Croissant Waves

LemonOrangeDrizzle

Wotchers!

Today’s recipe arose from something I saw on the Instagram account of a Danish bakery.  The Collective Bakery in Copenhagen developed these striking pastries to help reduce waste by using the offcuts and trimmings from cutting out their croissants. Their Lemon Waves are coated in a Sicilian Lemon glaze, made with sugar and the juice and lemon ‘tea’ made from boiling the lemon peels.

I loved their unusual shape and decided I just had to have a go at making them. I’m not a regular croissant-maker, so the first order of business was to find a good recipe for croissant dough. I found one, and used it for the first batch, but I must confess I was impatient and managed to crack/split the butter slab, so whilst they were OK, as can be seen from the pic below, the layers didn’t flake as well as the top photo.

Croissant Waves with a Lemon Glaze

Croissant Waves with a Lemon Glaze

So I switched to the recipe from The New York Times which, although it is quite long and involves two overnight chillings, is relatively straightforward. There is also an accompanying video, if you prefer a more visual approach. Since these Waves were originally created with offcuts and have a more fluid shape than is allowed for croissants, in the adaptation below I decided against the second overnight chilling. Even so, it was 4pm on the second day before these came out of the oven. Maybe if you’re baking them for Sunday Brunch, the second overnight chilling in the fridge would provide a better timing schedule.

The Glaze

Following on from my recent joy at the intense lemony-ness created in the Empty Pudding, I made a glaze with just lemon juice and sugar. Also, because we know from past experiences making candied peel, if you don’t change the water, it ends up bitter from the oil in the peel. I did actually try making the lemon ‘tea’ mentioned by The Collective Bakery, but even sweetened, it was too bitter to be palatable (for me, you might have different tastes).

Also following on from the Empty Pudding testing, I put the glazed Waves back into the oven for five minutes to ‘set’ the glaze, and to improve the colour. As can be seen in the photo above, the colour is fantastic, and the lemon glaze so shiny, but I felt it lacked a little punchiness from it’s turn in the oven, which led me to try a classic lemon (and orange) drizzle.

Drizzle Glaze

I have a few opinions on the flavour and consistency of a good drizzle, because I have been eating Lemon Drizzle cake since the early 1970s, when it was my grandmother’s afternoon tea showstopper.

  • The citrus taste must be strong and pack a sharp punch, to act as a contrast between it and whatever you’re drizzling it on, be it sweet cake or, as here, rich and buttery croissant dough. Both zest and juice should be used.
  • A drizzle is not a syrup. There should be a variety of texture, which should range from sweet and crunchy granulated sugar clumps through bursts of citrus from the zest, to an intense, barely sweetened juice.
  • A drizzle is not made with icing sugar. It is not icing. Caster sugar dissolves too easily to give any texture, so the best sugar for a drizzle is white granulated sugar.

Glad I could clear that up for everyone.

The quantities given below are for a half-batch adaptation of the NYT recipe, because a full batch made a huge quantity. In the video, Claire Saffitz makes 8 monster croissants from a full batch of dough – seriously, each one is the size of a small loaf – but I was able to get 12 (4cm x 30cm) croissants AND 8 ‘Waves’ from it. Trying to bake croissants AND Waves to perfection seemed too stressful an idea, so, as soon as they were rolled, I put the croissants in the freezer and bagged them once frozen. From frozen, these smaller croissants take 3 hours at room temperature to de-frost and rise, when you can then just bake them as normal. This approach would also work well with the Waves: freeze once threaded onto the skewers and defrost on Sunday morning for fuss-free brunching.

Croissant Waves

Makes about 10 Waves.

110g water, at room temperature
60g whole milk, at room temperature
300g bread flour, plus more for dusting
30g granulated sugar
6g sea salt flakes
1tsp fast action yeast
30g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces, chilled
170g salted/unsalted butter (as you prefer) chilled
1 large egg for glazing

long, thin bamboo skewers

zest and juice of 2 lemons or 2 Seville oranges

4 tbs granulated sugar

  • The night before
    • Put the milk and water in the base of a stand mixer. This will help prevent pockets of dry flour forming.
    • Add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix on low speed for 5 minutes until the mixture comes together in a dough.
    • Cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
    • Remove the plastic, add the cubed, chilled butter, and mix on medium until the mixture forms a soft, pliant dough – about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the mix to make sure no butter gets left on the sides of the bowl
    • Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and form it into a neat ball
    • With a sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the dough and place it on a small baking sheet to rise for 1 hour, covered lightly with a clean cloth or parchment paper to prevent the dough from drying out.
    • When the dough has risen, cover with plastic and put into the fridge overnight.
  • Day 2
    •  Make the butter block
      • Tear off and fold a piece of parchment paper so that it will enclose a 20cm square.
      • Slice the butter into 5mm slices and lay it out inside the 20cm square.
      • Fold the parchment over the butter until it is completely enclosed.
      • Turn the parchment packet over and roll the butter with a rolling pin until it completely fills the 20cm square.
      • Return the butter to the fridge.
    • Square off the dough
      • Tear off and fold a piece of parchment paper so that it will fully enclose a 20cm square.
      • Remove the dough from the fridge and turn onto a floured surface.
      • Gently deflate the dough with the flat of your hand.
      • Put the dough into the folded parchment and fold the parchment around it until it is completely enclosed.
      • Turn the parchment packet over and roll the dough with a rolling pin until it completely fills the 20cm square.
      • Freeze the dough square for 20 minutes.
    • Enclose the butter.
      • Remove the dough from the freezer and the butter from the fridge.
      • Unwrap the dough and roll out to a 40cm x 20cm rectangle, keeping the sides as straight as possible and dusting with flour to prevent sticking.
      • The butter needs to be firm but soft enough to bend slightly if held at one side. If it seems a little stiff, wait a few minutes for it to soften.
      • Place the butter in the middle of the rectangle and fold the dough up from the bottom and down from the top and pinch the edges together in the middle to seal.
      • Pinch the sides to seal also.
    • Make a book fold of the dough
      • Turn the dough 90° so the central seam is now vertical.
      • Using a rolling pin, begin flattening the dough out by tapping it lightly from top to bottom, and then bottom to top. This is to encourage the butter to spread and not crack.
      • Lightly roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 60cm x 20cm, dusting regularly with flour. Do not rush this stage, or press too firmly with the rolling pin, as you will risk cracking the butter slab.
      • Make a book fold by bringing the top edge down to the middle and the bottom edge up, leaving a gap of about 2cm between the ends. Fold the dough in half again, so that the ends are enclosed and the dough is now in four layers.
      • Wrap the dough in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour.
    • Make a thirds fold of the dough
      • Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for five minutes.
      • Using a rolling pin, begin flattening the dough out by tapping it lightly from top to bottom, and then bottom to top.
      • Lightly roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 60cm x 20cm, dusting regularly with flour.
      • Make a thirds fold by bringing the top edge down and the bottom edge up, so that the dough is now in three layers.
      • Wrap the dough in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour.
    • Roll out the dough
      • Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for five minutes.
      • Lightly roll the dough out to a rectangle roughly 1cm thick, dusting regularly with flour.
      • Cover with plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
      • Baking for Brunch – if you want your Waves for brunchtime, transfer to the fridge until the following morning, otherwise, proceed as below straight away.
    • Makin’ Waves
      • Trim the edges of your dough until you have a neat, squared-off rectangle. Make the trimmings about 2.5-3cm wide and use them to make Waves also.
      • Cut the rectangle into 3cm strips.
      • Fold each strip/trimming into a zigzag shape and thread it onto a skewer (see pic below).
      • WaveSkewers
      • Ease the folds apart slightly, to make room for them to puff out.
      • Lay the skewers onto parchment-lined baking sheets with the cut sides uppermost, so the layers are visible.
      • Spritz lightly with water, to prevent them drying out, and cover each tray of Waves with a sheet of parchment.
      • Leave to rise for 2 hours.
    • Bakin’ Waves
      • Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
      • Whisk the egg thoroughly and pass it through a sieve to ensure there are no lumps.
      • With a pastry brush, gently wash the SIDES ONLY of the Waves with the beaten egg. DO NOT brush the tops of the Waves with egg, as this will effectively glue them together and hinder them from puffing out fully.
      • Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets 180° and switch over the shelves (top to bottom, bottom to top), to ensure even browning. Bake for a further 8 minutes until waves are puffed and golden, for a toal of 16 minutes.
    • Makin’ Drizzle
      • While the Waves are baking, make the drizzle.
      • Grate the zest from your oranges/lemons and put into a bowl.
      • Squeeze the juice from the fruit and pour over the zest.
      • Add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and leave, without stirring. This will allow for only some of the sugar to dissolve and make for an interesting range of texture in the drizzle.
      • Just before the Waves are done baking, add the final tablespoon of sugar and stir briefly.
      • Other Options: To make the original lemon glaze, squeeze the juice from 2 lemons. Strain it through a sieve to remove all the ‘bits’. Add sugar to taste, and heat gently to help dissolve the sugar. After 14 minutes baking, brush the glaze over the hot Waves and return to the oven for 2 minutes to set the glaze and brown the top of the Waves.
    • Drizzling the Waves
      • When the Waves are baked, remove from the oven and brush over the drizzle in a single stroke. Be careful not to add too much liquid, otherwise this will make your Waves soggy. Try and get a good mix of zest, sugar granules and juice.
      • Transfer the Waves to a cooling rack.
      • Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


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