"Recipes are meant to be shared"...Ann Thibeault

Monday, February 02, 2009

A few favourite recipes - Sweet Yeast Treats

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Croissants - Baking with Julia
1 oz Fresh yeast
3 ½ c Flour, unbleached all purpose
1/3 c Sugar
2 ts Salt
1 c Milk
4 ½ Sticks unsalted butter, 1 lb 2 oz, cold-cut into 1/2 inch
2 tb Flour, unbleached all purpose
1 Recipe-croissant dough, well chilled
Flour, for rolling dough
1 lg Egg

FOR THE BUTTER CROISSANTS FOR THE DOUGH: Put the yeast, flour sugar, salt and 1 cup of milk into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the machine on its lowest speed, mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until a soft, moist dough forms on the hook. If the dough is to dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. In most cases if the dough does need more liquid, it won't need more than about 3 tablespoons, but check carefully as you want all the flour to be moistened. Stop the mixer and look into the bowl. If the hook has not picked up all the flour from the bottom of the bowl, add a few more drops of milk. Set the mixer to its highest speed and work the dough until it is smooth and elastic, no longer sticky and close to the consistency of soft butter, about 4 minutes. To make certain that all the ingredients are perfectly blended you can remove the dough from the mixer after 3 minutes, and then with the mixer on high speed, return plum size pieces to the bowl. The pieces will remain separate for a short while, then come together, at which time the dough is ready. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap it in plastic and put it in a plastic bag, leaving a little room for expansion. Keep the dough at room temperature for 30 minutes to give the gluten time to relax; then refrigerate the dough for 8 hours or ovenight.

FOR THE BUTTER: Attach the paddle to your mixer and beat the butter and flour on the highest speed until smooth and the same consistency as the croissant dough, about 2 minutes. Reach into the bowl and poke around in the butter to make sure that its evenly blended-if you find any lumps, just squeeze them between your fingers. Scrape the butter onto a large piece of plastic wrap and give it a few slaps to knock the air out of it. Mold it into an oval 5 to 6 inches long and 1 inch thick, Wrap it tightly and refrigerate until needed.

At this point the dough and the butter can be frozen; defrost overnight in the refrigerator before preceding with the recipe.

INCORPORATING THE BUTTER: Place the croissant dough on a generously floured large work surface (marble is ideal(sure!!!)) and sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a long rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval approximately 10 inches wide and 17 inches long. Brush the excess flour from the dough. Center the oval of chilled butter across the oval of dough and fold the top and bottom of the dough over the butter to make a tidy package. Gently and evenly stretch the folded layers of dough out to the sides and press the edges down firmly with your fingertips to create a neatly sealed rectangle. If you own a French rolling pin (one without handles) nows the time to use it. Hold one side of the dough steady with your hand and strike the other side gently but firmly with the rolling pin to distribute the butter evenly. As you hit the dough you will see the butter moving out into the crevices. Strike the other side of the dough the same way. After pounding you should have a 1 inch thick rectangle about about 14 inches long and 6 inches wide. Keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured, roll out the dough. If this your first time working with croissant dough, you may want to roll out the dough just a little to distribute the butter, put it on a baking sheet lined with flour-dusted parchment paper, cover it with plastic and chill it for 1 to 2 hours first; this way you won't risk having the dough go soft or the butter seep out. (Each time you wrap the dough, make sure it's well covered-even a little air will cause the dough to form an unwanted skin.) If your experienced, feeling courageous or have dough that is still well chilled, go on to make your first turn.

ROLLING AND FOLDING: Roll the dough into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long and about 14 inches wide, with the long side facing you. (You may feel as though your rolling the dough sideways-and you are.) Brush off the excess flour and, working from the left and right sides, fold the dough inward into thirds, as you would a brochure, so that you have a package that's about 8 inches wide by 14 inches long. Carefully transfer the dough to a parchment- lined baking sheet, mark the parchment "1 turn" so you'll know what you've done, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can freeze the dough after this ar any other turn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.

FOR THE SECOND TURN: Place the dough so that the 14 inch side runs left to right. (The dough needs 2 more turns; you've given it one quarter-turn already.) Making sure the work surface is well floured at all times, roll the dough as you did before into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long by about 14 inches wide . (When doing the second and third turns, you may find that the dough has cracked a little. That's natural; it's a result of the yeast. Don't worry, just flour the dough and work surface and keep going.) As you did before fold the dough in thirds. Place it on the parchment, mark the paper "2 turns", cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

FOR THE THIRD TURN: Start again with a 14 inch side running from your left side ti your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long by 14 inches wide. Fold the left and right sides of the dough into the center, leaving a little space in the center, and then fold one side over the other as though you were closing a book. This is the famous double turn, also known as "the wallet". Chilling the dough: Brush off the flour, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. At this point the dough is ready to be rolled, cut and shaped into croissants.

Storing: The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

CROISSANTS ROLLING THE DOUGH: Generously flour a work surface. Position the dough so that it resembles a book, with the spine to your left and the opening to your right. For easy handling, cut the dough in half horizontally so that you have two pieces about 7 inches long and about 6 1/2 inches wide: wrap and chill one half while you work with the other half.

Flour the dough and roll it into a rectangle that's 24 to 26 inches long and 15 to 18 inches wide. This takes a lot of rolling. Keep the work surface and the dough well floured and have patience. If necessary turn the dough so that the long side runs from left to right along the counter. Carefully fold the top half of the dough down to the bottom. The dough is now ready for cutting.

CUTTING THE DOUGH: Working with a pizza cutter or a large, very sharp knife, cut triangles from the dough. This is done most easily by making a diagonal cut on the left hand side to geet the pattern started; save the uneven piece of dough. Measure off a 3 to 4 inch base and begin cutting the triangles, always cutting from bottom to top. You'll have another scrap when you reach the other end-you'll use these scraps when you shape the croissants. Unfold each pair of triangles and cut them in half to separate. You should have 10 to 12 maybe 14 triangles; set them aside while you clear the work surface of all flour. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

SHAPING THE CROISSANTS: Moisten your hands with a wet towel. Working with one triangle at a time, gently stretch the base to widen it slightly, then, holding the base of the triangle in one hand, run the fingers of the other hand down to the point of the triangle. Use your thumb to pull and stretch the dough until it's almost twice the original length-have courage and tug; the extra length is what allows you to make a large croissant with sufficient rolls to show off it's layers of dough. Place the triangle, point toward you, at arm distance on the work table this will give enough space to roll the croissant into shape with-out having to lift it in mid-roll) Pull off a little piece of the reserved scrap dough, mold it into a small football shape and center it on the wide top part of the triangle-this will help make the "belly" of the croissant plump. Fold about 1/2 inch of this wide end over itself and press the ends down once to secure. With you palms and fingers positioned over the flattened ends of the croissant and the heels of your hands on the flat work surface, roll the croissant toward you-try to keep your hands moving down and out to the sides as you roll- ending with the point of the triangle tucked under the croissant. A well shaped croissant-and it takes practice to achieve one-will sport at least six clearly accountable sections, or ridges, from rolling. Place the croissants on one of the baking sheets, leaving room for them to triple in size without touching one another. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Glazing and rising: Give the croissants a last gentle plumping, carefully turning the ends down and toward the center to produce the classic croissant shape. Brush the croissants with egg wash and allow them to rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, until tripled in size and spongy. (Reserve egg wash, covered in the refrigerator.) The ideal place for rising is a turned off oven (one with a pilot light is fine) containing a pan of hot steamy water. To test that they are properly risen, wet your fingers and squeeze the end of a croissant:It should offer no resistance and feel almost hollow.

Baking the croissants: Arrange the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds, and preheat the oven to 350 f. Brush the croissants once again with egg wash and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate front to back and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, until the croissants are deeply bronzed. Cool on racks. As tempting as they are croissants should not be eaten as soon as they come from the oven. The dough-and the layers within need time to set.

Pain au Chocolate.

Roll out dough following the same directions as the croissants only instead of cutting the dough into triangles, make straight cuts. I cut into 5 strips.

Unfold the dough and cut in half. You should have 10.

I used the Lindt Dark Chocolate 300g size (Gold Wrapper). It is the perfect size for making 10 Pain au Chocolates. There are 10 rows and each row weights about one ounce and fits perfectly across the top of the dough. Place the chocolate across the top edge and roll up. Make sure that the seam is on the bottom. Place on parchment cover cookie sheet and brush with egg wash. Let rise until triple in size.

Brush again and bake as per Croissant instructions.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Cinnamon Rolls (Buns)
From Joy of Baking

4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose " flour
1 Package active dry yeast
1 Cup milk
1/3 Cup "" butter
1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
"3 eggs
3/4 Cup packed brown"sugar
1/4 Cup all-purpose " flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Cup" butter
1/2 Cup light raisins (optional)
1 Tablespoon half-and-half
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

In a bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and enough half-and-half (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make the glaze thin enough to drizzle over cinnamon rolls.

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a small saucepan heat the milk, the 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup sugar,and salt just till warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees)and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture. Add eggs.
Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make
a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours). For filling, combine brown sugar, the 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon. Cut in remaining butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Sprinkle filling over dough square; top with raisins (if desired). Roll up jelly-roll style;pinch edges to seal. Slice roll into eight 1 1/2 inch pieces. Arrange dough pieces, cut side up, in a greased 12 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Refrigerate dough for 2 to 24 hours. Uncover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (If you are making the cinnamon rolls immediately, don’t chill dough. Instead, cover loosely, let dough rise in a warm place till nearly double, about 45 minutes.) Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick. Brush dough with a half-and-half. Bake in a 375 degree oven to 25 to 30 minutes or till light brown. If necessary to prevent over-browning., cover rolls loosely with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove rolls from oven. Brush again with half-and-half. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a baking rack and invert again onto a plate. Can drizzle with Powdered
Sugar Glaze. Serve warm. Makes 8 rolls.

Note: I prefer a Cream Cheese icing.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup cream cheese

Cream together and add enough icing/powder sugar to make a creamy icing.


  1. Ann, always a treat for the senses to see your food... the pain au chocolat brought me here... we love them, especially DH. Someday, I'll get the courage to try making them. Delicious, always!

  2. Wow, those look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipes, and for the tip about using Lindt Dark Chocolate 300g bars.

  3. That's a long recipe to have to transcribe - thanks for doing that, and the croissant and rolls look great!

  4. Your croissants popped out at FG:) Works of art!

  5. I am going to try to make these cinnamon buns for Easter! My family loves them but I have never attempted them from scratch! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!


  6. Thank you very much for sharing! I am trying your recipe now :) Let's see how they come out


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