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Entries in morning pastries (1)

Saturday
Dec102011

Sweet December: Macringle Recipe from Macrina Bakery

Image: Macrina BakeryJoy to the world! Macrina Bakery has shared a recipe for their delicious version of Kringle--the "Macringle". Here's what they say in their newsletter:

This is Macrina's version of Kringle, the traditional Scandinavian breakfast pastry. The classic version is made with Danish dough and filled with almond paste, but I like to use our flaky Croissant Dough and a light almond cream. It makes a beautiful presentation for brunch or a holiday table.

Serves 10-12

  • 1 recipe Croissant Dough (recipe follows) 
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • Egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water
  • Coarse raw sugar
  • Powdered Sugar

Procedure

  1. Complete the Croissant Dough recipe as instructed and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.
  3. Place cooled almonds in the bowl of a food processor and blend until medium fine. Add butter, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla extract and flour and blend for about 3 minutes, or until smooth. Scrape almond cream into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Take Croissant Dough from refrigerator and remove plastic. Cut dough in half and place one piece on a lightly floured work surface. Set second piece aside. Gently roll dough into a 12 by 20-inch rectangle, taking care not to tear the dough. If the dough resists being rolled, let it sit for a few minutes to relax, then try again. Lift rolled dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with second piece of dough.
  5. Scoop half of the almond cream onto the center of each rectangle and spread it out to approximately 4 by 16 inches. Fold the long sides of each rectangle on top of the almond cream leaving a 1-inch opening down the center. Fold 1 inch of dough underneath each of the ends and pinch to seal. This creates a double thick crust that will keep the almond cream from oozing out during baking. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar. (Avoid brushing the almond cream with egg wash.)
  6. Note: At this point, the pastries can be baked or wrapped well with plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Make sure that the frozen pastries are completely defrosted before baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 385°F.
  8. Let the pastries sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Dough will rise slightly and become soft to the touch. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown on top and bottom. Let cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then cut into slices. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Croissant Dough
This recipe was inspired by an article I read in Cuisine magazine back in 1983. In the article the talented chef Nick Malgieri shared his secrets for making great croissants. My staff and I started experimenting on our own, and after adding a-little-of-this and taking out a-little-of-that, we came up with what I think is a great recipe. At the bakery, we use this dough as the base for a wide range of sweet and savory breakfast pastries. The key to this recipe is keeping the butter and dough cool while you work with them.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 pounds of dough

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups and 3 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

Procedure

  1. Pour milk into a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Remove from stove when milk is warm to the touch, taking care not to over-heat. Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Add sugar and vanilla extract and mix with a whisk until dry ingredients are dissolved. Let sit for 5 minutes while yeast blooms.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, combine salt and 3 cups of flour. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add flour mixture to the bowl of milk and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. It's important not to over-mix the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. While in the refrigerator, the dough will almost double in size.
  3. The next day, remove bowl of dough from the refrigerator and set on counter.
  4. Cut cold butter into twelve equal pieces. Place butter and remaining 3 tablespoons flour in the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 2 minutes until butter is completely smooth.
  5. Using a plastic scraper, scoop the butter mixture onto a floured work surface and pat into a 6-inch square. (At the bakery we refer to this as a butter-block.) Lightly flour the top and bottom of the butter-block to make it easier to handle, then lift it onto a piece of plastic wrap and set aside.
  6. Note: Before going on to the next step, it's important to make sure that the butter-block and the bowl of dough are the same cool temperature. If the butter gets too warm and soft, place it in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled. If necessary, do the same with the dough.
  7. The next step is incorporating the butter into the dough. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl of dough and lightly sprinkle flour over the top. The spongy dough will be sticking to the bowl, so coat your fingers with a little flour and gently release the dough from the sides. Pull dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat into a square. Stretch each of the corners outwards about 4 inches, creating an x shape and leaving a 7-inch square of dough in the center. Place the cold butter-block in the center of the dough and fold the stretched corners on top, overlapping them slightly. Pinch all the seams of dough together, completely sealing the butter in dough. Sprinkle a little more flour on your work surface, and moving quickly to keep butter from softening, gently roll dough into a 12 by 20-inch rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. If the dough cracks open and butter starts to peek through, pinch the dough to reseal it.
  8. Once the dough has been rolled out, it's time to start the book-folds. This process distributes the butter and dough into alternating layers, resulting in the wonderful flaky dough we all love. Note: If the butter gets too soft it will start to seep through the dough. If this happens, place dough on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap well with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Position the rectangle so that a long side is facing you and fold the left and right sides on top, meeting in the center. Crease the seam gently with your fingers to make the next fold easier. Next, fold the dough in half, bringing the left side over the right so that it resembles a book. Lift the folded dough onto a lined, rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and lift dough onto a floured surface, positioning dough so that the open side of the fold is in front of you. Roll dough, from left to right, into another 12 by 20-inch rectangle. Moving quickly, follow the above book-fold instructions a second time. Lift folded dough back onto the lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
  10. The dough still needs one more fold. Remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. Then follow the above book-fold instructions a third time. Cover the folded dough and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  11. Unlike pie dough, Croissant Dough really doesn't keep well. I recommend forming the dough into pastries right away. Once the pastries have been formed, they should be baked within 24 hours or wrapped with plastic wrap and frozen.
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