Today I did what any rational 20 something college graduate with a decent job and foot up on the corporate ladder at a prestigious marketing agency would do… I resigned. I thought I would cry (because that’s what I do in uncomfortable situations), I thought I would screw up the speech I had been rehearsing in my head for the past several weeks, I thought I would chicken out.
I have been struggling to find happiness in a job I spend 10-12 hours a day at for the past two years, and for the first time in a very long time something made me smile… an acceptance letter from the Culinary Institute of America.
I’m still a little in shock that in about 3 weeks I will not have a steady source of income (or a use for my degree from a top 25 university) and that I actually had the guts to leap off the cliff (probably because I’m still falling and don’t know yet if the deep warm Mediterranean ocean is at the bottom of the cliff like I hope) but I did it.
I received the acceptance letter the week before I took the GMAT (needless to say,studying became a lot harder) and as I was in my kitchen doing math drills while treats were in the oven I had an epiphany… in culinary school my homework would be baking! I called my mom and we both just starting laughing because we knew right then and there that studying for the GMAT was irrelevant to my future (I still took the test and the score can get me into a great business school if I ever chose – options to appease my father).
I’m going to have so much more time to bake a blog! This is going to be amazing…. Now to make up for lost time I have a fantastic recipe. It is inspired by the morning buns at Tartine in San Francisco. Basically it’s croissant dough, with cinnamon sugar and a hint of orange. I hate orange, with a passion. If people ask… i’m allergic (yes, i’m one of those people). So I created a peach version. Enjoy! My mom did…she ate 3 in one day!
Recipe (my own):
Croissant dough (this is a simpler version that does not use levain and poolish like the straight croissant dough in a previous post):
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Tablespoons butter melted
- 1 package yeast
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 100 grams butter
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- All-purpose flour for rolling
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 – 1.5 oz package of freeze dried peaches (i used just peaches – you can also sub with a different fruit)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and mix
- Add the flour, salt, sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Mix again with your hands until all flour is incorporated (or use a stand mixer with a dough hook and deprive your arms of the fine sculpting they will get from lots of kneading) Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a clear container and let the dough undergo its bulk rise/ fermentation in a warm 75- 80 ° F place for about 90 minutes
- Every 30 minutes give the dough a turn: dampen your hands (so the dough doesn’t stick) with warm water and gently pull dough up from the bottom of the bowl and fold onto the top a few times – this takes the place of kneading the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a large plastic bag, press to flatten in a rectangle and chill in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours (or freeze).
- While dough is chilling prepare the butter. Cut the cold butter into cubes and pound the cubes with a rolling pin until they come together into a sheet about 8” x 12”. While doing this incorporate the ½ cup of flour. You want the butter mass to be similar in consistency to the dough, and to be slightly pliable without getting to warm. Once you have your rectangle place on parchment paper and keep cool until ready to use.
- When you are ready to begin laminating take the dough out of the fridge and roll out into a rectangle about 12 “ x 20” on a very well floured surface.
- Work quickly to place the butter block in the center of the dough. Fold the right and left portions of the dough over the butter as if folding a letter.
- Immediately turn the dough 90 degrees and roll it again into a rectangle about 12” x 20”. Fold the dough over itself like a letter once more. (This is the first “turn”). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but not long enough for the butter to re-harden.
- Take the dough out and on a well floured surface turn the dough a second time; roll it out into a 12” x 20” and fold the dough over itself like a letter.
- Refrigerate for an hour and repeat the turning process again. But this time after you fold up the dough (you should have about 8” x 12” block about 2” thick) wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and freeze for about 1 to 2 hours. If you plan on baking them in the morning keep the dough in the freezer until just before you go to bed and transfer to the fridge for the night.
- Make the peach sugar by placing the freeze-dried peaches in the food processor and pulsing until a fine powder (it may help to add some of the sugar because of its abrasive nature).
- mix ground peaches with the rest of the sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll the croissant dough out to about a 18″ x 12″ rectangle on a very well floured surface. Make sure you are constantly rotating the dough so it does not stick, or worse the butter breaks through the bottom or top layer and gets very sticky!
- Once the dough is rolled out to size pour melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with enough of the sugar mixture to make a thick paste like coating. (you want about half of the sugar mix left to coat the final baked buns)
- Roll the dough up into a log, like rolling cinnamon rolls and cut off the scraggly ends.
- Cut the remaining dough into 12 equal pieces.(you may want to put the log in the refrigerator to stiffen up a little to make slicing easier).
- Grease a regular-sized muffin tin.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and place in a the greased muffin pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp for an hour or in the fridge to bake-off early in the morning.
- When ready to bake, preheat the over to 425°F and let the buns come to room temperature for 30 minutes if they have been in the fridge.
- Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375°F and bake until golden brown. You make want to rotate the pan to keep the cooking even.
- coat each bun with the remaining sugar (they should be buttery enough to stick, but enough a little extra butter only makes them better)
Another Beauty for Yeastspotting!