Posted on | September 6, 2010 | 3 Comments
It’s official. Summer vacation is over. I’ve packed all of my belongings and left for Rider University and now I type to you from the desk in my new on-campus apartment. All the anxiety I had about moving in has evaporated (though it’s been replaced on worries about how to juggle classes, work, the internship and to continue blogging at the same time). But none of that can overcome the excitement of being back, seeing good friends once more and having a really awesome kitchen without the worries of being cross-contaminated via the school’s dining hall. The refrigerator and cabinets are full and I’m ready to get started. Here, take a look at where I’ll be living for the next semester:
This is our kitchen. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be though more counter space would be nice. We’ll just be rubbing elbows often. I can’t wait to start cooking. I know I’ll be using all of the recipes I’ve tried this summer.
And here’s our living room. It even came with some furniture. Can you believe this is a college dorm. We speculated that this will be the nicest place we’ll ever live as none of us our going into high paying careers after graduation.
This is my bedroom. MY bedroom. We each get a small room to ourselves. As you can see, I haven’t decorated much yet, but I’m glad to have the chance to put my own personal flare on the room. I feel entirely optimistic about the semester to come, though it’s inevitable that some stress will very soon be making its way into my life.
Despite my excitement, yesterday was a day of near mourning. I completed the last of the recipes in my summer blog project. I’m proud of myself. I completed the nine recipes that I set out to complete and most of them came out really well! But before I get all weepy and nostalgic, I’ll let you in on my latest conquest: Celiac Teen’s Croissants.
Celiac Teen is one of my favorite blogs because its writer, Lauren, is talented, brave and wise beyond her seventeen years. It’s embarrassing for me to admit that I could barely crack an egg until my twenty-first summer, especially when I look at all the amazing recipes Lauren puts together. I want to be more adventurous like she is. And I think that perhaps I was while making her gluten free croissants. I was interested in making them because they reminded me of the crescent rolls I always used to have before I became gluten free. I had to improvise a little on her recipe so here’s what she calls for:
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup and 1/2 cup millet flour
1/3 cup and 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp gelatin
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and cold
1 cup warm milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup millet flour, reserved for later
1 egg, for egg wash
Though I had most of the flours she used, I couldn’t find millet flour for the life of me (Of course, I saw it today at the Wegman’s near my school.). So I decided to switch it up a bit. Remember when I made Gluten Free Girl’s Blueberry Polenta Pancakes? I used a flour mix made by Shauna when making the pancakes. So I decided to use the same amount of flour that Lauren asked for but replace it with the flour mix that I used for the pancakes (which you can find here and here). I knew, after having used it for a plethora of other baked goods, that the mix was one of my favorites and that it would probably translate well into the croissants.
So instead of the sweet rice flour, cornstarch, millet flour, tapioca flour and sorghum flour, I used 3 1/2 cups of The Ahern’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix.
Now that I’ve explained myself a bit, let’s get going! You want to start by warming up some water to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit and sprinkling the package of yeast over to let it activate. Let it sit for ten minutes.
In the meantime, put all of your dry ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until everything is the same color.
Then put in your cold cubed butter and pulse again. Lauren suggests you do this until the largest chunk of butter is no larger than a small pea.
In another bowl, whisk together your warm milk and egg yolks. Make sure your milk isn’t too warm because you don’t want the eggs to scramble (though I could really go for some scrambled eggs right now). Next, you’ll combine this with the activated yeast.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix it all together. Once everything is mixed and your dough is a bit sticky, cover it and put it in the fridge, where it’ll sit for the next four hours. This is the time I spent packing for school yesterday.
After the four hours pass, cut the dough into quarters. Lauren suggests using a palm-sized piece of dough. When you roll out the quarters of dough, do your best to roll the quarter out into a square or rectangle (Check out Lauren’s pictures of this process.). I failed to do this, the croissants were each a different size. It’s okay if that happens. You just have to keep an eye on all of them when they’re in the oven because the smaller one’s will finish cooking first.
When you have the dough rolled out, cut triangles out of the dough. Then you rolled, starting from the large end of the triangle to the small end. When you finish, they should look something like this:
These should sit for around two hours because they’ll puff up a little bit. If they don’t, don’t worry. They will once they’re in the oven.
After the two hours, set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oh, before putting them in the oven, don’t forget about the egg wash like I did. Whisk an egg and brush it onto each croissant. Then put your lovely little croissants into the oven. It’ll take around 16-18 minutes to cook. Keep an eye on them and see when they brown.
When they’re finished, you can enjoy warm, happy croissants that are oddly reminiscent of my family’s Thanksgiving dinners. Like I thought when I first saw them, they’re a bit more like crescent rolls, which was really what I was looking forward to. You can put some butter on them (which I did) but they’re also flavorful without anything on them. When you first bite into it, you’ll feel like a little kid sitting at the table during a family dinner (or that’s how I felt, at least). These croissants are incredibly filling. After having two of them, my tummy was completely content.
I would like to thank Lauren for allowing me to try out her wonderful recipe and for giving me permission to write about it here. Her recipe was the perfect way to end a wonderful summer of learning and cooking. My mother deemed it the best I’ve made yet. So it was the coup d’état I was hoping for after all.
Hoping everyone had a marvelous summer and looking forward to a gluten free semester,