I used to see my Mum making these little ‘croissants’ quite often when I was a kid, and I used to think: it looks easy! My Mum would make them in ridiculous quantities, but they were always so good that they disappeared in seconds anyway, in our hungry for a sweet treat stomachs.
When I lived in Istria, Croatia I found myself missing my mum’s cooking a lot. Many of the Croatian and Istrian home meals are strikingly similar to what I’d have for dinner in Poland. I found many dishes in Istria very much like the Polish ones, especially when it comes to pastry. The fact that many pastries, biscuits and cakes are generously sprinkled with icing sugar in Istria was, I think, what constantly reminded me of the times when my mum used to make them. When I was growing up, I would sometimes wake up on a random Saturday to the sweet and comforting smell of something delicious being baked. It could be drożdżówki, cinnamon buns, sugar cookies or these rogaliki, that my mum always made especially delicious. And I seemed to encounter this something-sweet-being-baked smell quite often in Istria.
Not surprising, then, than despite being on the way to Poland (after three months in Istria), I found time and energy to make my mum’s famous rogaliki wodne. And glad I did. They were insane.
MUM’S BEST CROISSANTS (ROGALIKI WODNE)
50g fresh yeast
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 fresh eggs
240g sour cream or creme fraiche
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Break up the yeast into the cup and sprinkle it with sugar. Put aside in a warm place until the yeast melts. It will take 5-10 minutes.
2. Make the dough. Put the flour and salt onto your pastry board, add butter (should not be too soft) and chop the butter in with a knife. Then, add the eggs, sour cream and yeast mixture. Knead the dough. You know it’s ready when it stops sticking to your fingers. You might need to use quite a lot of flour because the dough with fresh yeast tends to be quite runny and sticky. Don’t use too much flour though because your dough will turn out too hard.
3. Make a ball out of your dough and wrap it tightly with cling firm and put in a bowl with cold water for about 25 minutes. After this time your dough should be swollen and floating on the surface of the water.
4. You have to start making your croissants straight away. You cannot just put your dough aside like you could with a shortbread for instance. The yeast dough will keep swelling.
5. After taking the dough out of its water bath, knead it again quickly to get rid of the air from the dough. Then, divide it into four parts. Roll out each of the parts and cut into triangles.
6. On each triangle, by the shortest side, put about half a teaspoon of the raspberry preserve and roll it into a croissant shape. Don’t give up even if you fail the first few times. You are allowed to throw at least one on the floor, in fury.
Little help for you guys: a video! Hope you will find it useful:
7. Place your croissants on the baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated to 190 degrees oven. It may take less time than that. Don’t keep the croissants in the oven for too long because they will be too hard and crispy. When they turn gold you can take them out, even if it hasn’t been 20 minutes.
8. Let the croissants cool down for about 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle them with icing sugar. Done!