It is Croissant Day!

The history of the croissant started in 1683 when the Turkish Empire sieged Vienna, Austria. The Turks had tried several times to conquer the city by force, but were unsuccessful, so instead thought to use underground tunnels. The bakers of Vienna, who worked in the basement storerooms, heard the sound of digging and alerted the cities army. For their help with alerting the army, the bakers received high honors and thanks for their assistance in outwitting the Turks. In celebration, they baked their bread in the shape of a crescent moon, the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.After the Turks were defeated, it became custom to serve morning coffee with the crescent-shaped pastry.

Celebrate Croissant Day with these delicious, healthy, non dairy croissants.  They are a perfect breakfast or snack.

Makes 7 croissants
- 2 1/3 (298g) all purpose or bread flour, or a mix of the two
- 3/4 tsp salt (less if you are using a salted margarine like Earth Balance)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (NOT rapid or quick-rise)
- 3/4 cup (170g) cold margarine or shortening (or a mix of the two)
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp (99g/3.5oz) cold plain soy milk
- 1/2 cup (114g/4oz) cold water

1. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
2. Cut margarine/shortening into chunks and put in flour.  Using a pasty cutter, gently incorporate the fat into the flour. You want to leave chunks of fat the size of large peas.
3. Drizzle the soy milk and water over the flour/fat mixture and gently incorporate with a silicon spatula.  The dough will be sticky.  When all of the liquid has been evenly incorporated, cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight, and for up to three days.
4. On baking day, remove the dough from the fridge.  It will have risen some in the cold, and will be sticky and spongy

From here you will need about 3-4 hours to finish the bake.  On a well-floured surface, and after flouring the top of the dough, pat the dough into a rectangle.

5. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 7x15.  The key to evenly rolled dough is to start in the centre and roll out towards each of the four corners.  Square off the corners as best you can.

6. Now the laminating: fold the top edge down to the middle, and the bottom edge up to the middle.

 Then, fold in half along the middle line.
 7. Rotate 90 degrees so that the folded edge is on your left.  Keeping everything adequately floured, Roll dough out into another 7x15 rectangle and repeat step 6.  Rotate 90 degrees and repeat step 6 again.  By now, the dough will have firmed up.  If the dough bounces back too much, let it rest a few minutes before continuing to roll it out.
8. Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 30 mins.
9. Keeping everything adequately floured, gently roll the dough into a 9x16 rectangle.
10. Working along the long side, notch the dough every 4 inches.  Do the same on the opposing side, starting two inches in from the edge.

11. Cut the dough into triangles by connecting the notches.  I find a pizza cutter works really well for this.  There will be some scrap pieces on either side.

12. This part takes a little finesse.  Gently stretch the base of the triangle, then gently pull the tip of the triangle to extend the croissant's length. If the underside it too floury, dust off as much as you can.

Start rolling from the base to the tip.  Anchor the tip to the counter with your finger so you can gently pull back on the base as you roll the croissant.  Make sure the tip is on the bottom and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Tuck in the ends to get the crescent shape.  You can make mini croissants with the end scraps.
13. Loosely cover the croissants with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2.5 hours, until well-swelled.
14. Heat oven to 350 degrees,  Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for anther 15 mins until croissants are evenly golden.
15. Let cool for 1 hour, and enjoy!  These croissants freeze very well.


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Posted 11:00 AM

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