Friday, July 19, 2013


**I interrupt my vacation blog posts for croissants. It seems appropriate. Plus you are tired of looking at buildings anyway.**

Alright. You ready? Really ready? Cause I've finally done it. I've made croissants with my camera in hand. And a recipe! I never thought I would actually blog these things. They are amazing don't get me wrong, but they take a lot of time and instructions for the first time. And my general rule for recipes on the world wide web is my sister has to willingly want to make them. Meaning they are under 10 ingredients and 6 steps. These are not those. But they will change your life. I bet I could get my brother to move all the furniture out of my house and back inside just for a batch. These are not difficult per se, they are time consuming. But the time is spent with the dough resting and chilling. I usually bake two batches at a time and then freeze the second. Oh they freeze beautifully. Then you can wake up pre-heat your oven while they are thawing slightly and bake for a mere 20 minutes and you have a fresh warm croissant that makes any day amazing. Throw some chocolate inside or ham and cheese and I could settle world peace.
I took notes of all my tricks and a million pictures so you too can bribe your siblings to do anything. And seriously, after you make them once, you feel like a rock star and you will want to make them all the time. I would if I had the ability to just each one, but I can't. I eat 4. Ok, 5.

Find the recipe after the page jump!

*I follow the recipe pretty exactly. If I'm going to go through all the time, I want them to turn out amazing. To get all the way to the baking point and they are a glob of butter on the pan because you killed the yeast is sort of infuriating. And yes I speak from experience. *

Makes 12
3 C Flour
1/4 C Sugar
1 TB instant yeast
11/2 tsp Salt
1/4 C warm whole milk (110 Degrees)
3 Sticks Butter, chilled
2 TB Flour

1 Egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

I start with the dough. But you can make your butter slab first if you want.
Step 1: Dough

1. Add 2-3/4 C flour, sugar, and salt to your mixer. Mix that all up. I use my beater for that part.
 2. Warm your milk up in the microwave. Careful with your thermometer, don't break it. I did.  But only warm 1 Cup of it up. In case you get it too hot, then you can cool it down with the remaining 1/4 Cup.
 3. Add yeast to warm milk, stir it up until it is slightly dissolved.
 4. Add milk mixture to your dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
 5. Switch to your dough hook and knead the dough until it forms a ball, about 8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time. (I always use the full 3 cups of flour)

 6. Form a ball with the dough and transfer it to a greased bowl and cover. Refrigerate until it's nice a chilled. About an hour.

Step 2: Butter
1. Lay sticks of butter side by side on a parchment piece of paper, sprinkle with flour. (I used amish butter. They sell it in a 2LB log here and it tastes pretty fantastic.)
2. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper
3. Pound and roll butter into a flat 8" square
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
* I use a french rolling pin, and a dough scraper for the butter. It makes it so much easier.
* Don't be afraid to pound the butter, it helps if you are sort of mad about anything.
*If you don't have a dough scraper. Get one. Now. They are the best kitchen tool around. And parchment paper, get some of that too. Local cooking stores will sell it in sheets of hundreds for $5.
 photo Butter-Sticks-2.gif
Take your chilled dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into an 11" square.
Now place your butter diagonally in the center of your dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter, meeting in the middle and pinching the seams together.
Roll your dough from the center outward, until your butter begins to soften and your square becomes larger. Roll the dough into a 14" square. Dusting with flour to keep it from sticking. Fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle. Then fold it again into thirds to make a square. Wrap it up tightly and let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours. *Thats the trickiest part! and you'll do that twice more, so you'll get lots of practice.*

 photo Folding-Butter-3.gif
Repeat Step 3 again. Then let it rest for 2 more hours.

Step 4:
After you have turned the dough a total of 2 times and rested for 6 hours total, you are ready to shape you croissants!
Start with taking your folded square, and roll it out to a 20" square. This is my least favorite part, rolling it into a square that big. Let the dough sit for ten minutes before you start to soften it. Or you can spend ten minutes trying to roll it out.
Work the dough from your folded square into a nice flat square. 
 Cut it down the middle with your trusty dough scraper.
 Then cut each half into three rectangles, and then each of those into triangles. You should get 12 triangles.
 To shape your croissants, make a 1" slit at the bottom of your triangle and gently roll it up. Then curve the ends, making sure your tail is tucked under. Otherwise they will unravel and unraveled croissants aren't efficient for dipping in hot chocolate.
 photo Shaping-Croissants-1.gif
If you want to stuff your croissants with chocolate or ham and cheese, or anything really, instead of cutting triangles make 6 rectangles. Fill one end with your filling and roll it up. Make sure you seal the seam, otherwise it will unravel when baking.

Step 5:
Line the formed croissants on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them slowly raise in the refrigerator for 10-16 hours. Ok thats what the recipe says, but I usually let them raise overnight, and thats about 8 hours.
If you are freezing any of these beauties; after they have rested in the fridge overnight put them in a ziploc and freeze them for up to a month. When you are ready to bake them let them thaw slightly, about 20 minutes, then bake as you normally would with the egg wash and such.

Step 6:
Once your ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 400. Pull the croissants out and let them sit while your oven preheats. Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water to make a wash. Brush the croissants with the egg wash. Only bake 8 croissants at a time, otherwise they will get all smashed and thats no good.

 Bake your croissants 18-22 Minutes. You want them to be firm, not just browned on the outside. If you take them out too soon they will fall flat because the inside isn't baked yet. I bake mine for 21 minutes.

 Look at all that flakey goodness.
 You did it! You made croissants! They will be flakey on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. It's pretty much heaven. Seriously.

Click Here for a Printable Version of the Recipe.

love love

1 comment :