croissant dough and croissants-julia childs pt 1

24 Servings
1 ounce Fresh yeast
3½ cup Flour, unbleached all purpose+
⅓ cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Milk +/-
4½  Sticks unsalted butter, 1 lb 2 oz, cold-cut into 1/2 inch
2 tablespoons Flour, unbleached all purpose
Recipe-croissant dough, well chilled
  Flour, for rolling dough
1 large Egg



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 af the bowl, add a few more drops of milk. Set ther mixer to its highest speed and work the dough until it is smooth and elastic, no longer sticky and close to the consistancy of soft butter, about 4 minutes. To make certain that all the ingredients are perfectly blendedyou 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 seperate 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 preceeding with the recipe.

INCORPORATING THE BUTTER: Place the croissant doughon 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 ther 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)now's the time to use it. Hold one side of the doughsteady with your hand and strike the other side gently but firmly with the rolling pin to distribute the butter evenly. As you hit the doough you will see the butter moving out into the crevises. 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 hoours 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 dought 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 flourand, 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 frereze 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 continued in part 2

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