From Scratch: Mini Croissants

From Scratch - Croissants

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups all-purpose flour

12 oz unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 oz fresh yeast (or 1 tbsp dry)

1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)

4 tbsp sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tsp salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl using the dough hook of an electric mixer. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk, then add to flour mixture and blend until dough forms a ball.

Place dough in bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough, recover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge. Cut a deep cross in the dough and spread out the quarter sections so that the centre is the thickest. Roll in opposite directions to form a four-leaf clover, while maintaining thick centre.

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Mold butter into a lower block as shown and place diagonally in the centre of the clover. Bring the edges of the dough to the centre, enclosing the butter completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Pound lightly and evenly with your rolling pin to make the dough malleable. Roll out the dough into a rectangle approximately 9″ by 16″ with the 9″ side facing you. Fold into thirds, starting with the closest end. You have now completed the first turn.

Turn the dough clockwise a quarter turn so the narrow end faces you. Again, roll out the dough and fold into thirds to complete the second turn. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pound the dough evenly, roll and fold to complete three more turns. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 50-60 minutes.

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Divide the dough in half and roll into two rectangles approximately 1/16″ thick. Cut each rectange into 5″ squares then cut diagonally into triangles. Roll triangles from the widest edge to the point. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place on baking sheet and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

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Brush each croissant with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Let cool for 20 minutes before devouring.

Ottawa’s Top 5 Travel Experiences

Tourist attractions are plentiful in the capital city; the problem is fitting them all in.

First time visitors will want to allow several days for exploring the many museums and historical sites. Make sure to save time for a skate on the Rideau Canal.

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ABOVE: The stunning glass structure of the National Gallery of Canada is most easily identified by the ‘Maman’ spider statue in front.

1. The National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian Mint are just northwest of the bustling restaurant and shopping district known as Byward Market. The gallery focuses on Canadian art featuring works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Alex Colville, but also showcases an impressive display of American and European pieces. Pick up a newly minted or treasured souvenir after a tour at the Royal Canadian Mint.

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2. It’s hard to miss the castle-like structure that houses the Canadian Museum of Nature. Kids of every age will enjoy the natural disasters exhibits.

3. New skate chalets, found at varying intervals, make changing and resting much easier on the 7.8 km outdoor skating rink known as the Rideau Canal. After a brisk workout on the ice you’ll be able to enjoy (practically guilt free) an iconic Canadian pastry known as the beavertail. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

4. Rideau Hall is home to the Governor General of Canada and, in turn, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she’s in town. It’s the only official residence open to the public and it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re prone to royal fever.

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5. On the edge of the Rideau Canal, in the downtown core, the National Arts Centre attracts prominent theatre including Broadway productions and notable performances in a variety of mediums. Annual tickets to shows like The Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah are a family tradition for many local residents.