Sunday, December 30, 2007

Croissants on Ebay

Our first recipe is croissants. While doing the researchI googled the word "croissant" and was pleasantlysurprised to find that you can buy croissants and anumber of other perishable items on eBay. At whatpoint do you stop going to the grocery and startbuying your food from random strangers? I mean, it'sone thing to seek out a coveted box of Wonka barswhich you don't intend to eat because it is way moreimportant to find the golden ticket, even if they lookreally, no, what did I strangerchocolate!!! NO. Here is a quick list of things youcan buy. Astronaut food, alligator meat sticks, candyshrimp, box of lime Jello, a whole section on poultry,and a real deal on a combo pack of pickled eggs andpickled sausage. I am assuming that all items will bepackaged and shipped by the boogery guy that cleansthe bathrooms at the traveling carnival. Now, here isa real and fabulous recipe from famed chef JamesBeard.
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 t. sugar
3 c. flour
2 t. salt
1 T. unsalted butter
1 t. unsalted butter (separately)
1 c. unsalted butter chilled
Place water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stironce or twice and let stand until the mixture bubbles(4-6 minutes).In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and 1 T.butter. Add yeast mixture and stir with a woodenspoon until all the liquid is absorbed. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball, placeon lightly floured surface, and knead for about 10minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands orsurface, knead in a few tablespoons of flour asneeded. Knead until smooth. Lightly grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon ofbutter. Place the dough into the bowl and sprinklewith a little flour. Cover with a towel and let thedough rise until it doubles in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch the dough down and sprinkle with flour. Wrap infoil. Place in refrigerator until well chilled (about2 hours).Remove from refrigerator and turn onto a lightlyfloured surface. Roll the dough into an oblong shape1/4 inch thick. Place so that the long side faces youhorizontally. Fold dough into thirds creating 3layers. Begin at the right side. Dot only 2/3 of the surfacewith 1/4 of the chilled butter. Leave the last 1/3 unbuttered.Now begin on the left side with the unbuttered end. Lift and fold over the center of the buttered thirdand fold remaining 1/3 to form 3 layers. Roll thedough again into 1/4 inch oblong shape and proceed asbefore until all of the chilled butter is used. Wrapthis in foil and chill for 2 hours.Preheat oven to 350 degree's. On lightly flouredsurface roll chilled dough into square 15 1/2-16 inchby 1/4 inch. Measure off 15" by 15" square and cutwith a knife or pastry wheel. Then cut it into 95-inch squares. Place 8 squares on a large cookiesheet and then refrigerate to prevent dough fromsoftening while you make the first 2 croissants.Cut square diagonally into 2 triangles. Elongate eachby rolling into 1/8 inch thickness. Hold pointopposite the wide base with one hand and with the palmof the other roll the dough from the base. Stretchslightly as you roll. Continue with each square andrefrigerate after each is made. Place on lightlygreased baking sheet. Bake on middle of shelf untilgolden brown. This should take about 20 minutes. Voila!

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