Ready, Set, BAKE!

Theme: British

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many people including myself mistake the fact that they are not separate countries but are all included into one. I clearly did not pay attention in school.

One of my favorite TV shows to watch is “The Great British Bake Off”. Even though all the contestants are amateur bakers I am always amazed at how beautiful and perfect everything looks. And how can you not love the four people that host the show, especially Mary Berry. So to kick off this challenge like they do every episode “Ready, Set, Bake!!”

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The origin of where croissants came from varies depending on who you talk to. It is said though that they original came from Austria and then to France and eventually everywhere else. Croissants have now even become a breakfast pastry in Britain. There is always constant bickering about who bakes better, the British or the French. I will let you decide for yourself.

I decided to take the time to make croissants. It’s takes a while but who doesn’t love a delicious piping hot buttery croissant in the morning, afternoon or evening. And who doesn’t love the smell in their home while baking. It’s a long tedious process and some patiences is required but your taste buds will thank you later!
Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
4 teaspoons dry active yeast
3 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
24 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 cup almond slivers
Powdered sugar for dusting
Directions:
1. Add water and yeast in a bowl and let sit until foamy.
2. In a stand mixer combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast mixture and 6.5 tbsp butter.
3. Knead in stand mixer with dough hook for 5 minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until it has doubled in size.
5. Flatten out dough on to a floured surface and fold into a rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (mine where in the fridge for 2 nights just because I didn’t have time to make them).
6. Add 16.5 tbsp of butter to a gallon size ziplock bag. Fold the bag in half and make sure all the air is out before you seal. Roll the butter out evenly in the bag. See picture.

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7. Place in the refrigerator and let harden.
8. The next day roll your dough out so it is the same width as your butter slab and double the length.
9. Remove the butter from your zip lock bag and place the butter on one half of the dough then fold the other half over the butter.

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10. Start rolling from the middle out until it is about 20 inches long and about 7 inches wide.
11. Then fold over 3/4 and fold the other side in so it meets the other side. Then roll until about 14 inches long and fold in half again.
12. Roll out to 20×7 inches again and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
13. While waiting, in a small bowl combine egg and 1 tablespoon water and keep in the fridge.
14. After an hour cut the dough in half and keep the other half in fridge so it stays chilled.

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15. Roll the dough out to 20×9 inches and cut the triangles for croissants.

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16. Roll them and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
17. Brush with egg wash that you placed in the fridge.

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18. Let the sit and proof for 2 1/2 hours on your counter top.
19. Preheat oven to 400 F.
20. Bake for 10 minutes then turn down heat to 375 F and bake for another 15 minutes.
21. Remove.

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22. In a small sauce pan add honey and 1 tbsp butter and almonds. Combine and melt together.
23. Spoon sauce on top of croissants and dust with powdered sugar.

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