Medialunas is the Argentinian take on the traditional French croissant. The word literally translates to half a moon (explaining the crescent shape). The yeast infused dough is intricately layered with butter with a technique called laminating and glazed with sugar.
Unlike a regular croissant, Medialunas are smaller and sweeter. It is a staple pastry dish and a very popular breakfast in Argentina, so much so that it is challenging to find a panadería (bakery) in Buenos Aires that is not selling it.
Medialunas is often served with Café con leche (coffee with milk) or yerba mate tea.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Many of the Argentinian pastries have their names rooted in conflict and war, especially in Europe. Medialunas was apparently the first one to arrive with the European immigrants who first landed in Argentina.
Today, however, this dish has become its own entity that is arguably eaten by more people in Argentina than croissants are eaten in France.
- Heated milk - 2 cups
- Salt - 1 tbsp.
- Active dry yeast - 3 tbsp.
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Flour - 5 cups
- Cold butter - 5 sticks
- Vanilla extract - few drops (optional)
- Egg wash
- Egg yolk- 1
- Milk - 1 tbsp.
- Sugar Glaze
- Water - 1 cup
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Add and stir sugar and yeast in warm milk.
- Mix well with a whisk, stirring salt, sugar, egg yolk and flour until the dough starts to come together. Knead until sticky but smooth.
- Place the dough in a bowl, coat with vegetable oil and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Place sticks of butter between two layers of cling film, pound with a rolling pin until a quarter of an inch thick and quiet square. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle, 1/2 an inch thick, on a lightly floured surface.
- Remove the plastic from the butter. Place it on one half of the rectangle while folding the other half of the dough over the butter. Pinch the sides to seal. Roll the dough out in a rectangle again, keeping the butter inside.
- With the short side facing your body, fold the top third of the dough down, then refrigerate the plastic wrapped dough again until chilled.
- Unfold and roll out the chilled dough again in a rectangular shape. Cut lengthwise, creating two long rectangles. Stack one over the other, aligning the edges.
- Cut the dough in triangles. Placing each one on the surface, roll from base to tip to form a croissant shape. While these rest for 30 minutes on a parchment lined in baking sheets, heat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash. Brush it over the pastries and bake until puffed and golden for 20-25 minutes.
- Heat 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Stir until it thickens and add a few drops of vanilla extract(optional) to make the sugar glaze.
- Brush the top of cooled medialunas with sugar glaze and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gProtein: 3g