They are essentially savoury croissants: a stiff, white, milk dough with layers of butter (oh-so-much-butter!) incorporated once the dough has proved (proven?) over night.
The dough was really stiff, as it was only a 55% hydration with strong white flour, but the recipe said it would be firm, so I resisted the temptation to add any more liquid.
After a customary mix/rest/knead/rest/knead sequence, I popped it, covered, into the fridge to prove over night.
So far, so according to plan.
Upon awaking remarkably early the next day (7am? On a Sunday?!) I went to the fridge to remove the dough, and the butter, to allow to come a touch closer to room temperature.
I was greeted by this:
A rather lively, and pleasing, dough. Huzzah.
I then rolled it out to a roughly 1cm thickness, and covered 2/3 of it with softened butter.
Then I folded the 1/3 of the dough with no butter on it over half the butter, and rolled that over onto the remaining 1/3. Then I rolled it out again, and folded into thirds as before.
Then came a scene repeated often on this bake:
“Right, what’s next… Oh, it seems there’s another hour I hadn’t accounted for in my planning”.
This happened at least twice, despite having read the recipe a couple of times, and read about Chris leaving them in the fridge overnight again. Next time, I would do this, as the expected brunch ended up a lunch, and a fairly late one at that.
Leaving behind, now, my temporal incompetence, a brief aside about the butter. If this much butter was incorporated into the dough, as opposed to being layered in between it, then the butter would coat the flour, preventing the yeast from feeding on it, and therefore preventing the dough from rising. It would also not result (I don’t think) in the lovely flaky layers that this method does.
Due to repeated fold’n’roll sequences, I ended up with 24 very thin layers of butter in a 1cm thick layer of dough. Lovely! Then I cut out circles. I didn’t have any cutters the right size so I had to *ahem* improvise. I got 6 buns worth from the dough, plus two from offcuts (which were re-rolled and hence more scrappy). More than enough for this (constantly just out of reach) long-weekend brekkie.
I found the shaping instructions a little unclear. Fortunately, I was not the only one and, I being well behind the schedule, Chris, of the Mellow Bakers, had already taken pictures to demonstrate his interpretation (thanks Chris!). It worked very well for me, producing pleasingly pert little buns, ready for rising under wraps:
It’s at this stage that I will put them back in the fridge next time, ready for the next day. That way, I’d take ’em out for half an hour or so, while the oven warms up, before popping them in for breakfast. The sort of breakfast that’s eaten before two in the afternoon.
Anyhow, I let them rise for a little over the allotted 90 minutes, before popping them into the oven for 25 minutes.
I sneaked a peak part-way through…
They ended up looking like this:
This is what they looked like inside:
And then I put some bacon in it. The rolls were rich and luxurious inside, with a lovely flaky crust. I think their full impact will be felt most the next time I have a mediocre continental breakfast somewhere. The bacon worked particularly nicely, though they were tasty with some elderflower jelly, and indeed by themselves.
We had the second half of the batch the next day, having left them, shaped but unbaked, in the fridge overnight. They were just as yummy as the day before. I’ll definitely be making these again, though strictly as a treat. So much butter.
Happy Euro-Jubilympics y’all!