I still remember the first time I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital and for four days our breakfast was an Argentinian Medialuna and a coffee. They are the perfect snack also for midafternoon. They are widely popular and always available in Argentina, and they have also been adopted in Chile, my home country.
They are in between a brioche and a croissant, is a rich dough, with many layers and with a very subtle hint of lemon and vanilla. The sweetness is also restraint. They are a little challenging to make but fabulous to eat. They can be frozen and then popped in the microwave or toaster oven for a real treat. Don’t forget to try them if you ever go to Argentina.
This recipe is sponsored by Plugrá® butter, and it could not be a better occasion. Argentinian Medialunas are a kind of enriched bread with egg and butter added to the dough, the use of butter with an excellent flavor and made with care is fundamental for the final result.
Plugrá® has 82% fat, compared to 80% in regular butter. This coupled with a low percentage of moisture translates into Medialunas that last longer and taste better. Details like these make the difference.
Plugrá® uses specially selected cream from American dairy farms, is a premium butter. It does not have artificial ingredients nor does it use milk with growth hormones. One of its steps to obtain an ultra-creamy butter with low moisture content is careful handling of the temperature of the cream during the churning process.
Available in two varieties: Salted, recommended for savory recipes or with toast and Unsalted for sweet recipes: doughs in general, cookies and sauces, you can buy it at Kroger supermarkets (get the coupon).
for 18 mediums or 24 smalls
for the dough,
- 300 ml. of whole milk
- 14 grams (2 envelopes) of active yeast
- 525 grams of all-purpose flour
- 40 grams of sugar
- 15 grams of honey
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, optional
- 10 grams of salt
- 2 eggs (1 for the dough and 1 for the brush)
for the filling,
- 40 grams of all-purpose flour
- 225 grams of Plugra® butter, at room temperature
for the syrup,
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- Warm the milk; it should not be more than 110F or 43C. Add the yeast and stir until dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes; it should form abundant bubbles. If you do not see bubbles, repeat the process and make sure that the yeast is alive.
- With a fork, mix the butter with the 40 grams of flour and spread over parchment paper, give it a square shape of about 6″ per side. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, place the flour, sugar, honey, vanilla extract, lemon, salt, and one egg. Using the paddle attachment mix everything while adding the milk with the yeast. Work to form a sticky dough, about 5 minutes. Change to the kneading hook and knead for 10 minutes in low speed.
- Place the dough on a floured board. Stretch the dough into a square of about 12″ per side, place the square of butter in the center and fold the dough so that it covers the square of butter. Pinch to seal the edges of the dough. Roll without exposing the butter into a rectangle. Fold in 3 as a letter, the left side first. Place in a floured tin and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the floured board and place with the longest side in front of you. Extend to form a rectangle and fold again in 3, always the left side first. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat this process two more times. After the four times doing the folding, don’t refrigerate, move to the next step.
- Stretch the dough on the floured counter into a rectangle of 45 x 30 cm (18 “x 12″) with a thickness of 5 mm. Cut so that the rectangle has straight edges. Cut three long strips of 4” wide each. Then cut each one in 3 and then diagonally, you will get 18 triangles. Extend each triangle and roll up starting from the base. Guide yourself with the photos.
- Butter generously a quarter baking sheet. Place each roll in the sheet and give it a horn shape, pressing the tips into the baking sheet, place the next crescent almost touching the previous one, fill the tray.
- In a small bowl, place the remaining egg and a little water or milk. Beat until fully incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C.
- Leave the medialunas covered with a dishcloth in a warm place for 30-45 minutes; they should grow, but not double in size.
- Brush with the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes, rotating if necessary.
- Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Place the water and sugar in a small pot. Cook over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let boil for 4 minutes to reduce.
- Remove the medialunas from the oven; they must be well browned, prick with a toothpick in several parts and brush with the syrup so that it is absorbed. Keep brushing until you use all the syrup.
- Serve warm. They keep three days. They can be frozen and reheated without problems.