I haven't blogged all weekend long because I was busy making homemade dough for pasta and croissants. I started the dough for the croissants on Friday. Saturday afternoon I made the dough for the pasta, and I baked off a test batch of croissants Saturday evening. Sunday we had a big family party where I served the homemade pasta and croissants. Here was our Sunday dinner menu:
Course 1 - sauteed cauliflower with red pepper flakes and Pecorino Romano
Course 2 - roasted red pepper and tomato bisque, served with rosemary olive oil bread
Course 3 - mixed greens with balsamic vinegar
Course 4 - shrimp pesto flat pasta
Course 5 - strawberry cream cheese and chocolate croissants
Course 6 - Zoka espresso
The most time consuming task of preparing this meal was making the dough for both the croissants and pasta. Making the croissant dough requires a lot of rest and chilling time over 24 hours but does not require as much hard labor as the pasta dough.
Layers of croissant dough before rolling out
Croissant Dough - After forming the dough in a mixing bowl, I allowed it to rest and chill. Then I took room temperature butter and a little flour and mixed together. I formed a 6X6" square of butter and then chilled it. After chilling both dough and butter, the butter is place on the rolled out dough and the edges of the dough folded over. The dough is rolled out, folded like a letter, rolled out again, folded like a letter again, and then chilled. This is repeated to created the layers of the croissant as seen in the picture. After the dough rests overnight it's rolled out to 1/8" thickness and cut into single servings. I filled the croissants with either 60% dark chocolate or a mixture of strawberry jam and a sweetened cream cheese (cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg). The croissants were rolled or folded up, brushed with egg wash (I forgot this step when making the test batch and you can see the difference.), and baked at 425*F for about 20 minutes.
Test batch without egg wash
Strawberry Cream Cheese
Thin rectangles of pasta
Pasta Dough - The dough was simple to make and contained a few ingredients, primarily flour and tons of egg yolks. The hardest part was rolling out the dough, which is probably why they invented machines to do this part. I was rolling dough for almost 2 hours to make enough pasta for the 12 people at our dinner party. You must roll out the dough so thinly you can almost see through it. I cut my pasta into large rectangles about 2X4" and then boiled them for 2-3 minutes.
Pesto Sauce - I made pesto sauce in the food processor by adding 6 c. fresh basil leaves, 1.5 c. olive oil, black pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1.5 c. Pecorino Romano cheese. (Note: These measurements have already been tripled so as to make enough for 12 servings of pasta.)
Shrimp pesto pasta and mixed green salad
I also cooked up some shrimp in the pesto mixture and topped the pasta with the shrimp pesto sauce. I served the pasta with mixed greens and grape tomatoes tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.