Tapping the remaining dough flat with a rolling pin on a floured surface, as we had with the brioche dough, we then rolled it out, working quickly while it was still cold, to a thickness of 2-3mm, keeping the dough in as uniform a rectangular shape as possible. It is quite an active dough and shrinks back when you are rolling it out, hence the need to work quickly - this part is good exercise!
|Croissants ready to be baked, each with lots of space!|
°C then at 180°C after 15 minutes until they were deep golden brown.
I didn't have to try too hard to find some willing guinea pigs to try my first attempts at croissants and pastries, and their rapid disappearance was rather reasssuring! I was really pleased to see that the dough inside my croissants had spiralled like it was supposed to through the layering and rolling process. Chef advised us that if we could crack croissant dough, making puff pastry from scratch would be a doddle, albeit still a waste of a few hours of one's life. I'm keen to give these another go and see if I can make a better pastry by working quicker as mine seemed to leak more butter than I would have liked whilst I was turning it!
Lunch that day was a beef and mushroom steamed suet pudding. We had made the suet pastry the day before, as well as the beef filling. We drained the beef casserole filling and kept just the meat and the beef chunks, which we broke down into smaller pieces. We fried some sliced shallots in one pan and some sliced wild mushrooms in another, draining the mushrooms before combining them both with the meat. Meanwhile, the sauce had been reducing in a pan, and some of this reduction was used to bind the beef filling before seasoning. Ready for lunch, we rolled the pastry to 2-3mm thick before cutting it into a large disc, removing a wedge to make a 'pacman' shape and using it to line a small pudding basin (a cappuccino cup or dariole mould would also work) which had been oiled and lined with oven-proof clingfilm. We cut lids for the pudding bases, filled the lined basins with the meat mixture and sealed the filling inside the pastry, removing excess overhang before pinching the edges tightly together and closing the edges of the clingfilm together over this. This was all wrapped tightly in foil and steamed for half an hour.
To serve with this, we made a parsnip purée by peeling, coring and chopping parsnips into chunks and simmering in milk until soft. We drained the parsnips, retaining the milk, and once the parsnips had steamed dry we blended them in a liquidizer with as much of the milk as was necessary to make a smooth purée. This needed a LOT of seasoning, as parsnip can harbour an earthy bitterness that needs to be tempered with salt, but it was deliciously moreish. We also made beetroot en papillote by sprinkling chunks of raw, peeled beetroot with thyme, smashed garlic, rosemary, thyme, seasoning and balsamic vinegar in a foil parcel and baking at 200°C for 30 minutes. Chef showed us how to make parsnip crisps by peeling strips of parsnip, dusting the with flour to stop them from sticking to each other and deep-frying these until golden before draining and sprinkling with paprika and salt. Lunch was served with the stew juices reduced down to a gravy and made into a glossy sauce with a little butter whisked through at the end of cooking. A lovely, simple and impressive dinner!
|Could do better. |
But everyone likes an ooze!
It was a great day to finish a great course, and as we left that day, full of trepidation at the week ahead and the weekend of revision needed to get through it, I am sure I was not the only one having the occasional headshake of disbelief at just how much we had learned so far. I am so glad to have blogged it all!