I haven’t made a dessert in a while. What? Sadness. Remember when I asked you what I should bake?
The answer was croissants. Argentinian croissants. Medialunas.
Which is not really dessert, but breakfast. A dessert-y breakfast.
Here’s the deal.
I never really eat croissants (except in Paris because when in Paris, one eats croissants) and while there’s a fantastic little Belgian bakery near work that slaves away for 18 hours to make just one…it sort of goes the way of the donut IMO. However, in Argentina, these are a breakfast favorite served alongside some strong coffee, and Sunday it was raining here in Chicago and this is what happened. And I’m glad it did. Turns out croissants are not that daunting.
And when I was done, I thought…Oh S&*%, now I can make croissants.
And you can, too! It really is not that hard. All is takes is a little time and a little love and isn’t that just what makes everything taste better?
Medialunas are to Argentina like bagels are to New York. Everywhere, and there are two main varietals: medialunas de manteca (butter medialunas), and medialunas de grasa (‘fat’ or ‘grease’ medialunas), the former being a little bit thicker and a little bit sweeter, and that is what I bring to you today. I can get on board with that.
They can be flavored any which way, and I decided to fill some of mine with chocolate (because chocolate!) and some with the jammy remains of these fantastic vanilla plum moscatos (because recycling!). Both were very well received at work and last 0.045 seconds after I put them on the table.
The recipe I used I adapted from Rebecca, and if you need a visual of her method below, check out her pretty pictures. I took no such pictures, so…sorry for that.
- 6 TB/100 mL milk, warm to the touch
- 2-7g packages of active dry yeast
- 250 g/2 cups, loosely packed all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 25g/2TB sugar
- 1 egg
- 100g/7TB unsalted butter
- jam or chocolate to fill
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix together the water and milk and 1 tsp sugar. Cover, and set aside in a warm place (like the microwave) to proof. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together. Form a ring with the dry ingredients, and pour the yeast in the middle. Add the beaten egg and mix gently with a wooden spoon, switching with your hands when the spoon is doing nothing. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place the butter on a cutting board. Cover with a piece of parchment or wax paper and, with a rolling pin, roll to form a flat square. Set aside.
- Once the 30 minutes is up, roll out the dough on a floured surface until1 cm thick. Place the square of butter on top of the dough, centered, with a border of dough around it. Fold the edges of dough so that the butter is still visible. This should form a square. Then fold the square in half to make a rectangle. Finally, fold the rectangle in half to make a smaller square. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes is up, roll out the dough until a thickness of 1 cm. Then, just as above, fold the edges of dough to form a square. Then fold the square in half to make a rectangle. Finally, fold the rectangle in half to make a smaller square. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes is up, roll out the dough until a thickness of 1 cm (in a rectangular shape). With a sharp knife, cut the edges to form a rectangle. Then cut the rectangle horizontally in half. You should now have two rectangular strips. Cut congruent equilateral triangles across the strips (in the shape of Pillsbury crescent rolls- come on, you know it). Pull apart and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Gently pull the corners of the triangles to form a tall triangle. (Tip: they are easier to manipulate when they are close to room temperature.) Fill as desired (or, not at all) and roll the dough to form a crescent. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat until it the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid becomes a bit thicker. Add the vanilla and the burner and set aside to cool a little. Once the medialunas are baked, brush on several coats of the glaze. Serve immediately.