fool around Informal
1. To engage in idle or casual activity; putter: was fooling around with the old car in hopes of fixing it.
2. To engage in frivolous activity; make fun.
3. To engage in casual, often promiscuous sexual acts.
OK ~ I can only guarantee I have been foolish in the kitchen… A fool baking in the kitchen!
I wish I had a dollar for every minute I spend in the kitchen… I’d settle for a penny for every minute! Really ~ how do people get “discovered” for their talents? Oh, well ~ I’ll keep baking, cooking, distributing, sharing, teaching for the sheer joy of being able to… of giving in another’s time of need; offering bits of sustainment to my family and friends (and more & more often, strangers) because God has blessed me with the true love of doing so.
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 sticks butter, cut in cubes
Pour water into a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast in to soften about a minute. Add milk, egg, sugar, and salt; whisk to mix, allow to rest for 5 minutes.
In another large bowl (or if you are fortunate enough to own a professional grade food processor… I do not) combine flour and butter. I use my hands to work this, being careful not to process too much, you want to see the butter! (If using the food processor, I assume you would pulse gently, also being careful not to over process). Add flour-butter mixture to yeast mixture, stir gently with wooden spatula, just until the ingredients are moistened. Note: DO NOT over work this batter/dough… you want to see distinct pieces of butter ~ it will be a gift to the layers, light and flakey pastry at the end! Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.
Since this is a flakey pastry dough, there is no getting around the rolling and folding! I do guarantee this dough is SO much easier than croissant pastry!
On a lightly floured surface, turn out the chilled dough; dust dough lightly with flour. Using your hands dipped in flour, pat dough into a square; roll it with floured rolling pin into a rectangle form; fold in thirds and repeat 5 more times, chilling dough if becomes too sticky to work. At this point, you should have a beautifully soft, pillowy dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or store in fridge up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to a month. I usually cut mine in half to use now and to share later, or vise versa!
To fill and bake:
I am showing one example ~ there are endless possibilities!
Roll 1/2 of dough recipe into a rectangle, about 24 x 16 on a lightly floured surface. With a pizza wheel, cut dough lengthwise, creating 2 – 12 x 8 sheets. Place good quality chocolate squares ( I used an Italian Perugina hazelnut chocolate) down the center of dough. Place dollops of Nutella onto squares. Spoon confectioner’s cream (recipe below) over Nutella. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 12 – 14 slanting lines down each side, angling the cuts from the center of the dough to the edge and cutting strips about 3/4 inches wide. Fold the strips of pastry into the center, crisscrossing the filling by alternating one strip from the left with one from the right. Brush pastry with a beaten egg, sprinkle with raw sugar and let rest for 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove pastry to cooling rack, make the glaze: stir 2 T cooled, strong coffee, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth ~ drizzle over warm pastry ~ serve or share! with love ~ Val
Confectioner’s (pastry) cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 T cornstarch
- 2 T sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Whisk cream, cornstarch and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave for 1 minute at full power; stir and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly. Whisk vanilla and egg yolk. Temper by adding a spoonful of hot cream while whisking. Add into bowl of cream, stirring until smooth.
note ~ things i use:
- real vanilla
- real, unsalted butter ~ with no apologies!
- kosher salt ~ I just like it better!
- good chocolate
- unbleached “better for bread” flour, unless baking a cake ~ then I’ll use cake flour.
- real eggs
- heavy cream, unless I’ve experimented and KNOW I can use my fat-free half and half!