Words can get old, the person you care about is gonna get used to those words of love you say all the time; they should always stay special, as they carry a meaning that many people tend to underestimate.
There are other ways to tell the people you care about that you do: personally, I like to bake stuff.. I don’t like to do it on birthdays, Valentine’s day or Mother’s day only. In fact, those are usually the moments when I tend to forget that I own an oven.
So yesterday evening I was thinking “Man, I care a lot about this guy, I really do, how can I tell him without telling him?” My solution? For our breakfast date, instead of going out, I made a very Italian breakfast: Caffè and Cornetto, just to bring him back to his country for a little while, in a way.
Cornetto is basically a synonym for Croissant. Before going to work Italians like to stop by at their favorite café and have a quick breakfast. They will order an espresso (or a cappuccino) and a cornetto and will enjoy their breakfast standing at the bar while reading the newspaper or talking with the barista.
Back to yeasterday evening; armed with patience I started working all the ingredients into a dough that I let rest in the fridge overnight, and this morning I woke up extra early to make sure to follow all the steps and that we could eventually have our warm mini-cornetto on time.
Cornetto (Croissant) (makes 7 tiny ones or 3-4 normal sized cornetti)
90 g flour
5 g sugar
30 g softened unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
2 g dry yeast
30 g lukewarm water
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt (to glaze)
In the evening; in a small bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. In a big bowl dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
Sieve the dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend well. Cover with a wet towel and set aside for 10 minutes.
Now you will be able to work the dough. Sprinkle it with a little bit of flour. Leave the dough in the bowl and pull a side of the dough up and push it back in the dough in the centre of the dough. Do this a few more times while turning the bowl. This process is very fast and you should see the elasticity of the dough increasing.
Cover and set aside for another 10 minutes. Repeat the above step two more times allowing the dough to rest 10 minutes in between each part. Cover set aside for another 30 minutes, then put the bowl in the fridge and allow the dough to rest overnight while you do as well. Remember you will need softened butter the next morning, so take it out of the fridge before going to bed.
In the morning; (this process will take some time, make sure to wake up early enough!) take the dough out of the fridge. Put it on a working surface. Pull the dough until a big square (about 15 cm) is formed.
Take the softened butter and sprinkle it with flour to make it workable and less sticky. Form a square roughly half the size of the dough. Place the butter diagonally on the dough. At this point, take the corners of the dough and pull them to the centre making a little package around the butter (make sure to cover the butter completely).
With a rolling pin spread the dough out to for a big rectangle. The dough should be about 1 cm thick. At this point you will need to fold the dough to make the traditional layers. This is very important, and it sounds very hard, but it is actually not. (It’s mostly hard to explain). Take your rectangle and place it with the larger part in front of you. Take the left side and fold it until two-thrids of the dough. Take the right side and fold it until it covers the rest of the dough (also the left part you just folded). Basically, fold it as if it were a business letter.
Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Repeat the previous step (i.e. spread the dough out until a big rectangle is formed and fold as described above). Cover and place in the fridge for another 20 minutes. Repeat the spreading and folding another time. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take the dough out of the fridge. Spread it in a very large rectangle, until the dough is about 0,5 cm thick. Cut the dough in long triangles; then roll the triangles starting from the base of the triangle into the classic cornetto/croissant shape. Bend slightly.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and put the cornetti on it. Allow to rise for about 30/40 minutes. Cover the cornetti with the egg mixture using a brush.
Preheat the oven at 180 °C. Sprinkle the cornetti lightly with water before putting in the oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (depending on the size of your cornetti) until golden brown. Serve with butter and jam.