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December 4, 2019

How to laminate dough

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Delicious, delicate, and flakey pastry is created by building layer upon layer of dough, butter, dough, butter, dough, butter, and so on - a process called laminating. Laminating dough isn’t easy - it requires understanding, practice, and finesse. Still, laminating dough is definitely within reach of amateur home chefs and bakers who are willing to make the effort. We’re excited to share our well-tested recipes and tips to help you succeed and enjoy homemade flakey pastry!  

The Dough

Generally, pastry is made using enriched dough - a dough that has a higher concentration of sugars, fats, and/or dairy.  Your specific application and desired final result will determine which particular recipe you may use. Whole milk is a very common dairy in pastry recipes and creates you a very flakey dough that crisps well. Using sour cream in lieu of milk to make your pastry softer and more supple. Brioche creates is signature light and airy texture by going heavy on the eggs. We have included one of our favorites and broadly applicable recipes below.
  Pastry dough needs a flour with enough protein to hold all the fats together. However, too much protein when overworked by the lamination process will create a tough dough. Cake flour won’t have enough structure. Bread flour will get too tough. All-purpose flour is your best bet for nearly all pastry.
 
As with all food, the ingredients matter more than the tools or the procedure. And since butter is a key ingredient in pastry, don’t cut corners here. We recommend a high fat / European (sometimes labeled Irish, French, English, etc.) butter. European style butter is perfect for laminating dough because it has a much higher fat content (~97% vs ~80% in American style butter), as well as it tends to have a stronger savory flavor. The higher water content in American butter will steam when baking, creating puffs in the layers. Yes, this makes your pastry fluffy, but not flakey. And when you taste the fluffy and flakey side by side, you’ll know which the flakes are what we’re chasing! 

   

Turning: Creating the Layers 

Building the layers in pastry dough is a laborious but intuitive procedure we call turning. With each turn, you fold the dough (which creates more layers of dough and butter), and then rolling thin so you can create even more layers through more turns. With each turn, the layers increase by more (often double or triple) than the turn before, so you end up creating a lot of layers quickly. The more turns you complete, the more layers your final pastry will have The more layers you have, the flakier your pastry will be. . 

  Calculating the layers you’ve created can be confusing as the layers grow exponentially. We generally use a tri-fold turn. Think of rolling your dough into a rectangle (like a piece of paper) and then fold your dough into thirds (like a letter). We find the tri-fold helps maintain precise control and consistency. So, once you have done the initial turn of dough with butter, 3 layers will have been created. On the next turn, tri-fold again, you will have 3^2 or 9, on your third turn 3^3 or 27, on your fourth turn 3^4 or 81, etc.

Different types of pastry generally have a specific range of layers.

 
  • For Danishes, turnovers, pain au chocolat, beef wellingtons, etc: 27 layers or 3 turns
  • For croissants: 81 layers or 4 turns
  • For kouign-amanns: 243 layers or 5 turns *Note when laminating for kouign-amanns you are creating layers of dough, butter, and sugar
  • For puff pastry: 700-2000+ layers or 6-7 turns *Note the final count should vary on preference and application. For example, with a weighted pastry like mille feuilles, you’ll want more layers. Whereas, you’ll want fewer layers for a classic puff pastry.

Now that you have a foundation of understand and some of tips in hand, let’s move to an actual recipe:

Culinary Crafts favorite recipe for pastry


Dough


 
    • 1 1/3 tsp Active dry yeast

    • 1/2 c warm water (98-102 degrees)

    • 2 oz brown sugar

    • 3 TBSP  sour cream

    • 3 oz eggs ( 1 large egg and 1 yolk)

    • 1 oz butter (melted)

    • 11 oz all-purpose flour

    • 1/2 tsp salt

    •  

      For lamination


       
    • 4 oz butter

        Mix  yeast, sugar, and warm water in mixing bowl. If using a power mixer, use your dough hook attachment. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add sour cream and whisk until combined. Whisk the eggs, then slowly add them to butter mixture. Whisk just until combined. Add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides.

    Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

      In the meantime, beat your butter.You can cheat a little and use your mixer for this, but we recommend doing this by hand with a rolling pin, since the butter will incorporate less air and stay colder. You want the butter to be as dense and cold as possible, while still having made it pliable. You can sprinkle the butter with a small bit of flour so it doesn't stick to the counter or your pin if needed. You may need to fold your butter and pound out multiple times. Fold the butter into roughly a 4”x 5” rectangle (should be ~¼” thick), place in between two pieces of parchment and set in the fridge. Remember, the butter should be cold but still pliable. Getting the butter to ~60 F (or about 15 minutes in the fridge) is a good target. Timing the butter and dough to be ready to leave the fridge at the same time is a good strategy.    Roll your dough into roughly a 15” x 6” rectangle (3x wider and 2” longer than your butter rectangle). Place your chilled butter right in the center of the dough. Then fold the long ends of the dough over to cover the butter (like folding a letter). Because of the tri-fold, your rectangle of butter and dough should be roughly 5” x 6” again. Now roll out the small rectangle until it’s back to 15” x 6” again. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, and tri-fold again (in a new direction this time). The 90 degree rotation will bring the open ends to the center and help keep the butter inside your dough. Fold and roll repeatedly - making a 90 degree rotation with each turn - as appropriate for the desired number of layers.   Patience is key to successfully making great pastry dough. When you roll out the dough and butter, your focus on rolling carefully with gentle, even pressure, using a rolling pin. Do not try to muscle the butter in or press too hard. It should take 8-10 minutes for each fold. Focus on rolling the dough out in one direction towards the open ends. Rolling the dough along the 6” length. Back and forth, consistent and gentle until butter is incorporated. Throughout this process, you want to keep your dough about 60 degrees —not quite refrigerator temperature, but colder than room temperature. Depending on the temperature of your working space you may be able to do 2 turns in between chilling.   At this point you have laminated dough. You’ve done the hardest part. Congratulations! Now simply shape and bake as appropriate for your application.   Check in next week to see one of our favorite holiday recipes using your laminated dough!                 

November 20, 2019

Delicious Fall Harvest Pop Up Restaurant at the Tasting Room

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We loved hosting our Pop Up Restaurant at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City! When planning any event in any season, we strive to feature local seasonal food. Usually, it’s food we can buy a stone’s throw from our commissary! Using our countless vendors, we were able to create this special Pop Up where we only featured Utah artisans! From the first bite to the last, it was full of flavorful Utah’s finest ingredients.

Cocktail hour

To start off the evening, Pop Up guests enjoyed two passed hors d’oeuvres! The first on the list of dishes being passed was our classic butternut squash soup sip topped with Slide Ridge Honey apple cider cream and toasted Utah pepitas. A soup sip is a simple yet delicious way to warm up your appetite as the weather gets colder.

Drake’s Family Farms goat cheese and Red Rock pistachios on a smoked Utah peach was the star of cocktail hour. We love to smoke fruit! It is an unusual addition to some of our fruit dishes that is always a pleasant surprise!  With our late winter last year, we still had fresh watermelon come fall. This lent to making a beautiful signature cocktail for the evening. We made the Green River Mule that’s made from Green River watermelon which we froze into a granita, Jackson Hole ginger beer, fresh Utah mint, and Sugar House vodka.

The Harvest

We started our 10-course dinner with an amuse-bouche. Amuse-bouche translates to “entertained or amused mouth” so this amuse-bouche for the evening was a brown butter and Utah acorn squash mousse on a dried Mountainland apple and sage crisp certainly was a delight to the pallet! What makes our Pop-Up Restaurants different from our standard events we cater? So many things but one of our favorites is that our pop up restaurants is a show where the food is the star! While enjoying a spectacular 10-course meal you get to watch our chefs prepare it all right in front of you.  Every step will dazzle you. So this simple Snuck Farm greens with roasted Utah butternut squash, wild mushrooms and shallot duxelles with Slide Ridge honey vinaigrette became one of the favorite courses of the guests. Our chefs come out with large mezzaluna knives and chop huge bunches of greens at speeds that would astound you. The squash is toasted with torches table side. The mushrooms and shallots were then flambeed and sauteed to perfection.  It was all plated with finesse and grace. A simple salad became enthralling. No Culinary Crafts event is complete without our house-made artisan bread! Guests enjoyed our black pepper brioche paired with our Utah sea salt butter and our Utah pumpkin cornmeal roll paired with our house-made Cox honey cranberry compound butter. We love sharing our love for fresh artisan bread! We have loved the resurgence of fondue! We as a society have fallen in love with fondue again! Dipping things in cheese is a passion of ours- and why not it is fabulous!! For our next course, we served individual fondues to each guest which featured local tomatoes and Drake’s Farm goat cheese. This flavorful dish had guests licking their plates! As we love to keep things local, we love to serve trout as often as we can. We are always delighted to show off another local vendor, Riverence. They are raising our favorite trout in these here parts! Many local Utahan’s are used to the usual river trout often caught in Utah, but their Ruby Red Trout is a trout unlike you have ever eaten.  Our guests enjoyed delicious mesquite-grilled trout with Mountainland granny smith apple chutney grilled fresh minutes before plating. No fall meal would be complete without squash. Our trout was served with squash sauteed in pine nut butter and torches tableside! It was a perfect complement to the trout.

For our first entree course, we wanted to keep things warm and very fall so we served a Chicken Honfleur soup! Serving the soup in a miniature sugar pumpkin added an extra holiday flair! Check out the November recipe of the month on our blog for the Chicken Honfleur recipe. Every single Culinary Crafts recipe we share is something you can serve to your friends and family!

The second entree of the evening was our sous vide ribeye from Double Ranch served with cowboy caviar, sweet Daley’s bacon and torched shishito peppers. Sous vide is one of our favorite ways to cook during the fall and winter. It lends to the perfectly cooked piece of meat every time and cooked perfectly all the way through. This ribeye we sous vide for 5 hours and then, using handheld torches, we added that idyllic crust and grill marks to the outside. This method lets us serve all our guests the best and freshest product all year round!

At the end of every meal, we host we like to end with a tasting. We love to feature and educate about our local artisans. The iconic cheese and chocolate pairing was a perfect way to end this fall evening. The cheese menu of the evening included Deer Valley Truffle Double Cream, Beehive High West Whiskey Cheddar, Heber Valley Orange Rosemary, and San Luca Parmesan Reggiano. Each cheese has its own unique flavor profile all of which are made right here in the Beehive state! Did you know that one of the top chocolate companies in the world is right here in Utah? Amano’s use of Italian and French confectionery techniques brings out the natural flavors of quality cocoa beans which showed in their Morobe, Madagascar, Dos Rios and Ocumare chocolates we served during the Harvest Pop Up.

Decadent dessert to end the evening

No dinner is complete without dessert! To end the wonderful evening, we served our flambeed Utah apple and plum crostata with vanilla pastry cream and our signature zabaglione gelato. It was a decadent end to this beautiful meal. As you read through this menu, it may have surprised you that the food kept coming. Dish after dish. How could guests have enjoyed this delectable dessert? At Culinary Crafts we believe in slowing down the eating experience. Meals are meant to be enjoyed and a leisurely affair. Our pop up dinners usually last 4-5 hours. Our biggest recommendation when planning your next event- from a wedding to your next family meal is to slow down, enjoy the moment and relish every bite. It isn’t something to check off your list. It is the highlight of the day. This fall season slow down and enjoy your company and every bite. In addition to all the local creations we got to create for this event, and the joy of hospitality we got to share with our guests, one of the most rewarding parts of our pop up restaurants is that each time we get to partner with one of our favorite local charities and donate the profits to them! At this specific pop up we partnered with The Green Urban Lunchbox! Check out their vision! They are doing amazing things: https://www.thegreenurbanlunchbox.com/. We loved hosting this incredible Harvest Pop Up at the Tasting Room in Salt Lake City and hope you join us at our next Pop Up Restaurant!

November 6, 2019

November Recipe of the Month: Chicken Honfleur Soup

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This delicious Chicken Honfleur Soup this time of year is sure to bring that fall feeling into your home this time!  There are so many seasonal flavors we know you’ll love! This seasonal dish is one we enjoy sharing in the fall weather during Thanksgiving or a simple get together with your neighbors. Serve them in mini sugar pumpkins to add extra holiday flair!

Chicken Honfleur in a Miniature Sugar Pumpkin - Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of shredded turkey or chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz shallots - finely diced
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 ⅕ lbs mushrooms - sliced. You can use your favorite type of mushroom. We love wild mushroom varieties such hon shimeiji and chanterelles. Button mushrooms and portobellos are also great choices.
  • 2 ½ apples - cored and sliced - you can use your favorite type of apples but Fuji and Green apples work really well
  • 2 cups of brandy - we recommend Calvados apple brandy since it really brings out the apple flavor in this soup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh thyme
  • 3-6 bay leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock

Directions

  1. In large Saute pan, melt butter. If using chicken thighs, add chicken thighs and brown on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. If using leftover turkey, add as directed later in the recipe. 
  2. Add shallots to pan, saute until shallots appear translucent.
  3. Add garlic, mushrooms, and apples. Sautee for 2-4 minutes all ingredients are softened and the apples have started to release some of their juice.  
  4. Add brandy. This will deglaze your pan and incorporate all that flavor stuck to the bottom of your pan. 
  5. Add thyme, bay leaves, chicken stock, and cream. Bring liquid to a simmer and continue to simmer until liquid is reduced by a third- about 10 minutes. 
  6. Add chicken thighs and simmer 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe can be made ahead of time. You can store it in your refrigerator for 2-4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

Add that extra touch of fall!

A fun holiday touch we love to add is serving Chicken Honfleur in individual mini sugar pumpkins! To do this, simply remove the top with the stem just as if you were going to carve a jack o’ lantern, clean out the insides of the pumpkin and get the sides as smooth as possible.   Once you have the inside clean, bake the whole pumpkin on a sheet pan in your oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the inside is soft and tender. Once pumpkins are roasted they will stay good in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. Take care of your pumpkins ahead of time so you’re not stressed getting ready for your dinner party!

October 31, 2019

Fantastic Halloween Open House in Park City

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Halloween is the perfect time of year to host a spectacular party! Check out this house warming party we did in Park City.  

Cocktail Hour

Guests were greeted with a breathtaking cocktail bar set up in a decked-out welcome tent. The tent was fitted with lounge furniture, chandeliers, and stunning custom cocktails. The bar was decorated with a Halloween vibe using hollowed-out pumpkins as beverage tubs and marquee signs for custom barrel-aged cocktails. Cocktail hour continued with our artisan Culinary Crafts cheeseboards and housemade lavosh, and crackers. We couldn't forget the pumpkin decor galore!

The Menu

To keep guests mingling and partying all night, the menu was all butler passed. As guests toured the house they were delighted with a myriad of selections all brought right to them. Some of the selections from the evening were our favorite fall salad with pears, goat cheese, and local mixed greens, seared polenta bites with a salted caramel drizzle, dried apricots, and candied pecans. Utah beef and pork meatballs with roasted vegetable ratatouille were also on the menu. The mini BLT sandwiches were served with maple bacon, butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, and red pepper aioli. Guests also enjoyed chicken and white bean soup sips that were all the right size for eating and chatting. The bites kept on coming and featured chipotle shrimp and lime wedge skewer with cilantro creme fraiche, bacon-wrapped sweet dates with smoked Utah goat cheese crema and Utah beef sliders on a house-made bun with Beehive cheese and angry onions. The centerpieces for the evening instead of flowers had a sugary spin as we served white cotton candy on each table for guests to grab and munch on.

The Kid Zone

While the adults mingled and toured the home, the kids were invited to a special outdoor space just for them! The kids' area was equipt with movies and popcorn and endless amounts of games! We can't forget to mention the spooky touches to keep the Halloween times rolling. Spectacular food was served in the kids' area, haunted veggie cups with black ranch dressing, spooky fruit skewers, and the most delicious house-made corndogs which were battered and fried fresh at the buffet! Look at these personalized mason jars and straws with tags and each of the guests' names so the little guests didn't lose their cups! For dessert, a Halloween candy station was set up with our house-made skeleton cookies.

Dessert

Back in the main house, to cap off the evening, there was a dessert station with treats galore! Mini black caramel apples with twig sticks added a yummy fall touch! It was a chocolate lover's dream thanks to the white chocolate dipped marshmallows on a stick with white sprinkles, dark chocolate dipped pretzels with a white chocolate drizzle and dark chocolate whoopie pies. Black and white swirled meringue kisses brought swirly tasty goodness. A delectable black velvet spider web cake was the centerpiece of the dessert station! Hoping this inspires you for this Halloween Season! Eat Well!

October 9, 2019

October Recipe of the Month: Autumn Quinoa Salad

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During the Fall months, the opportunity to host family gatherings and parties seem to come in abundance. It can be daunting to come up with recipes that work as seasonal side dishes that will wow your guests and aren't time-consuming to make. This seasonal salad is one of our favorites! It will add a great deal of color and fresh flavor to any meal.

Flavors of the Autumn Quinoa Salad

One of the reasons why the Autumn Quinoa Salad is a favorite is it is full of beautiful seasonal items with different flavors and textures that make for the perfect salad. There are not many seasonal fruits in the Fall. However, using dried versions allows you to design fantastic well-rounded recipes. The tart, sweetness of the dried cherries are a great addition to different seasonal. You can also consider using dried apricots or figs which are both delicious in this recipe. The butternut squash and pumpkin seeds add the epitome of Fall flavors with a natural sweetness everyone can enjoy. Arugula, in contrast, has that wonderful bite that is always a surprise to the pallet. It is one of those hearty greens that are a fantastic addition to any Fall and Winter recipe.

Autumn Quinoa Salad - Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Quinoa - cooked and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups Arugula
  • 1 Cup Butternut squash - roasted and cut into 1" cubes
  • ⅔ Cup Dried Cherries
  • ⅓ Cup Roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • To taste: Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Combine everything in a bowl
  2. Gently toss to mix evenly
  3. Drizzle with vinaigrette
  4. add some fresh minced parsley to the top for a beautiful garnish

Apple Cider Vinaigrette - Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Slide Ridge Honey (Slide Ridge Honey is our favorite local honey. In the Beehive state though honey comes in abundance. So if you have another favorite you can always substitute.)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ Cup Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • To taste: Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Combine everything but the oil in a blender (or in a bowl if you are using an immersion blender)
  2. With the blender running, slowly add the oil until emulsified
  3. Adjust seasonings as needed
  4. Can be kept in your fridge for up to 3 months
  5. Whisk well before serving
Now that you know how simple this recipe is, prepare it for your fall get together! Remember that the vinaigrette can be kept in your fridge for up to 3 months but the Autumn Quinoa Salad is best served the day of. Enjoy!  

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