Introduction: Chignon-style Pumpkin Croissant
Hi everyone! Once again, welcome to another Instructables post of mine. Today we be making something new and unique, and that is Chignon-style pumpkin croissant, filled with pumpkin cream patissiere. That's a mouthful I know! and it is once you bite into these.
So what are these?
Well basically these are croissants filled with pumpkin cream. The only difference is the way it is folded. We are trying to mimic the vertical lobes and lines of a pumpkin. In order to do that, instead of rolling the laminated dough and shaping it into croissants the traditional way, we are going to fold in a way that the laminated layer is facing forward and upwards (u get me? no? that's okay, you'll see in a Step 19 & 20 )
I learnt this technique from a Chinese's Scallion Bao Bun. It's the same bao bun most of us are familiar with, but the extra folding and lamination technique resulted into these beautiful vertical and horizontal lines, whichever direction you are viewing it from. It's just gorgeous. And I thought why not try these with a traditional french laminated dough? It's not appropriation, it's applying different techniques to create new possibilities. Food unites us <3
So let's get to it!
P.S: ...It may be a long intimidating post, but with some patience and determination, we can do this!
Step 2: Let's Talk About Pumpkin..
It is a pumpkin challenge after all..
I am using a Castilla pumpkin, more commonly known as a Fairytale pumpkin in the US.
Fairytale pumpkins , Blue Jarrahdale's and Cinderella pumpkin are MY TOP FAVORITES!
Why?Because their flesh in undeniably pigmented, their flavor is sweet, their flesh is so thick and they don't have a vegetable-y flavor.
Of course, you can use the common Sugar Pie pumpkins, but if you can get a hold of the one's above, do that instead.
Tip: Where do I find these special pumpkins? You'll usually find Fairytale, Jarrahdale, Cinderella, Peanut pumpkins in the decoration pumpkin bin in the supermarket during fall/autumn. Usually people buy these for Fall decorations because they are pretty to look at, but not alot of people know that they are actually EDIBLE!
Step 3: To Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
You will need:
2 lbs of fresh pumpkin (I used Castilla/Fairytale for it's vibrant orange color)
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away ad discard the tough skin. Be careful around the lobes because their odd shape can make it challenging to slice off.
Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and inner membranes. You can either discard the seeds, or wash and dry them to plant in your garden.
Then chop into 1 to 2 inch cubes. If you are not using it right away, place the cubes in a ziplock bag and refrigerate till needed. DO NOT FREEZE, contrary to most advise in the web, I find that freezing pumpkin makes them oddly mushy.
Step 4: Steam Your Pumpkin Cubes.
I personally prefer to steam because it keeps their color bright and vibrant. I notice that roasting them usually makes them a little browner because of the caramelization. Pumpkin is high in natural sugars so they brown more than I like it to. But if you rather roast them, by all means.
Place your pumpkin cubes in a steaming rack. Steam them on high for 15 minutes until fork tender.
Alternatively, you can steam them in a microwave. Place your cubes in a microwave safe bowl with a little bit of water and cover loosely. Microwave for a few short burst on high till tender. Be very careful as microwaved water can be extremely hot!
Step 5: Blend.
Once tender and soft, place your hot pumpkin cubes in a blender or food processor. Blitz until is it smooth.
Place them in a glass airtight jar and cool on the counter top till it reaches room temperature.
You can store them in the refrigerator if you are using in in the next two days or place in the freezer for future use.
Step 6: Next, Beurrage.
You will need:
272g (2 sticks and 4 tablespoons) of salted European butter, room temperature
2 wax or parchment paper (I prefer wax to prevent fat seeping through)
A rolling pin
Cut your butter into small 1 tablespoon cubes.
Lay your cubed butter on top of a wax paper and arrange them neatly in 5 by 4.
Lay another layer of wax paper and fold them into a neat parcel, leaving about 1/2 an inch of space for the butter to spread into.
Turn the package over and roll in to become a flat slab of butter.
Refrigerate to harden it a little.
Step 7: The Dough
500g (4cups+1tbsp) of all purpose flour
60g (1/4 cup) of white granulated sugar
10g (1 tsp) of salt
1 packet ( 2 teaspoon) of fast rising yeast
75g (5 tablespoon) of European butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of lukewarm water (for the yeast solution)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
2 egg yolks
Bloom and activate your one packet of yeast with 1/2 cup of water. After 10-15 minutes later, your yeast solution should be bubbly and frothy.
Dump in all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Pour in your yeast solution. Begin mixing.
Step 8: Mix and Knead
Start mixing your ingredients together. Your dough will start looking shaggy at first, continue mixing until it forms a rough looking ball.
Place your dough unto an unfloured working surface. Start kneading the dough for 10-15 minutes until the dough is no longer and supple to touch.
Step 9: Chill & Relax
The dough doesn't have to be silky smooth. As long it is not super clumpy you're goo to go.
Wrap the dough with a saran wrap and place inside the refrigerator to chill. Relax the gluten for at least 30 minutes.
Step 10: Packaging Your Butter
Take your butter out from the refrigerator and begin thawing it. Thaw it until it softens slightly that is is bendable yet still cool to touch.
Next, take your dough out from the refrigerator. Flour your working surface with a dusting of flour and begin rolling out your dough large enough that is can cover a rectangular slab of butter.
Next, place your soft yet cold butter unto the rolled dough. Fold the sides of your dough so it covers the butter.
Brush off any excess flour that sticks tot he dough.
Fold the other side and pinch where the seams meet to seal it tightly.
Place the sealed packaged dough vertically infront of you.
Using a rolling pin, start pressing the dough and equally distribute the butter. Once it is flat enough to roll, roll it vertically.
Once it is about 1/3 of an inch thick, start folding in thirds like an envelope.
Once folded, wrap a saran wrap and chill your dough in the freezer for 5 minutes to quickly cool of the butter. Then transfer to a fridge to further rest for another 30 minutes.
Step 13: Doing Your 2nd and 3rd Fold.
After resting your dough and chilling the butter, you can pull it out from the fridge.
Thaw it for about 5 -10 minutes so the dough warms up a little. It should be ready when you lift a flap, the butter is not so hard that you can't even bend the dough. It should be flexible still.
Once again, press your rolling pin in a vertical manner to flatten the dough. Then roll it flat to 1/3 of an inch thick. Fold into an envelope.
Then turn your dough so that the open flap is facing your right. And repeat for the third time.
Once you have completed your 2nd and 3rd fold, wrap with a saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Step 15: Make Your Pumpkin Creme Patissiere (pumpkin Pastry Cream)
1 and 1/2 cup of pure Pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tablespoon of cornstarch
4 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (more or less if you desire or you can use pumpkin spice mix)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
In a sauce pot, add in your eggs and sugar and whisk thoroughly.
Little by little stir in your pumpkin puree. The pumpkin puree is rather thick, so doing it a little at a time will help mix it evenly.
Add in your cornstarch and continue whisking.
Transfer your sauce pot onto a stove top and start cooking it at medium heat, stirring and whisking constantly, especially the base where the eggs like to settle.
It will start to heat and steam within 10-15 minutes. Continue whisking until it starts to thicken gradually. It will be as thick as custard. Once it thickens significantly, remove from heat.
On a counter top while still hot, add in your butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Like I have mentioned previously, you can add more or less cinnamon or even use a pumpkin spice mix.
The custard will loosen after you mixed in the butter. Don't worry, as the custard sets the fat will gradually solidify, resulting in a very thick stable pumpkin custard.
Place a saran wrap on the surface of the custard to prevent skinning. Cool at room temp before placing in the refrigerator to chill completely.
Use within 2-3 days.
Step 18: Time to Make the Chignon Croissants
You will need:
Butcher string or white yard
Begin by thawing out your dough from the refrigerator for an hour or so, until you can feel the butter in the dough has soften enough to be rolled.
Rolled out your dough in a rectangular shape, until it reaches a thickness of a third of an inch thick.
Cut the uneven edge of the rectangular and discard trimmings.
Cut the rectangle lengthwise, so now you would have two rectangles instead of one.
Place one layer of the rectangle over the other.
Then cut smaller individual rectangular pieces measuring 1.5 inch wide. I manage to get 9 total.
Step 20: Time to Fold
Grab a section of the smaller rectangular piece. Each section should have two layers, one on top of the other.
Using a chopstick, place in the center of the section lengthwise.
Press the chopstick firmly into the dough, pressing each layer into the other.
Then carefully pull or glide the chopsticks out.
Then pull the dough towards opposite directions to lengthen it a little. But not too hard that you might risk squeezing the butter out of the layers.
Then roll one end into itself like a snail. Making sure the layers are facing outwards instead of in.
Step 22: Proof Them for 3 Hours
Place them onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Make sure that the ends are sitting under the roll, so the weight of the bun will make sure the ends remain tucked.
Proof the croissant chignons for 3 HOURS.
Yes, this will ensure that the croissant have ample time to expand to turn into a big fluffy flaky croissant.
Ensure that your croissants have doubled in size and has a slight wobble before baking.
Step 24: Tie Them Up
This is odd, but because of the way they are shaped (like a snail from the side), they have every potential to expand and unravel during baking.
So for some extra reassurance, I tie a white yarn around it. Not too tight that it might disfigure the whole shape, but not too loose that it's not going to serve it's purpose. Tie it enough that it touches the croissant, not too loose or too tight.
Step 25: Egg Wash
You will need:
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of milk
Mix one egg yolk and two tablespoons of milk together. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash lightly over the top, sides and crevices.
Step 26: Preheat and Bake
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake them at that temperature for 25 minutes and until it starts showing hues of deep dark brown color.
A little butter might pool, and that's okay.
Step 27: Let Them Cool
Transfer them to a cooling rack immediately before attempting to pipe in the filling.
Step 29: Pipe in the Filling
You will need:
Piping bag and piping tip (or a Ziplock substitute)
Walnut or Pecan slivers for stalks (or cinnamon stick/chocolate-shaped stalks)
Transfer your pumpkin pastry cream into a piping bag with a piping tip or a ziplock bag.
Using a butter knife, poke a whole at the top of your 'pumpkins' where the stalks will be placed.
Using the knife, make a hole in the center of your pumpkin croissants, you can make more room for your filling if you press the bread closer to the sides.
Pipe in your filling and place a walnut or a pecan as your stalks. Alternatively, you can use cinnamon sticks or chocolate if you have a peanut allergy.
and here we are! I enjoy biting into these and I hope you would too. It's like a mini portable pumpkin pie inside croissant!
Hope everyone have a blessed fall this year <3 xoxo, Piebaby.
Grand Prize in the