Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Strawberry Jam - No Pectin

Bright red strawberries made into jam and used for swirling in cream cheese frosting, strawberry milkshakes, smoothies, homemade ice cream, over a freshly toasted bagel, on top of a belgian waffle, or swirled into hot oatmeal in the morning are all the reasons I had to buy fresh strawberries and make this jam. The recipe is so simple and any berry can be substituted. Blueberries will be next, then I will try a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. A fruit medley jam with no pectin. A simple sugar syrup is all that is used to combine with fresh fruit and a little lemon juice. A candy thermometer, pan, wooden spoon, and measuring cup is the only equipment needed and before you know it, you will be nibbling on freshly made (and still warm) strawberry jam right off the spoon.

The amount of sugar used should be altered according to how ripe the berries are. I let my strawberries ripen for a few days before using them. I froze half of the batch so that I could use frozen strawberry jam in my smoothies and strawberry shakes. Note: Change a strawberry shake into a strawberry daiquiri by adding 3 T. strawberry jam, a few whole strawberries slightly chopped, a 1/4 cup of frozen strawberry daiquiri mix, and 1/4 cup of Bacardi rum. Blend and enjoy!
For the berry jam recipe you will only need 4 ingredients:

Summer Strawberry Jam
(adapted from Bon Appetit web site)
This makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 cups halved hulled strawberries (about 5 pounds)

Preparation:
Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Attach candy thermometer to sides of pan and boil syrup until thermometer registers 225°F, about 6 minutes. Mix in strawberries. Return mixture to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until jam thickens and thermometer registers 216°F, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer jam to small bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays - Not Just Any Cherry Pie

I have been crazy busy planting flowering trees and looking forward to the sunshine filled weekends so the idea of staying inside and baking a pie was "really" hard to do. Michelle with the blog: Flourchild picked this week's dessert: Sour Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble. You will find the recipe in Sweet Melissa's Baking Book and at Michelle's blog. Michelle, if you are reading this, I would never go without making sure to bake the recipe when you chose it. You are one of the sweetest and giving people I know and we have only met and talked through blog messages and grouprecipe emails.


I did not have pistachios so I used hazelnuts as a replacement. My family and I are just now finding out we are not a huge pie cherry fan but pie cherries, grandparents, and love of tradition go back further then personal taste buds. I have spent many afternoons picking pie cherries from friend's trees that are falling to the ground or being eaten by birds. Do you have any idea how much frozen pie cherries cost? Outrageous! So, whenever grandma needed pie cherries, I have always been her go to granddaughter. The pie picking episodes are only 1 day long, but what a long day. 5-gallon buckets, and buckets are plural here, get picked, de-pitted, and put up into freezer bags by weight. I really do not like pitting cherries anymore but I do still look for anyone willing to let me pick free pie cherries. Grandma may not be here with me in person to enjoy the pies but I love to bake and give pies away, so the whole process works!

My fingers are about ready to fall off from typing like a mad person. This morning I learned, for the first time, how to make espresso with my new Delonghi espresso/cappuccino maker type EC155. I am not a coffee person and I am admitting out loud here that the espresso maker was purchased so I could make my own double shots of espresso for tiramisu. The recipe takes 10 double shots to create the dessert and so many friends and associates look forward to when the dessert is brought in for a treat. My sister, Rachel, is an expert on making iced Mochas, and she taught me how to make one correctly yesterday. Pour Hershey syrup to a 3 second count, followed up my pouring in a single or double shot of espresso just brewed; stir well; add 3 to 4 cubes of ice; pour in whole milk; stir again; add straw (a pretty pink one); ENJOY! I did. Very tasty. I now have the jitters.


I really LOVED how well Melissa described making a pie shell. Taken partially from Julia Child, whom she credits in the cookbook, everything is prechilled. The crust came out nice, even in my warm kitchen. Having a 2 crust recipe and being able to freeze one crust for future use is always welcome. I have a new banana cream pie recipe to try tomorrow so now I am set.

My baked pictures turned out terrible. All the caffeine from the espresso made my hands shake and I couldn't take a decent picture to save my life. The pie in the kitchen is beautiful so everyone will just have to come over and see for themselves along with trying a slice. I have Vanilla Bean ice cream waiting in the freezer to dollop on top. I might even let you help me weed, of course I will be offering everyone liquid beverages, with or without added adult flavoring =).

Thank you Michelle for your chose...BEAUTIFUL!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brunch - Chorizo and Manchego Cheese Savory Cake

Why is it that a recipe comes to mind and there is always 1 ingredient not easy to find. For some reason, finding the right type of chorizo for this recipe was not easy for me. I think the area a person lives in defines how easy certain ingredients are to come by. I wanted fully cooked and smoked chorizo. I did not think I was asking for a lot, but I guess I was because tracking the ingredient down took 2 days. I found a market on the outskirts of Seattle, WA, in Shoreline, called Central Market. Unfortunately, other great ingredients hard to come by were also purchased, like fresh fish scraps to make fish stock with; a dehydrated San Francisco style sour dough starter, and authentic Italian pasta. Some items found a home in my pantry while others have already been used. I now have fresh fish stock in the freezer. All anyone needs is a good 45 minutes, start-to-finish, to make homemade fish stock. I will have to blog about how very soon.

The cake is a lot like a scone, but packed with savory ingredients, hence the name. The recipe is fun because the ingredients can be changed up to whatever is on hand in the refrigerator. Manchego cheese, made from sheep's milk, is a new favorite. Not overpowering but definitely a mild and tasty flavor all its own. The cheese is solid and easy to cut into matchstick size pieces so no worries.

Chorizo and Manchego Savory Cake
(adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. fine sea salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. baking soda
4 green onions, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cups)
8 ounces fully cooked smoked chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
6 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
6 T. olive oil
1 t. whole grain Dijon mustard
2 t. smoked paprika

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut out a large piece of parchment paper to go into a removable bottom, tart pan. I used a 9-inch tart pan with 3/4-inch high sides.
Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add green onions, chorizo, and Manchego cheese; toss to distribute evenly. Whisk ricotta cheese, buttermilk, eggs, oil, and mustard in medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just to blend.




Press parchment paper into pan. Spoon batter into parchment. Using damp knife, spread batter evenly in pan. Sift 1/4 teaspoon paprika over batter.





Bake cake until deep golden brown and center springs back when touched lightly, about 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.



The cake has a moist texture and easy to eat...I know =).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sunday

Guinness Gingerbread with Homemade Applesauce
From:
Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Gingerbread sounds great, no matter what time of the year. Sweet Melissa Sundays is cooking through the Sweet Melissa Baking Book and Katie of Katiecakes chose the recipe Guinness Gingerbread. Until a couple of hours ago, I never heard of adding Guinness beer to gingerbread and the idea sounded intriguing. The aroma in the house smelled just like the winter holidays. Sweet and spicy. I wanted homemade applesauce to serve over the top of the gingerbread, which is easy to make, and not go with the traditional dollop of whipped cream this time. The idea just felt like the spring thing to do.
The gingerbread tasted great but did not have the ginger flavor I was expecting. Next time adding more ginger, maybe 1 teaspoon more, would give the recipe the ginger kick. My applesauce recipe is simply:
Peeling and quartering 6 apples, preferable Jonathan or Golden Delicious; tossing in a pot with - 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 T. cinnamon. Mush with a fork or potato masher until you have the right consistency for personal preference. I like chunky applesauce. That's it, simple.
The Guinness beer was not wasted on my hubby. I guess he likes it, which is good since I bought a 6-pack. I could have bought one bottle but the thought of someone buying the last 5-pack made me feel bad. I had no idea hubby liked Guinness until today and I know for a fact that I do not. The bitter bite did nothing for me. In the gingerbread, the added flavor was not noticeable to my taste buds.

I buy Valrhona cocoa from a little Italian grocery store at the Pike's Place Market on Seattle's waterfront. The quaint little store is jammed packed with Italian authenticity. Beautiful! Fresh baked breads, a meat and deli counter that rivals the best stores, cheese selections that seem limitless, and the wines...WoW! Wonderful place to visit but can get spendy if a person stays too long. I have a 15 minute limit.

The recipe went together quickly and I had fun marking my copy of the cookbook with the date and initials showing the recipe was completed. My little record for every recipe I try with all my cookbooks. I also list what I would change for the next time around.


I would like to thank the group at Sweet Melissa Sunday's for letting me join in on all the baking fun and say hooray to my first baking event with the group. Hugs to everyone =D!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunshine and Strawberries

Strawberries are everywhere in grocery stores right now. I think the worst part of baking a cake with strawberries is shopping for the beautiful red fruit to begin with. Finding all red berries, not half white and half red, and hoping for great flavor can be quite the challenge. I would love to sneak a berry, checking for authentic strawberry flavor instead of great texture and no flavor, but the idea of hiding the evidence of a little green leafed cap in my hand while I casually walk around the store, looking for a proper place to dispose of the little cap, is just not worth it. I will continue my quest of tipping plastic containers upside down and sideways to make sure I have the best set of strawberries that I can possibly get. I refuse to dwell on the fact that all the strawberry packages start looking alike after a while.

The strawberries chosen this time were a great choice. So was the recipe for a Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Cream Frosting. The frosting is smooth, creamy, lightly pink, and very tasty! In fact, if time is limited, day 1 can be making the frosting and refrigerating, as the recipe will state, and baking the cake. Assembly can be for Day 2. I think it is fun this way because more time will be spent enjoying the process, don't you think?

I was reading the new May 2009 Bon Appetit and a reader had asked the magazine to get the recipe for this cake from the restaurant, J. Morgan's Steakhouse in Montpelier, VT. I am ever so grateful to Louise Ziegler for taking the time to ask! The recipe will now become a staple in my kitchen for the Spring and Summer. The cake is chalk full of sliced strawberries, strawberry frosting as a filler, and strawberry seedless jam. The vanilla cake is dense and absorbs the strawberry juice wonderfully. Swirling spoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam into the outside frosting can be therapeutic and the result is a varied coloring of pinks and reds. This is a 4-layer cake that slices very well and will impress.

Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Cream Frosting

Frosting Ingredients:
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Cake Ingredients:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
7 large eggs
2 T. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
6 T. plus 1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
2 1/4 pounds strawberries, hulled, sliced (about 6 cups), divided

Frosting Directions:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in sugar, then jam. Beat cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into frosting. Cover; chill until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours.

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch high sides. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add sour cream; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, beating to blend after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides, then turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely.

Using large serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake half, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread 2 Tablespoons strawberry jam over, then 3/4 cup sliced berries, arranging in a single layer. Repeat 2 more times with cake layer, jam, frosting, and berries. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread 2 cups frosting over top and sides of cake in thin layer to coat completely. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Stir remaining 1/3 cup jam to loosen. Spoon teaspoonfuls onto top and sides of cake, then use back of spoon to swirl jam decoratively into frosting.

DO AHEAD:
Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.

Cut cake into wedges. Serve with remaining sliced strawberries alongside.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD, I have So Missed You!

I decided that making time for what I enjoy is almost as important as the choirs that I know I have to get done. I LOVE Tuesday with Dorie! I have missed it so much, even to the point of staying up till 1:30 this morning, finishing the lemon tart. Yea, I know. I have to get up in 3 hours to go to work but this is my first "back to baking with the fun group" tart. Doesn't that make the tart extra special?
Babette from Babette Feasts was the one in line to chose this week's baking event. Babette...HUGE standing applause for your choice. I just bought a bag of lemons at Costco and wanted to use them for "something", what - I didn't know. I just wanted something sweet and the inspiration had not hit me yet. Then I looked at my welcoming back recipe. I went to work and talked about my welcoming back recipe. A whole lemon, zest, pithe, and the actual juicy lemon flesh "all" goes into the blender. All of it. Humph! Is this right? Pithe is icky, bitter. And a whole and extra half of pithe and lemon. Interesting. Okay, I'm in. The tart crust has almond meal in it too. Very nice!
I have a paper to write after work, due tonight, and dinner to make. Not just any dinner, but green asparagus and white asparagus blanched, then baked until crispy soft along with a Chorizo and Manchego cheese tart. So much to do. Make the Lemon Tart shell is the first on the list because I can cool the shell while writing my paper. Oh Wow, the crust dough is yummy! I know the recipe says to set a little dough aside for after-baking emergencies but I ate mine. I didn't share or let anyone know either. Evil but it was so good!

I really enjoy pushing dough out to form the tart shell. Nothing like rolling a pie dough. Very easy to do and the removable bottom to the pan makes the dessert look special when the baker is all finished. Dying to sneak another piece of the almond tart shell....and nobody is even looking.

The idea of freezing the shell first and then just putting a buttered, shiny side down, piece of foil over the top is another easy step. Love IT! I am in a hurry here. Dinner is not yet started and I am working on 8 o'clock. I even wrote out a time schedule before getting home.


Dinner is now done, paper is written, summary for the week is written, and I can start on the filling. Everything is thrown into the blender. I am cutting lemons as we speak. The seeds are such a pain in the butt.




I can't believe this. I am running around the kitchen, cradling 3 eggs to get them to room temperature. I forgot to take them out of the refrigerator ahead of time. Great, I was seperating the eggs, and one of the yolks slipped out and went down the sink drain. Now I am cradling another egg and trying to work one-handed.



It is now 1:30 a.m., on a Tuesday morning and the tart is out. Some of the filling drizzled over the sides. Grabbing a little portion from the side, I am curious to know how the tart will taste. Forgot that the texture might be a little different. It is. I love the sweet/tart flavor but the texture is catching me off guard. The tart is not cool enough to cut a slice but I want to wait until breakfast and add whipped cream. This is really good though. I can not wait to try it with the crust attached.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tiramisu

Have you ever created a masterpiece on the first try and found yourself having mixed feeling of sharing or not to share? If I keep this here, I will be in it constantly and if I share, there might not be any leftovers for me to get into later. If I make this again, I will sooooo eat it all! The aroma of the double shots of espresso, the chocolate, the everything....just amazing! If anyone ventures to make the decadent Tiramisu, get the Siovanna ladyfingers if you can. A crisp and airy ladyfinger with a single layer of sugar crystals covering the top. The espresso seeps right in "but" you need to scoop the ladyfinger out of the espresso immediately or the ladyfinger will instantly disintegrate.

I have never made a Tiramisu before and I just had to after watching the movie "No Reservations". Love that movie. Another reason coincided with the movie reason and that is a specific young man at work that loves his Italian family's cooking and challenges me to beat one dish or another. Makes my eye twitch. Hence, at work, we now have Crew Lunch Fridays. I bring the main dish and everyone else on the crew brings side munchies. I'll have to post the 2 day lasagna later that actually took 3 days because I did the process after getting home late every evening during the week....just to have it done in time for the Friday lunch thing. The young man's name is Paz, short for Pasquel, and I keep telling him I can try to re-create a specific Italian dish but no one is going to make a better dish that he loves because his Grandmother and Mother have created the dish for him since he was a child. The dish is tried-and-true, directly from Italy. I would love to say I was born Italian and had the gift, but no, I have had to cheat and do some mad researching from the true pros with written recipes. Although, I have altered, to put my own touch on things. Back to the tiramisu.

I have researched recipes for several years, only to find a multitude of variation. I wanted to try the authentic "one" and yet, at the end, I felt like dumping the whole lot of recipes in the garbage and creating my own. I didn't. I mean really...me? Throwing a perfectly good, untried recipe away? The thought is too hideous to think about.

Gale Gand is my hero! She was one of the first chef's on Food Network, when the program started out. I absolutely love her recipes and have not madea bad one yet. I made her version of the tiramisu and everyone that tried the dessert thought there could be no better...Including Paz! I would also like to add here that the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of espresso. PLEASE do not skimp or the flavor will be weak. I asked for 10 double shots of espresso and the dessert was not overpowering in the least. Perfecto! Also, as mentioned earlier, Siovanna ladyfingers are the best. We have a grocery chain in the NW called Fred Meyers and this particular store actually carried mascarpone cheese with espresso in it. I could not believe my eyes. Of course I bought 3 containers. The containers were small and just the right amount for the recipe. Since I made this, all I can think about is making it again. Now that is a good dessert!

Tiramisu
(adapted from chef Gale Gand)
Ingredients:
7 yolks
1 cup sugar for yolks
3 cups or 1 (750-gram) container mascarpone
4 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar for whites
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 1/2 cups cooled espresso
1/2 cup kalhua
20 to 24 ladyfingers
1 cup chocolate shavings

Directions:
In a mixer with the whip attachment, whip yolks and sugar until thick and pale in color (ribbon stage). Add mascarpone and whip until well incorporated. Pour water into a small bowl then pour powdered gelatin over it. Do not stir. Allow gelatin to absorb all of the water (about 15 minutes) then place the bowl on top of a small saucepan containing simmering water (creating a double boiler). Immediately turn off the heat and allow the gelatin to dissolve completely. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to a soft peak, gradually add sugar, then slowly pour in dissolved gelatin. Whip to a stiff, glossy peak. Fold whites into mascarpone and yolk mixture then fold in whipped cream.











In a separate bowl, combine espresso and kalhua. Soak 1 ladyfinger at a time in the espresso mixture. In an 8 by 10-inch pan, arrange soaked ladyfingers close together in neat rows until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Pour 1/2 of the mousse over the ladyfingers and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chocolate shavings over mousse. Create another layer and chill until set.






Keeping my fingers out of the dessert before getting it to work was next to possible. I used a spoon instead.








Saturday, May 2, 2009

Homemade Croissants the Easy Way

My Mom bought a croissant kit when I was growing up that included a rolling wheel made to cut the triangles precise and a heavy duty baking sheet. I do not remember anything else. I am almost positive I have the wheel somewhere now that my parents have moved to a warmer climate and donated a few items before the move, including the afore mentioned. I couldn't find it. That's okay because I love to do everything from scratch the first time and make up my mind later as to what I want to shortcut on and what just feels darn good to do the long way.

The croissant recipe I followed came from a Fine Cooking Magazine and I am totally in LOVE with the recipe! The croissants are an easy 3 day process. What I mean by easy is that each day does not require a lot of work. Minimal time spent and if you can schedule the third day to be a weekend morning, sigh, every sensory will thank you! The aroma drifting throughout the house is like an aphrodisiac to the nose and your mouth will start watering in anticipation. The croissants finish baking, the little bell for the timer dings to tell you to pull the piping hot pastry out of the oven and you are now looking at the most beautiful shades of golden brown. Waiting to let the little croissants cool enough to sink your teeth into the closest puffy, golden perfection is torture! Finally, you pick a croissant up and sink your teeth into the puffy pastry, only to be welcomed by the outside shattering of flaky shards and the inside feel and taste of soft and buttery goodness. Pure heaven and well worth the 3 day effort! I will bake these over and over again. Next time, I will bake half using Valrhona chocolate pieces inside and the other half without any additions.
The key to baking croissants is to start with excellent butter. A person CAN tell the difference between regular store bought and European butter. These croissants are very light and flaky. Maybe not a weekly habit to bake but definitely a special occasion habit.

Classic Croissants
(adapted from the Fine Cooking Magazine)
Makes 15 Croissants

For the dough:
1 lb. 2 oz. (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
5 oz. (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs.) cold whole milk
2 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs.) granulated sugar
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) soft unsalted butter
1 Tbs. plus scant 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2-1/4 tsp. table salt

For the butter layer:
10 oz. (1-1/4 cups) cold unsalted butter

For the egg wash:
1 large egg

Directions:
Make the dough
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl once if necessary. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured 10-inch pie pan or a dinner plate. Lightly flour the top of the dough and wrap well with plastic so it doesn’t dry out. Refrigerate overnight.

Make the butter layer
The next day, cut the cold butter lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Arrange the pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to form a 5- to 6-inch square, cutting the butter crosswise as necessary to fit. Top with another piece of parchment or waxed paper. With a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to adhere, use more force. Pound the butter until it’s about 7-1/2 inches square and then trim the edges of the butter. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.

Laminate the dough
Unwrap and lay the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 10-1/2-inch square. Brush excess flour off the dough. Remove the butter from the refrigerator—it should be pliable but cold. If not, refrigerate a bit longer. Unwrap and place the butter on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough. Fold one flap of dough over the butter toward you, stretching it slightly so that the point just reaches the center of the butter. Repeat with the other flaps . Then press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough. (A complete seal ensures butter won’t escape.)

Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, firmly press the dough to elongate it slightly and then begin rolling instead of pressing, focusing on lengthening rather than widening the dough and keeping the edges straight.

Roll the dough until it’s 8 by 24 inches. If the ends lose their square shape, gently reshape the corners with your hands. Brush any flour off the dough. Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it back over the dough, leaving one-third of the other end of dough exposed. Brush the flour off and then fold the exposed dough over the folded side. Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.

Repeat the rolling and folding, this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends until the dough is about 8 by 24 inches. Fold the dough in thirds again, as shown in the photo above, brushing off excess flour and turning under any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover and freeze for another 20 minutes.

Give the dough a third rolling and folding. Put the dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic under all four sides. Refrigerate overnight.

Divide the dough
The next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, “wake the dough up” by pressing firmly along its length—you don’t want to widen the dough but simply begin to lengthen it with these first strokes. Roll the dough into a long and narrow strip, 8 inches by about 44 inches. If the dough sticks as you roll, sprinkle with flour. Once the dough is about half to two-thirds of its final length, it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back. If this happens, fold the dough in thirds, cover, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes; then unfold the dough and finish rolling. Lift the dough an inch or so off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both sides—this helps prevent the dough from shrinking when it’s cut. Check that there’s enough excess dough on either end to allow you to trim the ends so they’re straight and the strip of dough is 40 inches long. Trim the dough.

Lay a yardstick or tape measure lengthwise along the top of the dough. With a knife, mark the top of the dough at 5-inch intervals along the length (there will be 7 marks in all). Position the yardstick along the bottom of the dough. Make a mark 2-1/2 inches in from the end of the dough. Make marks at 5-inch intervals from this point all along the bottom of the dough. You’ll have 8 marks that fall halfway between the marks at the top.

Make diagonal cuts by positioning the yardstick at the top corner and the first bottom mark. With a knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough along this line. Move the yardstick to the next set of marks and cut. Repeat until you have cut the dough diagonally at the same angle along its entire length—you’ll have made 8 cuts. Now change the angle of the yardstick to connect the other top corner and bottom mark and cut the dough along this line to make triangles. Repeat along the entire length of dough. You’ll end up with 15 triangles and a small scrap of dough at each end.

Shape the croissants
Using a paring knife or a bench knife, make a 1/2- to 3/4-inch-long notch in the center of the short side of each triangle. The notch helps the rolled croissant curl into a crescent. Hold a dough triangle so that the short notched side is on top and gently elongate to about 10 inches without squeezing or compressing the dough—this step results in more layers and loft.

Lay the croissant on the work surface with the notched side closest to you. With one hand on each side of the notch, begin to roll the dough away from you, towards the pointed end.

Flare your hands outward as you roll so that the “legs” become longer. Press down on the dough with enough force to make the layers stick together, but avoid excess compression, which could smear the layers. Roll the dough all the way down its length until the pointed end of the triangle is directly underneath the croissant. Now bend the two legs towards you to form a tight crescent shape and gently press the tips of the legs together (they’ll come apart while proofing but keep their crescent shape).

Shape the remaining croissants in the same manner, arranging them on two large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets (8 on one pan and 7 on the other). Keep as much space as possible between them, as they will rise during the final proofing and again when baked.

Proof the croissants
Make the egg wash by whisking the egg with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl until very smooth. Lightly brush it on each croissant.

Refrigerate the remaining egg wash (you’ll need it again). Put the croissants in a draft-free spot at 75° to 80°F. Wherever you proof them, be sure the temperature is not so warm that the butter melts out of the dough. They will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours to fully proof. You’ll know they’re ready if you can see the layers of dough when the croissants are viewed from the side, and if you shake the sheets, the croissants will wiggle. Finally, the croissants will be distinctly larger (though not doubled) than they were when first shaped.

Bake the croissants
Shortly before the croissants are fully proofed, position racks in the top and lower thirds of the oven and heat it to 400°F convection, or 425°F conventional. Brush the croissants with egg wash a second time. Put the sheets in the oven. After 10 minutes, rotate the sheets and swap their positions. Continue baking until the bottoms are an even brown, the tops richly browned, and the edges show signs of coloring, another 8 to 10 minutes. If they appear to be darkening too quickly during baking, lower the oven temperature by 10°F. Let cool on baking sheets on racks.

Make Ahead Tips
The croissants are best served barely warm. However, they reheat very well, so any that are not eaten right away can be reheated within a day or two in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. They can also be wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil and frozen for a month or more. Frozen croissants can be thawed overnight prior to reheating or taken from the freezer directly to the oven, in which case they will need a few minutes more to reheat.