Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The last days of Summer

I have decided to take a short rest from blogging until after Labor day.
Then I will be back baking up a storm and writing about it.
Please take a moment to enjoy the last few days of real summer.
See you soon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gluten Free Croissant Recipe

I am sorry this took so long. I have been up to my elbows in sourdough preparing for Sunday's Sensational
Sourdough class at Great News in San Diego.
Here it is - the recipe is half sized - moving the gluten free dough block around is a little challenging - when you hare used to it you can simply double the recipe and make a large batch.

I made a few adjustments to my original recipe but the flavor is not compromised.
Butter Block
8 ounces butter - shaped into a 5x5" square and wrapped in parchment
The Dough
1 egg
8 ounces body water - body temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons dry milk powder
1# 1 ounce (17 ounces) Gluten Free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 teaspoon salt
Mixing note: you can use the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or your dough whisk to mix the dough. The dough hook will not catch this dough. It actually comes together more like a biscuit dough.
1. Whisk together the egg, water and yeast.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until combined.
3. Let the dough rest covered at room temperature for the yeast to activate temperature or 20 minutes.
4. Remove your butter block from the refrigerator and check that it is the correct temperature by sliding it back and forth on the edge of the counter - if it cracks it is too cold. Let it warm up if that is the case.
5. Flour your work surface with the gluten free flour.
6. Pat the dough into a 5x10" rectangle (rolling does not work very well). Leave a 1/2" border on the3 open sides.
7. Place the butter block on the left hand side - fold the right side over.
**The dough may crack this is ok - it does that - fix the cracks by pressing the dough together.
Make sure you have enough gluten free flour on your work surface.
8. Turn the dough so that the long fold is facing away from you and the long open edge is facing toward you.
The two short sides are at your right and left.
Pat the dough into 5X10" rectangle and fold it like a business letter in thirds. Place it on a baking sheet, cover it with plastic and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
9. After 30 minutes repeat the pat/roll process and fold the dough into thirds.
10. Repeat 1 more time.
11. Cover the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
It can also be frozen at this point.
Shaping the croissants:
12. Flour your work surface with the gluten free flour. Pat/roll the dough out into rectangle 1/4 "thick.
Because of the lack of gluten - the dough will not roll into the classic croissant shape.
I cut rectangles, egg washed the edges and place the rectangles on top of each other with the filling in the middle.
I tested with chocolate sticks but you can get creative with fillings - sweet and savory.
The dough will be fragile - so if you have a large spatula or a pancake turner - this is the tool to use.
It would be a good idea to move the bottom squares to the parchment lined baking sheet and finish filling and
shaping the croissants there. This eliminates one more moving step.
13. Place your croissant in the proofing bag with a mug of hot water and let them proof for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
The croissants will not exactly rise - they lift every so slightly and get a slight marshmallow texture.
14. Egg wash and place in the oven. Start checking in 25 minutes. They should be a golden brown in color and the sides should look toasted and not white.
Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
I garnished the chocolate gluten free with melted chocolate.
These gluten free croissants freeze well. They can be frozen fully baked or freeze them after shaping.
If they are unbaked and frozen - place the frozen croissants on a sheetpan, lightly cover them and let them thaw in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, remove them from the refrigerator, let them warm up for about a 1/2 hour on the counter and start from the proofing step.
Happy Baking!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finished Gluten Free Pain au Chocolat

Well - I won't be winning the Coupe du Monde du Boulanger with these but they are pretty tasty.
There was no gluten to provide the framework for the normal lift and flakiness so they are somewhat flat.
But if your are gluten free you could enjoy these.
I hope you have enjoyed this baking adventure. If you would like the recipe please let me know in the comment section.
Happy Baking!

Egg washed and in the oven

After 45 minutes, I egg washed the croissants and put them in the oven.
They did lift slightly while proofing - so I am hoping that they will turn out well.
And yes - they are not as pretty as our usual pain au chocolat.
But the dough is on the fragile side so expect some tears.
 I had to get past that and I am a crazy perfectionist when it comes to this stuff.

Finally back to the dough

Things have been hectic around here - so I was not able to get back to the gluten free croissant dough until
I pulled it out of the freezer last night and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator - just like regular croissant dough.
I assembled all my tools and ingredients - threw a a good handful of the gluten free flour down and tried to roll out the dough.
The gluten free dough has absolutely no resiliency so I managed with a combination of rolling and patting to get this.  It occurred to me that if I tried to roll the dough it would crack - so I would have to put one square on top of the other.
That means that it will be nearly impossible to shape classic Parisian croissants out of this dough - at least for now.
I made the decision to try pain au chocolat - so since I knew I had to stack my squares I rolled/patted the dough to 1/8" thick. Using my ruler I cut 3'' squares.
Now everytime you move the dough it breaks so a spatula is essential.
It is easy with the spatula - I got a few tears but the dough pinches back together fairly easily.
I did egg wash the top and bottom edges of each square.
Those are 2 sticks of chocolate baton in the upper right. You can use a line of chocolate chips.
I had the batons on hand - so why not use them?
Now the croissants are in the proofing bag with a mug of hot water.
I know I know I will not see lift so I gave them a timed proof of 45 minutes. At the 30 minute mark I will preheat my oven.
We will see what happens - I will be back soon.