Croissants and Alix!
October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Alix, wake up!”
“Alix, wake up! Wake up! Why are you sleeping?,” plaintively cried my roommate.
“I’ll buy you a new one!,” said I, in an attempt to cheer her up.
“It won’t be the same! You don’t understand!,” she pouted.
This is Alix, or more appropriately, this was Alix:
Alix the snail loved to go on long walks on the beach (and I mean long…snails take forever to cross beaches), play with balloons, be tickled by my roommate Csilla, and eat fancy mustard (she lived in a Grey Poupon jar). She was approximately a centimeter small, and died an unknown death approximately 72 hours after Csilla brought her home that was probably due to the unknown red liquid that accumulated at the bottom of her jar.
Anyways, I am sorry Alix died such a young death. She is mourned. But something that she intimated to me while she was alive was that she’s always enjoyed looking at pictures of Paris. She was entranced with ze Notre Dame, ze Eiffel Tower, ze baguettes! (Although she did think that garlic-butter escargots was rather blatantly cruel to all snail-kind.) So I taught Alix how to make croissants, and I took a photo of her making croissants! She’s also wearing a beret too, so make sure you click on the photo to see all the details.
She liked croissants especially she thought that the insides of croissants looked like her shell. Also, she only likes vegan croissants because snails are vegan. She also loved the fact that there was so much math involved in making them! Exponents! 3^4 = 243 layers! Don’t worry if you don’t get that right now, Alix will explain it later!
Oh, and if you happen to be sad about anything else, 1) make croissants, they make anyone happier, and 2) listen to my other highly unrelated dialogue about snails.
Mom: You know, your cousin took a picture of this bug when we were in the forest.
Me: What kind of bug?
Mom: Um…a snuck.
Mom: A snuck!
Me: What’s that?
Mom: It’s like a snail! Without a home! Snucks!
(she’s trying to say “slug”)Alix the Snail Teaches You How to Make Vegan Croissants
This makes about 16 fluffy flaky croissants. These are good for breakfast, snack, and seducing women. Actually, I know nothing about seducing women, but I feel like if you put chocolate in these, you would have a woman or two following you around.
– 1 1/2 cups soy milk, warmed
– 3 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 1/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
– 3 3/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1 1/2 cups cold Earth Balance
1. To make the dough, mix together the soymilk, 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance, sugar, and the yeast together. Let stand until foamy, which means the yeast are alive and kicking.
2. Add this mixture to the flour and salt and mix until clumpy. Turn out and knead until everything is nice and smooth, about 7 minutes. You could also use a stand mixer if you’re lazy. Form into a rectangle, cover with a wet towel, and let stand in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, beat the 1 1/2 cups of Earth Balance into a 8″ x 5″ rectangle. I do this between two sheets of wax paper usually. You’re just trying to achieve a block of Earth Balance. Stick this back into the fridge.
4. Take your dough rectangle out again and roll it out to a 16″ X 10″ rectangle on a floured surface, and place your 8″ x 5″ block of Earth Balance on it like indicated in the picture above. Fold the two sides of the dough over to cover the Earth Balance, then quickly and with a firm hand roll out to a 16″ X 10″ dimensions again. Fold into thirds again. This is called a “fold” If my words don’t make sense, look at the picture! It illustrates a fold! Chill for about 1 hour in the fridge. Don’t rush it; the Earth Balance will leak out and your croissants will suck.
5. Repeat for 3 more folds. You will now have 248 layers because the first fold over the butter was 3 layers, then we raised that to the power of 3 for the next fold, and so on…
6. Chill for at least 8 hours, but not more than 24 hours.
7. Cut the dough in half, (place other half in the fridge), and roll out to a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Cut each dough half into triangles, then roll up to form a snail shape. Twist the ends to get the classic crescent shape. Put them on a baking sheet about 2″ from each other.
8. Repeat with the other dough half. To make pain au chocolat, just cut rectangles and stick an obscene amount of chocolate in the middle before folding it into thirds.
9. Let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours under some plastic wrap, or until puffy.
10. Preheat the oven for 425F. As soon as you put them in, reduce the temperature to 400F, and cook for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans after 10 minutes and reduce the heat to 375F, and bake until the croissants are dark golden, or about 15 more minutes.