Sunday, November 10, 2019

Herb and Garlic Croissant Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

To make this amazing, best-in-the-world grilled cheese you're going to have to put in some work. 
First you have to make the herb and garlic croissants. Croissants take 2 days of fussing. 
Still with us? Okay. Good. 
Until you have had a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato on a homemade croissant you have not truly lived. For real though. It'll change your life. 
Or.... maybe not.... but, really.... can you chance it? Take the risk. Make the croissants. Make the grilled cheese. Live your best life. 
We believe in you. 

Herb And Garlic Croissants

1/2 cup warm water
4 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm milk

Herb & Garlic Butter
1 1/2 cups butter, room temp
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried parsley (or 3 Tbsp fresh)

Egg Wash
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp milk

Prepare Herb & Garlic Butter - beat together butter, garlic, and parsley until well mixed. 

Spread your butter into a 6 X 8 1/2 rectangle. I find it is easiest if I cut out a piece of paper to 6 X 8 1/2 and then a piece of plastic wrap over top, and then spread the butter on the plastic wrap to cover the paper. 

Chill in fridge while you prepare the dough. (NOTE - you want butter to be firm before proceeding with it.)
Prepare dough - Stir together the warm water and yeast. Let sit 5 minutes to activate. 
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the lukewarm milk and yeast mixture. Stir until dough comes together. Add more flour, a Tbsp at a time if the dough is very sticky. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead 4 minutes. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. 
After resting, roll out to a 10 X 9 rectangle, cover with plastic wrap, and chill dough for 30 minutes. 
After chilling for 30 minutes - place dough on lightly floured work surface and roll to a 10 X 15 rectangle. Place the chilled butter on top, in the center.
Fold the dough over the butter, to meet in the middle. Pinch the seems to seal. 

Flip the dough over so seam is on the bottom. Roll the dough to a 10 X 15 rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick). Fold dough in 3 with the top covering the bottom fold. 

Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, up to 4 hours. Do this 3 more times for a total of 4 "turns". (Always start your roll with the short end towards you.) On your last turn, cover well in plastic wrap and set in fridge to chill overnight. 
In the morning, on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a 13 X 25 rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick). Cut into 5 - 5 inch wide strips. then cut each strip into 2 triangles. (See photo for clarification.) 

Make a small cut in the wide part of each triangle. Start at the wide end and roll up each triangle. 

Place on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Continue with remaining triangles. 

Cover and place somewhere a little bit warm. I like to turn the oven on to 400 and set the tray on top. 
Cover with a clean tea towel and let proof for an hour. You don't want them in a place that is too warm or the butter will start to melt and you don't want that!
After they have risen for an hour, prepare the egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and milk. Brush on each croissant using a pastry or basting brush. 

Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes - until tops are a deep golden brown. 

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then move to wire rack.

You could enjoy them like this, of course. They are so garlicy and crunchy and flaky that they are hard to resist. With a bowl of tomato soup? Don't even get me started!
Oooooor.... you could carry on to making the best grilled cheese you've ever had.

Grilled Cheese Croissants

Herb & Garlic Croissants (recipe above)
aged cheese, sliced
tomato, sliced
onion, sliced
bacon, cooked 

When the croissants have cooled (day old croissants work very well for this too FYI), preheat your oven to 350 and then cut each croissant in half horizontally with a serrated knife. On the bottom of the croissant top with a little butter, some aged cheddar, a slice of onion, several slices of tomato, and at least 2 pieces of cooked bacon. Place on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. (I used my toaster oven that is why the cookie sheet is so tiny. You can use a regular oven and cookie sheet for this!) 

Place the top of the croissant on the bacon and press down firmly to make sure everything is in place.

Place a second cookie sheet on top of the croissants. You want to press them while they are baking without completely squishing them. (See photo for clarification.) 

Place in a preheated 350 oven and bake until cheese is melty, about 10 - 15 minutes (a little less in a toaster oven, just keep an eye on them). 

Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, and then serve!

They're basically art. 

I'm not the world's leading expert on grilled cheese or anything.... but I'm pretty sure these are the best grilled cheese on the planet. A crispy, flaky, tender, chewy, garlicy croissant filled with melty cheese, crispy bacon, onion, and fresh tomato - you look me in the eye and tell me it's not the best thing ever. I double dare you. 
Side note - if you've never made croissants before I definitely recommend watching a few how-to videos on you-tube or Pinterest to get a feel for the process. It can be intimidating but once you get the gist of it, it's totally doable. 

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