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These croissants are buttery, soft, tender, and have that faint resistance to be torn apart that only comes from a balanced yeast dough treated with respect. And don’t you worry, they are brimming, practically overflowing, with bittersweet chocolate.
Combine the buttermilk, yeast, and sugar briefly in a large bowl. Add the bread flour and the salt and stir to form a dough. Knead the dough within the confines of the bowl for a few minutes, just until it is smooth. Let the dough rise, covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, for 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, place the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours or even as long as overnight. Overnight is preferred. The stint in the refrigerator is called retarding the dough, as it stops the rising of the dough for the time being. It helps to build the flavor of the dough.
Once the dough has retarded, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. The size doesn’t really matter, but 9 inches by 18 inches is a good size. Cream the butter in a stand mixer. Spread the butter over the right 2/3 of the dough. I’ve found this is most easily done with your hands. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If ever the butter squeaks out while handling the dough just cover the opening with flour. Always flour the dough and the work surface throughly when working with it.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle once again, and fold into thirds just like before. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, and fold into thirds. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Repeat the rolling and refrigerating process just like the previous two times.
Roll the dough out one more time, but this time fold the left half and the right half of the dough towards the center, with the edges one inch apart. Then fold the left half over the right half so the dough is in 4 layers. Refrigerate the dough for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick and 10 inches in width. The length will probably be about 18 inches, but the important thing is that you can, with a bench cutter, cut fifteen 3 1/2 inch rectangles. I got 12 out of a perfect rectangle I made with my bench scraper, and 3 with the scraps I cut off to make the rectangle.
Take a square of dough and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough up and down a few times to make a rectangle with the short side towards you. Place a square of chocolate (Ghirardelli bars have 8 squares per bar, so one is leftover) in the center of the dough with one edge of the chocolate square up against the top edge of the rectangle, furthest way from you. Roll the dough around the square (it should cover the square once with a little bit to spare) and seal the edge around the chocolate. I do this by pressing the wrapped chocolate towards the counter when I get a centimeter of dough to spare and rotating the top of the square of chocolate around towards me as if rolling it again, while pressing the bottom down and away from me. This sounds really complicated, but it’s not. It just smears the dough onto itself. Place the chocolate-filled square of dough on one of 2 baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining squares of dough.
Let the croissants rise, covered with kitchen towels, plastic wrap, or paper towels, for about 1 hour, or until they are puffy.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Just before the oven is hot enough, combine the egg and milk in a small bowl and brush the egg wash to cover the top of each croissant completely. Place the pans in the oven on two different racks and bake for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes switch the position of the pans (the top one goes to the bottom and vice versa) and bake for another 7 minutes, or until the croissants have browned. They can be eaten hot or cooled. Enjoy!
This Low Fat Banana, Date & Nut Bread may be low on fat, but it’s not low on flavor! It’s perfect to enjoy with that morning tea or coffee. This recipe makes two loaves, one to eat now, and one to put in the freezer to enjoy later.
Better than Starbucks makes!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!