Thursday 9 July 2009

a small roundup of my breakfast series...

Posting some of my favourite posts for my participation in the " EFM - Breakfast Series" that SriLekha is hosting.
Have a great day!

Croissants
The French “croissants” (literally crescents) are one of the most common viennoiseries in France, made by layering butter (lot of butter!!!) on top of a pastry dough, and then folding, rolling and folding and rolling repeatedly in order to get a multi layered buttery pastry, often served for Breakfast with coffee.

A perfect croissant should be crumbly and flaky on the outside and soft, light and airy in the inside.
After so many trials, since at least two weeks (tried at least 6 different methods with different variations in the measurements and the procedure), I’m ready to post the recipe for these buttery and flaky crescent shaped pastries, that I found at Christine’s Christhumm (merci à vous Christine:)) the one which finally gave me the sensation of eating the finest croissants of France.

Although the name “croissant” sounds French, the legends say that the croissants were first made by the bakers of Vienna (Austria) in the year 1693, when the Turkish Empire had Austria under siege and that it was Marie Antoinette, the Austrian Princess who married Louis XVI, fond of these Viennese breads, who introduced the croissants to the French, who reinvented the bread using a pastry dough, which then became the national symbol of France. These delicious pastries symbolize France and its heritage of fine cuisine.

The process of doing them might be long and tedious, but believe me, the final result is worth it....... If there’s one thing that can make me jump out of my bed with full enthusiasm, EARLY in the morning, then it would be for these freshly baked croissants.

I simply enjoy doing this fluffy pastry just for the pleasure of doing it like a French culinary expert or a chef who master the art of baking after years and years of fine tuning and experience but also to share my joy of making these at home and enjoying the pleasure with my beloved ones.

Ingredients: (for 8 to 10 croissants)
120g water
120g milk
22g fresh yeast
500g pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
50g sugar
1 tsp salt
50g softened butter
250g butter
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten for egg wash

Method:
In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
In another bowl, add water, milk, the yeast and mix together. (the temperature of the solution must be around 37°C)
Pour the above to the flour mixture along with the softened butter (50g) and start kneading it to make a stiff dough that is no longer sticky.
Cover with a plastic food wrapper and leave it in the refrigerator overnight (let’s say for about 15 hours) until it doubles the volume.
Remove the 250g of butter from the refrigerator along with the prepared dough and keep it at room temperature and mold it to form a block and flatten it to make a flat square (Cover the butter with a baking sheet or a plastic sheet and press it down). Punch down the dough to remove the air from the dough and roll out to form a square or a flour leaf clover (the center part of the dough should be thick). Place the butter diagonally in the center
and bring the four edges of the dough to the center (we want to cover the butter completely). Wrap it with a plastic sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove and spread the dough on a slightly floured surface and roll out to form a rectangle of about 50X20 cm. Fold into two, lower part first (i've loaded the picture upside down :) then the upper part on to the other. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove and roll out to form a rectangle of about 70X20 cm
and bring the upper part to the center and the lower end to the center
and then fold it like a purse.
Cover and refrigerate (one last time :), patience please) for about 20 minutes.

Pound the dough once again and roll out evenly (70X20 cm) and cut into triangles. Incise a cm in the center of each triangle (to make the folding easier) and roll into crescents.

( Roll out loose by allowing space for the dough to rise).
Put them on a baking sheet and let them rise at room temperature for few hours (it took 2 ½ hours for me).
Brush each croissant with the egg wash
and bake for 15 minutes to 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven of 210°C or until golden brown.
Bon appétit!

Brioche

Though I was off my pc during my two weeks of holidays that I spent peacefully and happily with my teddies and my beloved, I’ve been taking a glance of all your comments and encouragements (without being able to reply at once). A big thanks to all of you for stopping by and and hope you’ve been doing good. It's so nice to come back blogging along with some motivating and encouraging awards from my dear friends, tell me what else do we need to do what you like?

One of my daughter’s favorite for breakfast is this sweet feathery bread,
there's another version that I’ve already tried and posted here, quite good too but I found this one much more perfect for my taste, I loved the fluffy texture and the slight vanillated orange flavor...(I found the recipe here and I thank Guylaine for sharing this recipe that I'd treasure); came out to be the best of all sweet breads I’ve ever tried so far, up to my expectations, and approved by the whole family.



Ingredients:
500 g of Pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk for basting
125 g sugar
2 tbsp pearl sugar (I haven’t used it here)
75 g softened butter( cut into small cubes)
2 tbsp fresh cream
15g baker's yeast
100 ml warm milk
1 tbsp Cointreau / vanilla extract (I added both in equal quantities)
1 tbsp orange flower water

Method:
Crumble the yeast in the warm milk and dissolve it.


In a bowl, mix together the sifted flour, sugar and salt and make a pit (hole) in the middle;

Add the 2 eggs, the cream, milk and the yeast mixture along with the softened butter. Add the Cointreau and the orange flower water and knead (approximately 10 minutes) until you get a homogeneous dough which is almost unsticky. (You may use a robot for doing this but take care not to let the yeast get in contact directly with the salt).
Make a ball and wrap it with a plastic food wrapper and let it stand for an hour in a warm place until it doubles it's volume.


When it has doubled the volume, divide the dough into 4 and form 3 or 4 long rods out of it. Place them one beside another and press the top part together to form one and then pass them one below another and pleat.

Place it on a baking sheet and leave it in a warm place, air –tight, for about an hour.

Dilute the egg yolk with a spoon of water and beat slightly. Brush the top of the pleated dough with the solution.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 20 to 25 minutes.

(If the top browns too quickly, cover the dough with an aluminum foil.)

You may like to top with some pearl sugar (I haven’t done here)



Let it cool down before serving.(Thing that we didn’t respect at all, half of it was already over by the time each one us took a bite to taste, then another one more and then one small bite……) Ideal even for tea time with toppings or fillings of your choice. Happy Baking!









Poori

Poori is a common south Asian unleavened bread prepared in India for Breakfast or Tiffin.




Ingredients:
4 cups -All purpose flour
2 cups yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp fine semolina
Salt as needed (1 tbsp for me)
5 tbsp warm oil
1 tsp sugar
Water for kneading
Oil for deep frying

Method:
In a wide bowl, mix the flour and the sugar together. Add the oil and mix the flour together with your fingers.
Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the baking powder, salt, yoghurt, semolina and salt. Knead everything by adding warm water a little at a time, to make a stiff dough. Let it stand for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Shape each ball smoothly and roll out to form a flat disc.
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep wok until hot.
Gently place a disc into the hot oil and wait until it floats up, press down with the back of a slotted spoon and submerge the poori totally in the oil so that air gets into the dough and puffs up the poori completely.
As soon as the poori has puffed up, turn it over and fry the other side until slightly brown
Remove the pooris with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Serve at once.


I’ve served with Potato Masala. It can also be served with any other curries like Vegetable Kurma or Channa Masala.

13 comments:

Ann said...

Mouthwatering breakfast spread there Akal..Oh mY..i didnt know about tha efm series btw..would love to send some as well..

Padma said...

Delicious entries for the event... thanks for re posting :)

DEESHA said...

wow, croissants, thatz truly excellent

Vrinda said...

Mouthwatering dishes..And u made croissants at home,hats off to u..i will also try,thanx for the step by step instructions...

Kalaivani said...

delicious dishes,croissants looks so perfect.will try to do sometime.

Parita said...

Fabulous entries!! i loved your croissants!

Pinky said...

Yumm yumm yumm....... nothing to say...you r a great hard worker......and nice photo shoot too......Mind blowing...

Ashwini said...

i always luv croisants..that too homemde is sure winner...

Ramya said...

First time here..Ur blog is too gud with lovely clicks..Croissants looks yummy

Chitra said...

OMG..wat a beautiful spread of dishes..i love croissants..want to taste it now:)

Erica said...

Those look amazing!!!!!

Priti said...

Gud selection ....yummy entries :)

Richa said...

good blog ....nice recipes ...you elaborated each recipe very well .pictures r also very striking....me too have a collection of Indian recipes in my blog.... http://www.richaskitchen.blogspot.com
pls visit and let me know what di u think....

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