Not long after my inaugural visit to this dainty pastry shop, His Hotness and I left for the Pacific Northwest, leaving me seeking ways to fill such a craving. After many hours searching (ok, not that many) I settled on this recipe to try for a reasonable substitute. The verdict? Ah-mazing. Although I feel the second half of the recipe is horribly written so I will reconstruct the instructions below. It also takes longer than the initial recipe would have you think... but believe me when I say you need to try these. Do not be dismayed by the repeated rolling and chilling reminiscent of fresh croissants. All this yummy, buttery, flaky goodness must come from somewhere!
1 5/8 cups mineral water (to avoid chlorine and other things added to the municipal water supply)
1 1/5 tsp. fine sea salt
1 lb plus 2 tbsp butter for recipe, additional butter or nonstick spray for tart rings
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp yeast
3 cups of sugar, plus more for rolling out dough (about 1-1 1/2 cups)
Dissolve sea salt in the water and allow to sit at room temperature. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter over low heat.
Add the melted butter and flour to your Kitchen-Aid fitted with the dough hook. Add the mineral water and salt solution mixing until well combined, about two minutes. Add the yeast and mix thoroughly, at least 1 minute more.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (give it a light spray with Pam first and it won't stick to the dough) and let it rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and wrap in plastic wrap (if you sprayed your earlier piece, just use that one) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I chilled mine overnight with fantastic success.
About a half hour before you are ready to start working with the dough, roll the 1 lb. of butter into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper and chill about 30 minutes. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll into a rectangle about twice the size of the butter rectangle. Place the giant butter slab in the center of the dough and fold the sides in to cover the butter completely, pinching edges together to seal. Roll the whole thing out to a rectangle around 24 x 8 inches. Sprinkle the surface lightly with sugar, fold into thirds, wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes.
Remove chilled dough from the fridge, and place it on a lightly sugared surface. Do not use flour to keep it from sticking! Roll the dough into a large rectangle about 24 x 8, sprinkle lightly with sugar, fold into thirds, wrap in plastic and chill. Repeat the rolling out, sprinkling with sugar, and chilling two more times. Do not fret if you notice some moisture starts oozing from the dough. Sugar dissolves easily with even a small amount of water and is actually considered a liquid ingredient by professional bakers. This oozing is normal.
While the dough is chilling for the last time, preheat the oven to 425. Use rimmed cookie sheets (all that butter and sugar tends to ooze while baking) and line with parchment paper or silpats. Arrange 2.75 inch pastry rings on cookies sheets about 1 inch apart. Having trouble finding pastry rings? No worries, make your own! Fold squares of tin foil into 3/4 - 1 inch strips. Using a round cookie cutter, glass, or other round object of the right diameter as a template, wrap the foil strip around the object and pinch fold the ends together to create a circle. Line up your homemade pastry rings and either brush with melted butter or spray lightly with nonstick spray.
On a lightly sugared surface, roll the dough out one last time into a 1/2 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 15-16 squares about 4.25 inches. For each square, fold the corners into the center and pinch closed. Place each square into a pastry ring and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes or until puffed. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pastry rings promptly and allow to cool.
Lift, eat, indulge, enjoy!
And if you're ever in Salt Lake, stop in to Les Madeleines and taste their original version. Just be forewarned, since they are a bit laborious to make you can only purchase 6 without a special pre-order. Just sayin' :)
**I have no idea if that is really the case, but it sort of felt like it.