discard the whites) and cornflour until smooth. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla extract. Bring to the boil and then take off the heat. Pour a splash of this milk onto the egg mixture and whisk together then pour all of it into the milk and stir over a gentle heat. Stir until it becomes thick and then remove from the heat. If you have any lumps don’t worry, just pour the mixture through a sieve to smooth it out. Add the butter, stir in and then leave to cool and chill.

The next day it is time to put all of your hard work into actually making some danish pastries. Take the dough from the fridge and cut in half, you should be able to see lots of lovely layers.

layers

Take one half and roll into a large rectangle with the long edge facing you. Spread the creme patissiere over the dough, leaving a couple of cm clear at the edge closest to you so it doesn’t leak out too much when you roll it. Sprinkle the flaked almonds and chocolate chips over the creme patissiere.

Sprinkle with chocolate

Roll the dough towards you, rolling as tight as you can. Cut the roll into slices approx 3cm thick and lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough (you may wish to use a different filling for the second half of the dough – raisins and cranberries with some cinnamon work well sprinkled on the creme patissiere).

Ready to bake

Leave the pastries in a warm spot for approx 2 hours, they should double in size.

Preheat the oven to 200C, brush the pastries with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until lovely and golden. While they are in the oven heat a couple of tablespoons of apricot jam and brush the pastries with it as soon as they come out of the oven.

Pastries fresh from the oven

 

To finish mix the icing sugar with a couple of tbsp water and drizzle over the pastries, sprinkle with flaked almonds and enjoy while still warm!

Enjoy!

Lottie xx

I am entering these into this month’s Calendar Cakes as this is me trying something new. This is hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

calendar-cakes

 

Chocolate Orange Croissants

Chocolate Orange Croissants

This was something new for me, croissants have been on my ‘to bake’ list for a long time but it is only very recently that I have got round to giving them a go. I am so glad I did, home made croissants are so much better than shop bought ones! I was so pleased with how they turned out. Even my sister, a ¬†true croissant connoisseur said she loved them. They may take time, they aren’t something you can just whip up, but that time that you invest in them is really worth it. When you see them puff up and crisp up in the oven and the smell of freshly baked croissants fills your kitchen, trust me, you will be filled with a sense of pride. I treated my family to a bank holiday breakfast in the garden and baked them chocolate orange croissants and raspberry almond croissants served with fresh orange juice. The recipe here is for the chocolate orange croissants. For the basic croissant dough I used Paul Hollywood‘s recipe and technique from his book How to Bake, it worked very well. Once you can make the basic dough then you can jazz them up however you want!

Croissants galore

 

To make Chocolate Orange Croissants you will need:

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
80g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
300ml water
300g cold unsalted butter
1 egg
200g dark chocolate
3 tsp orange extract
orange zest

Chocolate Orange Croissants

 

Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the water and combine. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is quite stiff. Put the dough in a bowl dusted with flour, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour, to a rectangle approx 60cm by 20cm and 1cm thick. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter out to cover a rectangle approx 40cm by 20cm (2/3rds of your croissant dough). Put the butter on top of the bottom 2/3rds of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the butter. Cut off the rest of the butter you can see and put it on top of the folded dough. Now fold the bottom 1/3rd of dough up on top. Wrap lightly in cling film and leave the dough to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Flatten the butter

 

fold the dough

 

Take the dough out of the fridge and dust the work surface with flour. With the short end facing you roll the dough into a 60 by 20cm rectangle again. Fold the top third down and then the bottom 3rd up. Wrap loosely again and chill for another hour. Do this twice more: roll out, fold and chill for 1 hour.

Now leave the dough in the fridge overnight, you will find in the morning that it has puffed up and risen.

While your dough is chilling make the chocolate sticks for the filling. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted add the orange extract. Add a little at a time until you get the strength of flavour you want. Spread the chocolate out onto a piece of greaseproof paper and leave to cool overnight. In the morning cut into sticks.

Chocolate

In the morning roll the dough out again on a floured surface, this time to a rectangle approx 40cm by 30cm, 7mm thick. Divide the dough in 2 lengthways and cut triangles from each strip with a 12cm wide base (approx 12 triangles in total).

triangles

 

Take a triangle, hold down the base and pull slightly on the point to lengthen it. Put 2 chocolate sticks at the base of the triangle and roll it up. Bend the ends of the croissant in slightly. Put the rolled croissants on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper and leave at room temp for 1-2 hours to rise.

add the chocolate

rolled dough

Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Now it is finally time to enjoy them! Serve with a sprinkle of orange zest and a glass of fresh orange!

Freshly baked croissants

 

Lottie xx

Edit:

I have entered this into November’s Alpha Bakes Challenge – this month’s letter is O!

This is hosted by The More than Occassional Baker and Caroline Makes.

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