Zaatar croissants are offered in every pastry shop in Beirut. Once you have tried one, the plain croissants taste just, well, too plain. There is something irresistible about the slightly pungent, aromatic and nutty zaatar.
The challenge was compounded by the fact that temperatures are still in the high nineties in Dallas these days.
The recipe comes from Jacques Torres Dessert Circus, who uses this dough for his croissants and his pains au chocolat.
If you did not have biceps before attempting this, you will after.
Check out the other creations in this challenge (they may not post all at the same time)
Erika Beth, messy chef
- 3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (40 g.)
- 1 Tbsp. of dry instant yeast (he used fresh yeast 1 ounce or 25 g.)
- 1/2 cup of water (125 g.)
- 3 1/3 cups of bread flour (500 g.) (plus more, as needed)
- 2 tsp. of salt (12 g.)
- 1/3 cup of sugar (65 g.)
- 1/2 cup of whole milk (125 g.)
- 1 cup +2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (250 g.)
For the zaatar: 1 cup of zaatar mix, diluted in enough olive oil to make a thick but spreadable paste.
- Proof the yeast in a little warm water with a dash of sugar. Place the flour, salt, sugar in a mixing bowl and mix to combine a few seconds. Add the melted butter, milk (scalded and cooled if desired), and the proofed yeast. Mix until the dough is formed and if the aspect is “like a rope”(not smooth), mix some more and knead by hand on a work surface for a few minutes until a smooth dough is formed, adding a bit of flour or more water as needed.
- Cover with a plastic sheet on a floured baking sheet and let it rise for about 30 minutes or up to an hour. Roll it out into an 8X15 rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Cover it with plastic and let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours. Let the butter soften outside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place it facing you (long side) and cover 2/3 of it with the butter, spreading it with a spatula. Fold the 1/3 of the dough without butter over the center and the bottom over the top, so it looks like a folded letter.
- Roll into a rectangle 10X30 and 1/8 in thick. Fold each short end to the middle in order to meet, but not overlap. Rotate the dough. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
- Roll the cold dough into a 10X30 rectangle. Fold the dough again like a letter, with the long side facing you. Place in the fridge 30 minutes. Remove and roll into a 10X36 rectangle, 1/4 in thick.
- Cut triangles into the dough using a pizza cutter or a knife. Lay the triangle with the tip facing you and gently pull the tip toward you; this is supposed to help add layers to the finished croissant. Spread some zaatar (about 2 teaspoons) on the triangle and roll it into a croissant shape. Let the croissant rise for one to three hours until doubled in size. (Make sure you space them on the baking sheet so they don’t bump into each other)
- Brush the croissant with an egg beaten with a teaspoon of milk, and bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown, and enjoy while still warm.
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