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for at least 2 hours. FOR THE THIRD TURN: Start agian with a 14 inch side running from your left side ti your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long by 14 inches wide. Fold the left and right sides of the dough into the center, leaving a little space in the centrer, and then fold one side over the other as though you were closing a book. This is the famouse double turn, also known as "the wallet". Chilling the dough: Brush off the flour, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. At this point the dough is ready to be rolled, cut and shaped into croissants. Storring: The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. CROISSANTS ROLLING THE DOUGH: Generously flour a work surface. Position the dough so that it resembles a book, with the spine to your left and the opening to your right. For easy handling, cut the dough in half horizontally so that you have two pieces about 7 inches long and about 6 1/2 inches wide: wrap and chill one half while you work with the other half. Flour the dough and roll it into a rectangle thats 24 to 26 inches long and 15 to 18 inches wide. This takes a lot of rolling. Keep the work surface and the dough well floured and have patience. If necessary turn the dough so that the long side runs from left to right along the counter. Carefully fold the top half of the dough down to the bottom. The dough is now ready for cutting. CUTTING THE DOUGH: Working with a pizza cutter or a large, very sharp knife, cut triangles from the dough. This is done most easily by making a diagonal cut on the left hand side to geet the pattern started; save the uneven piece of dough. MEasure off a 3 to 4 inch base and begin cutting the triangles, always cutting from bottom to top. Youll have another scrap when you reach the other end-youll use these scraps when you shape the croissants. Unfold each pair of triangles and cut them in half to seperate. You should have 10 to 12 maybe 14 triangles; set them aside while you clear the work surface of all flour. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. SHAPING THE CROISSANTS: Moisten your hands with a wet towel. Working with one triangle at a time, gently stretch the base to widen it slightly, then, holding the base of the triangle in one hand, run the fingers of the other hand down to the point of the triangle. Use your thumb to pull and stretch the dough until its almos twice the original length-have courage and tug; the extra length is what allows you to make a large croissant with sufficient rolls to show off its layers of dough. Place the treiangle, point toward you, at arm distance on the work table this will give enough space to roll the croissant into shape with-out having to lift it in mid-roll) Pull off a little piece of the reserved scrap dough, mold it into a small football shape and center it on the wide top part of the triangle-this will help make the "belly" of the croissant plump. Fold about 1/2 inch of this wide end over itself and press the ends down once to secure. With you palms and fingers positioned over the flattened ends of the croissant and the heels of your hands on the flat work surface, roll the croissant toward you-try to keep your hands moving down and out to the sides as you roll- ending with the point of the triangle tucked under the croissant. A well shaped croissant-and it takes practice to achieve one-will sport at least six clearly accountable sections, or ridges, from rolling. Place the croissants on one of the baking sheets, leaving room for them to triple in size without touching one another. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Glazing and rising: Give the croiossants a last gentle plumping, carrefully turning the ends down and toward the center to produce the classic croissant shape. Brush the croissants with egg wash and allow them to rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, until tripled in size and spongy. (Reserve egg wash, covered in the refrigerator.) The ideal place for rising is a turned off oven (one with a pilot light is fine) containing a pan of hot steamy water. To test that they are properly risen, wet your fingers and squeeze the end of a croissant:It should offer no resistance and feel almost hollow. Baking the croissants: Arrange the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds, and preheat the oven to 350 f. Brush the croissants once again with egg wash and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate front to back and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, until the croissants are deeply bronzed. Cool on racks. As tempting as they are croissants should not be eaten as soon as they come from the oven. The dough-and the layers within need time to set. Recipe by: Washington Post-4/9/97-Baking with Julia Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #560 by Walt Gray
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