The moment has arrived, a spanish guy is offering you the recipe for perfect french butter croissants! But don’t worry sceptic readers, we spanish people have a tradition on stealing the french (ejem ejem, Crème Brûlée). Anyways… this time I got the recipe from Yann Duytsche, a baker with french C.D.O living in Barcelona who shared how to prepare this buttery deliciousness in “El Comidista”. As you can see (and since they already did a perfectly well filmed video with the whole process and explanation) I decided to take a picture of a “typical spanish croissant” or what’s the same, a croissant most people out there wouldn’t want to eat. Because although we are, I would say, quite good at cooking, precise work isn’t our thing and I’m warning you, this is quite an arquitectural piece of doughy art.
If like me you decide to accept the challenge and make them, here’s a tip; This recipe makes loads, so bake some to show off and freeze the rest. Whenever you feel like having a luxurious breakfast, put out a few overnight and you will wake up to perfecly defrosted and risen croissants. 170ºC and 14 minutes later freshly baked pieces of heaven will be sitting next to coffee (if you made coffee as well of course).
And if your cravings for french delights aren’t fulfilled yet, no worries, I also took the time to carefully arrange a playlist of unintelligible songs. There’s only one scene where I can imagine myself fully listening to “Je t’aime moi non plus” by Brigitte Bardot, and that scene, indeed, is making croissants.
· 1 kg Strong White Flour
· 120 gr Sugar
· 25 gr Salt
· 240 ml Milk (can be plant milk)
· 240 ml Water
· 40 gr Fresh Yeast
· 80 gr Butter/Margerine
· 660 gr Butter/Margerine (shaped in 2 thin blocks)
Combine the dry ingredients with the liquids (cold/at room temperature water & milk, and the 80gr of melted butter/margarine). Knead into a dough and leave to rest for an hour, uncovered and at room temperature. (Resting the dough is essential, you will see through out the whole process that this dough is extremely strong and can’t be worked well without leaving it to rest).
After 1 hour slightly mix the dough and roll into a 60cm long rectangle. Leave it to rest again 1 hour in the fridge.
We are ready to start making the layers! Lay a thin rectangle of 330gr of butter over the first 2/3 of the dough, fold the remaining 1/3 over the butter block and the remaining 1/3 on top of the first piece we folded. (I know, hella confusing, check “el comidista’s” video for a better look at the process). If you made it, that’s how you make a fold! Dough and butter must be cold so that they don’t melt into eachother and loose all those beautiful layers we are after. Roll the folded dough, repeat the folding process and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Repeat the process again to add the 2nd block of butter. We will have done 4 folds and our croissant dough will be almost ready after 1 more hour of resting! Roll the dough to a 3mm thicknes and leave it to rest again.
Cut the dough into triangles, strech them with your hands and roll towards the tip. Finally they start lookig like croissants! Now leave them to rise at room temperature for about 2 + 1/2 hours, brush them with some egg wash and bake at 170ºC for 14 min. Voilà, croissants are done!
Lentils are one of my favorites legumes, feels so weird to me that I didn’t like them back when I was a child! But as they say, it’s one step from hate to love, and… I kinda get that now. Talking about love, it’s quite a relationship I’ve gotten into with this Red Lentil Dahl, easy, flavourful and so satisfying! And as many of you already know, to me it gives extra points to a recipe if It keeps getting better and better as it rests on the fridge. Is there anything better than discovering you already have something delicious to eat, waiting for you on the fridge? I’ll tell you, no, there isn’t! And you could take it up a noch by preparing some home made Indian bread, like this Rye & Whole Wheat Roti, which is also very easy to make and a perfect couple to go along with the Dahl. And last but not least, music. I always feel like there’s something missing if we sit down to eat and there ain’t background music. My go-to artists would be Amy Winehouse (fav of all times) and João Gilberto. Also strange that I haven’t talked about any of them sooner because I couldn’t live without them, that’s for sure. All tracks are delightful, but maybe “Sorriu Para Mim” or “Para Machuchar Meu Coracao” would make good friends with this dish. Perfect recipe, perfect setting, let’s eat!
· 300 gr Red Lentil
· 1,2 lts Water
· 2 Onions
· 4 Garlic Cloves
· 2 tbsp fresh Ginger
· 3 Tomatoes
· 1 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
· 1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
· 1 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
· 3 tsp Turmeric Powder
· 2 Zucchini
· 1 bunch of Spinach
Brown the onions with some olive oil, then add garlic and ginger, and keep cooking until fragrant. Grind the seeds slightly, and throw them in along with the tumeric powder. It’s very important to cook spices, so let them fry for a minute or so before adding the finely chopped tomatoes. These have quite some water and after cooking for about 5 minutes they will have turned the preparation into an almost paste like base. Now add the well washed red lentils, the chunky cuted zucchini and 1,2 lts of water. Put the lid on and let cook at medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until pasty and delicious. I like to add some chopped spinach last minute to keep them bright and give some extra flavour and texture to the dish. So yum!
Potato wedges are a classic favorite, salty, spicy and full of flavor, we love their crunchy outside and soft interior. But fries are usually quite unhealthy and deep frying can be messy, so this roasted option with herbs and spices will be a better option for a tasty snack (maybe along some home made guacamole?) or a perfect side for any dish, like these veggie burgers. Apart from healthy, what I like the most is that this recipe calls for no fuzz, no pre-boiling or even peeling, simply give the tubercle a quick rinse, a few cuts and a good toss with olive oil, salt and spices. So easy it almost needs no directions!
· 6 medium-sized Potatoes
· 1 tbsp Paprika
· 1/2 tbsp Curry
· 1/2 tbsp Turmeric
· 1 tbsp Thyme
· 1 tbsp Oregano
· 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
· 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
· Salt & Pepper to taste
Since we are leaving the skin on, rinse thoroughly the potatoes, cute them into wedges and place those on a bowl, together with the spices, herbs, oil, salt & pepper to taste. Now, roll up your sleeves and give them a good massage to cover all of their surface with the spicy goodness, ready for the oven! Place them on a tray and bake at 250ºC until the potatoes are soft and golden brown. I’m sure this recipe will become one of your favorite basics, so tasty!