29 June 2018

LEMON BREAKFAST PASTRIES

Sweet breakfast pastries are one of my favourites. And, as lemon and sugar are a fantastic combination, why not combine those two things into a perfect breakfast treat. The dough almost resembles puff pastry, with rolled buttery layers and crunchy crust. The vanilla from the yogurt just gives them a hint of warmth, and the lemons brighten and freshen them up.
It's important to use fresh, organic lemons, because you use the zest of it. Organic lemons are unwaxed, so you can use the zest, and they are much more flavourful and aromatic than chemically grown ones. And although they do have a strong flavour, they tend to be sweeter. If you can't find unwaxed lemons, you can use waxed, but scrub the skin very well before zesting.


Ingredients
450 grams plain flour
100 grams fine cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
2 medium eggs
50 grams granulated sugar
120 grams vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
120 ml hot milk
1 small organic lemon
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks, for brushing

Preparation
Take the eggs and the yogurt out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before making the pastries, so they can come to room temperature. Sift the plain flour and cornmeal together into a large bowl, add the yeast and whisk well. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the granulated sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the vanilla yogurt and the oil. Heat the milk until very warm, pour it over the milk and oil and whisk well.
Zest the whole small lemon, and set it aside. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the milk and yogurt mixture, followed by the eggs and sugar and the lemon zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together. Transfer it to a floured surface and knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough sticks too much to the surface or your hands, add a bit more of flour. Place it in an oiled bowl, in a warm spot, until doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and gently knead it for a couple of minutes. Divide it into ten equal parts and shape each part into a smooth dough ball. Take a rolling pin and roll each ball on a lightly floured surface until very thin, almost transparent. The thinner you roll it, the flakier the final pastry. Just be careful not to tear the dough. Take two teaspoons of the softened butter and gently and evenly spread it all over the rolled out dough. If you wish, you can dust it with some icing sugar, if you like really sweet breakfast pastries.
Roll it up tightly, and then roll it further using your hands, into a very long rope shape. Shape the dough into a pinwheel, tucking the ends underneath, so the pastry doesn't unroll during the baking. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them rest and rise for about 30 minutes. Just before baking, brush them with the beaten egg yolks, and bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F), for about 15-18 minutes. Serve them warm, with a dipping sauce of your choice and a glass of cold milk. Yields 10 large pastries.

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