Shoyu Sugar Spam + Kimchi Musubi Croissants
You guys, here's the thing, I love sales. I freakin' love saving money. Tell me there's a warehouse sale and you're pretty much guaranteeing I'll be at your sale at 9:00 am on a Sunday (clad in comfy clothes and shoes) to be the first one in line, ready to get my sale on. Which is exactly what happened a few weeks ago. One of my favorite neighborhood shops, Broome Street General Store recently had a warehouse sale so I dragged Moses there bright and early to score some awesome deals! Here's the other thing, I usually get way too excited about these types of things, fill myself up with ridiculous dreams and expectations and then end up leaving with next to nothing. Thank you for not letting me down, Broome Street! I totally scored a rad white, casserole pan (that looks like it's aluminum but it's not!) AND casserole dish (casserole must not have been very popular with the people last year)! Totally called that a win. Moses also walked away with a few items (and I've totally blanked on his finds).
Needless to say, after circling the entire sale area, twice, I needed coffee so we headed into the store to fuel up. Guess what I found? On a scale of 1 to super pumped, I was pretty much over the moon thrilled to spot a KIMCHI SPAM MUSUBI CROISSANT (with sriracha sauce!!--I'm totally yelling) while ordering my much needed dose of caffeine. Biggest find of the day and Moses almost convinced me not to get it. Are you casting dirty looks at Moses through your computer screen, cause if you are, I'm totally with you and did the same thing. Blasphemous--who turns away a spam musubi in croissant form?! NO ONE EVER, except for spam haters (you're totally entitled if you aren't a fan, I kinda get it). But here's the thing, if you're gonna have spam, why not wrap it up in some nori (dried seaweed), throw in a friend or two (kimchi and shichimi togarashi) and then cover them all up in a blanket of soon to be fantastically buttery, flakey croissant dough.
I should probably get to the part where I tell you how it was. Well, it was AMAZING. Like nothing I've ever had before. The combination of the super salty spam and spicy kimchi with sriracha sauce paired perfectly with the light and flakey croissant. Robust, is how I think I'd describe it. To Sugarbloom Bakery, the creators of the kimchi spam musubi croissant, GENIUS. And, while I loved it 1000%, I felt like it was missing that sticky sweet shoyu (soy sauce) sugar sauce that I usually associate with spam musubis (a musubi is basically like a rice sandwich where the bread is replaced with rice and nori). And that got me thinking about how if the spam had the shoyu sugar sauce, it'd be extra saucy and would need to be encased in some nori, so that the croissant dough wouldn't be harmed and also how can you have a musubi without that signature nori wrap. I literally sat there mentally building my own musubi croissant. If you're having trouble visualizing it with me, think of it as a riceless musubi, minus the rice. And actually, throwing the croissant dough on the outside makes it more like an uramaki roll (inside out sushi roll) so maybe I should call this a shoyu sugar spam + kimchi uramaki croissant and ask you to visualize that. Whatever it's called and however you just visualized it, just know that it's good. And if you haven't made your own croissant dough, might I suggest you try it today.
I'm not gonna tell you it isn't a lot of work, cause it is. But, knowing that you created all those perfect layers of flakey goodness makes it feel worth it. Also, nothing beats a croissant fresh out of the oven. Nothing. And it's not as bad as you might think that being said, I definitely want to help you get the most out of it, so to maximize your efforts, I'm sharing two ways to get your croissant on! Check back on Thursday for part two (yayy, I'm so excited to share this second one with you too). Psssttt, we're headed to SF on Thursday, so please shout out any recommendations you might have!
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- 0.1 g (a pinch) instant dried yeast
- 100 g water at 75 F/23.8 C
Butter Block (Beurrage)
- 330 g unsalted butter, in one piece
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 10 g instant dried yeast
- 3 g diastatic malt powder (optional)
- 200 g water at 75 F/23.8 C
- 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 15 g kosher salt
SHOYU SUGAR SPAM
- 1 can spam (I used Lite), cut into 10 equal slices, trimming ends off so the slice is 2" x 3"
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. shoyu (soy sauce)
KIMCHI W/SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
- 1/4 c. kimchi, finely chopped and drained
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 to 2 tsp. shichimi togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice), adjust according to desired hotness/spice level
SPAM CROISSANT ASSEMBLY/BAKING
- 10 3" x 5" nori (dried seaweed) strips
- 1 large egg, beaten with fork then strained through a fine mesh strainer
- 1 Tbsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1/4 c. kizami nori (finely shredded nori)
- 3 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
- Stand mixer
- Glass measuring cup
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Rolling pin
- Baking sheets lined with parchment or silpat mats
- Large frying pan
- Plastic wrap
- Sharp knife or pastry wheel (w/straight blade)
- Pastry brush
- Plastic tubs or cardboard boxes
- Wire rack
- Combine the flour and the yeast in a medium bowl and mix with your fingers. Pour in the water and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12 to 15 hours. The mixture will be bubbly, but the best indication that it is ready are lines on the surface that look like cracks that are beginning to fall in at the center, as the yeast exhausts its food supply.
Butter Block (Beurrage)
- Place a piece of parchment on the work surface. Center the 330 g of butter on the paper and top with a second piece of parchment paper. Pound the top o the butter from left to right with a rolling pin to begin to flatten it. The parchment paper will be stuck to the butter: lift off the top piece and place it butter side up on the work surface. Flip the butter over onto the parchment paper, turning it 90 degrees. Top with the second piece of parchment paper. Continue to fatten the butter as before until you have a 6 3/4 by 7 1/2 inch rectangle. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and refrigerate.
- Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray.
- Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and malt powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and give it a quick mix on the lowest setting to distribute all of the ingredients evenly.
- Pour about half the water around the edges of the polish to help release the poolish, then add the contents of the bowl, along with the water, to the mixer. Add the butter and mix on low speed for 2 minutes to moisten the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour has been incorporated.
- Sprinkle the salt over the top and mix on low speed for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt. Continue to mix on low speed for 20 minutes.
- Run a bowl scraper around the sides and the bottom of the bowl to release the dough and turn it out onto the work surface. Stretch the left side of the dough outward and fold it over the center of the dough, then stretch and fold the right side over to the opposite side, as if you were folding a letter. Repeat this process, working form the bottom and then the top. Turn the dough over, lift it up with a bench scraper, and place it seam side down in the prepared bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Uncover the dough, run the bowl scraper around the sides and bottom of the bowl to release the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, disturbing the structure as little as possible. Gently but firmly pat the dough into a rectangle about 10 by 7 1/2 inches, pressing any large gas bubbles to the edges and then out of the dough. Transfer to the sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes.
- To encase the butter block and roll the dough, lightly flour the work surface and a heavy rolling pin. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and lightly dust the top with flour. Roll the dough outward from the center, rotating it frequently, and flipping and fluffing it from time to time, adding just enough flour to the work surface, dough, and/or rolling pin to prevent sticking, until you have a 16 by 7 1/2 by 1/2 inch thick rectangle.
- Lay the butter block across the center of the dough. Stretch and fold over the two longer sides so they meet in the center and pinch together to seal. There should be no exposed butter at the top of block, but you will see the butter on the sides.
- To do the first turn, use the rolling pin to press down firmly on the dough across the seam from one side to the other to expand the dough. Turn the dough so the short end faces you. Roll to expand the length of the dough, flipping, fluffing, and turn the dough over and adding flour only as needed, until you have a rectangle approximately 22 by 9 inches and 3/8 inch thick.
- Fold the bottom third of the dough up as if you were folding a letter. Fold the top third down to cover the bottom third. Turn the block 90 degrees so the dough resembles a book, with the opening on the right. You will continue this patter with each roll, and keeping the opening on the right will help you remember how to position the dough. You have completed your first turn: gently press a finger into the corner to mark it. Return to the sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes or until the dough has stiffened by it not hard.
- For the second turn, lightly dust the work surface. Place the dough on the work surface with the opening on the right. It is important to work with the dough as quickly as possible, but not the risk of exposing the butter. Pressing on the dough will warm the butter; if it is too col, it will shatter rather than spread as you roll it. Expand the dough by pressing down firmly with the rolling pin, working up the length of the dough. If the dough cracks at all along the edges, stop and let it warm slightly at room temperature. Then roll out the dough as you did before to a 22 by 9 by 3/8 inch rectangle and repeat the folding. Turn the block 90 degrees, so the opening is on the right. You have completed the second turn; gently press two fingers into a corner to mark the dough. Return to the sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes or until the dough has stiffened but is not hard.
- For the third turn, repeat all of the steps for second turn and mark the dough with three fingerprints.
- To finish the dough, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly dust the work surface with flour. It is especially critical at this stage that the dough remain cold; freeze as needed. Lightly dust the top of the dough and roll it outward from the center, flipping, fluffing, and rotating the dough and turning it over, adding only enough flour to the work surface, dough, and/or rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Roll the dough out to 24 by 9 inches.
- Cut the dough crosswise in half, making two 12 by 9 inch rectangles. Stack on the sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper between them, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes, or until the dough has stiffened but it not hard.
SHOYU SUGAR SPAM
- Whisk shoyu (soy sauce) and sugar in a bowl until sugar has dissolved completely and set aside.
- Heat large frying pan (large enough for all 10 slices) on medium to medium-high heat and cook spam for around 2-3 minutes on each side or until desired crispness.
- Turn the heat to low and add shoyu sugar mixture. Be sure to coat each piece of Spam with the sauce. The mixture will bubble and thicken quickly. Turn spam when it starts to bubble and the sugar begins to caramelize (to coat both sides). Spam is done when the sauce is sticky looking but not burnt.
- Remove from pan and set aside on a plate to cool.
KIMCHI W/SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
- Combine all three ingredients and set aside.
SPAM CROISSANT ASSEMBLY/BAKING
- Place one sheet of nori down on a work surface or cutting board, shiny side down and place one slice of spam in the middle of the sheet. Top with around 1-2 teaspoons of kimchi then wrap the nori around the spam, sealing the edges with a bit of water if necessary. Repeat with all remaining pieces of nori and spam. Set aside.
- Spray two sheet pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper or skip the spray and line with silpat mats.
- Lightly flour the work surface. Remove one piece of dough from the freezer and position it on the work surface with the short end towards you (reserve the second piece in the freezer for another recipe--this recipe only uses half of your croissant dough).
- Lightly flour the work surface. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 17 x 10 inches (but let it sit for a minute if it starts to crack). Trim to a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, then cut each half into five 4-1/2 x 3 inch rectangles. Set a nori wrap spam slice in the middle of each rectangle. Bring sides together to meet in the middle and pinch together very gently with your fingers.
- Put on a prepared sheet pan with seam down.
- Brush the croissant tops and sides with beaten egg wash. Cover the pans with plastic tubs or cardboard boxes and let proof for about 2 to 3 hours. When the dough is delicately pressed with a finger, the impression should remain.
- Meanwhile, position the rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F at least thirty minutes prior to baking.
- Combine remaining egg wash with 1 tablespoon shoyu and set aside.
- Bake for 25 minutes then quickly brush with shoyu-egg wash and sprinkle with white sesame seeds and kizami nori. Be sure to separate any croissants that are touching and rotate the pans before quickly replacing in oven. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the tops are a rich golden brown and no portions, particularly between the layers, look undercooked. Set the pans on a rack and cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Check out Izy's blog Top with Cinnamon for a bunch of really helpful gifs for rolling out the dough.
- I strongly recommend using silpat mats to line your baking sheets. The bottoms of the croissants from a silpat lined pan will be superior to the bottoms from a parchment lined pan (aka perfectly cooked, not the least bit burnt).
- These will take two days to complete, as the poolish needs to sit for TWELVE to FIFTEEN HOURS (not minutes).
- If you can roll out dough, fold letters for envelopes, know what a rectangle is, and have a lot of patience, you can make these!!
P.s. YAY you made it to the end!