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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Almost Got It


The other weekend prior getting sick, I had a spurt of energy and I decided to tackle croissants.   I have always been intimidated with laminated doughs like puff pastry and croissants.   The thought of having to pound butter and bread dough into submission until it creates layers got me tired before I even started the recipe.  I finally decided to try it.  My main motivator was that I was craving croissants, Danishes, or anything with buttery layers almost everyday.  I just got sick of paying 2 or 3 dollars for one croissant (I went to Starbucks a little too much in the last couple of months).  I researched quite a bit of recipes and even tried a “cheater” recipe but instead I used a recipe I have been avoiding to use.  The recipe I used had a little back story to it. 
If you remember the back in July I took a pastry boot camp.  Everyday we looked forward to our break time, which meant a very butter and crispy croissant with a side of raspberry jam or butter.  And everyday, it was pointed out how messy I was when I ate it.  If you were looking for me just follow the trail of crumbs, I had to create a Hansel and Gretel path back to my work station.  When our week ended, I was still craving those croissants.  I were given the opportunity to have the delicious pastry when the school hosted a short cooking demo.  As I was waiting for the demo to start, I had the opportunity to look through the text book the students used.  I was just flipping through the book and I found the croissant recipe.  I looked around and asked my friend to cover me as I whipped (yes whipped) out my phone and took pictures of each section of the recipe.
If The Husband was there, he would have just giggled the whole time and gave me away.  When we talked again the following Monday, I emailed her the images from my phone.  I figured I was going to use the pictures as my guide but she was nice enough to type out the whole recipe.  We did learn from our week at the school, the directions are not always how it appears.  If you saw my recipe book there was scratch outs, arrows, and notes everywhere on each page.   When I looked at this recipe, I knew I had to use it as a base and researched other techniques.  I did rush it a little just because the butter started to leak out all over my counter.  I also had to battle the Daughter from attacking the dough.  She kept on trying to touch it as I was rolling it out.  Ok, I’m going to quit talking and give you the recipe.
Croissant Recipe
(adapted from The French Cooking school)
180 g of Water (Lukewarm)
13.5 g of Dry Yeast
133 g of Bread Flour
Bread dough
53 g of Sugar
16 g of salt
233 g of Milk
73 g of Soft Butter
600 g of Bread Flour
462 g of Butter for the lamination
  1. Take the water and sprinkle the yeast and than lightly sprinkle the flour on top in a large mixing bowl.  Let it bloom.
  2. Take the butter for the lamination and place it in between two pieces of saran wrap. 
  3. Pound the butter into a large rectangle and place it back into the fridge to firm.
    1. When you see cracks in the flour, add the bread dough.  Layer the ingredients in this order: the milk, sugar, flour, and than the salt (so it wouldn’t kill the yeast).  Than add the butter. 
    2. Set the mixer on low.  Watch it carefully and do not over work the dough.  Once it creates a ball, remove from the mixer. 
    3. Cover and let it rise for 1/2 an hour.
    4. When the dough doubles, remove it from the bowl and carefully roll out the dough into a thin layer (about 1/4 inch thick the most).
    5. Take the butter out of the fridge and place it on top of the rolled out dough.  Fold over the edges until it covers the butter.
    6. Fold the dough into thirds by the longest part and than roll out the dough to flatten slightly. 
    7. Repeat this step until it forms a medium square (about 6x6). 
    8. Place in a zip lock bag and place it in the fridge to let it rest.
    9. Chill for 2 hours at least.  Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough until it is is a very thin rectangle (about 1/8th of an inch).  I wouldn’t make the width no longer than 3 inches.
    10. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Cut long triangles out of the dough and slowly roll up the dough until it forms a croissant.  Place in a baking sheet and let it rest for it to rise.
    11. Let it double in size.  Brush with an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes until it is golden brown.
    12. Serve.
    When it was baking, I didn’t realize how big the croissants would get.  They ended up as large as The Daughter.  I am still working on the procedure and I think I’m really close.  I will be testing the recipe to get it exactly how I like it. 
    This is how I constructed the layers.
    Here is my finish product.  The layers are almost there.  It is just not as thin as I would like. 
    Look it is as big as her Head!
    This was breakfast for The Husband and myself. 


    1. Beautiful, beautiful croissants! So flaky and perfect and BIG! Adorable baby. I salute you on tackling the challenging process. I don't have as much patience but this did serve as an inspiration for me to do BIGGER things :)

    2. Oh wow!! That's the the steps - never tried to mak this one my own. That photo is ADORABLE! They ARE bigger than her head - now that's a croissant.

    3. Wow, those look great! I don't think i'm ready for croissants yet and I think it's awesome that you have tackled them. Maybe someday I will have the courage to make some.

    4. Your croissants looks so impressive. The pictures is so adorable :)

    5. That looks yummy. Poor Julie though, it looks like it's not certain who is going to eat who, that croissant is so big

    6. Great job! They look like they came from a french bakery.

    7. I love the pics! Just adorable. ;) Beautiful job on these.

    8. I too have always wanted to make croissants, never been brave enough though. Looks like yours turned out great.

    9. homemade croissants looks flaky and delicious
      looks like the little one is enjoying

    10. I've always been too intimidated to make pastries like croissants too and I'm so impressed with your results! You've inspired me...I will be trying this soon!

    11. Love croissants! Those look great and I love that you even used the polish starter to make the dough. WOnderful!

    12. Whoa you made croissants? Hold on let me get on my knees...

      "I'm not worthy!"



    13. Practice makes perfect! I made croissants in culinary school and ours weren't perfect either, but you're on the right track and these look good!

    14. I love your new lay-out it's cleaner....

    15. Can I come over to your house? Both your croissants and your sweet little girl warmed my heart. Thank you so much for sharing with me tonight. I hope you have a weekend full of love, laughter and great food!

    16. Joy, the croissants look amazing- and you will not believe me if I say that I have been toying with the idea of making my own croissants for some time now- never had the chance (intimidated by the dough preparation, I guess). Inspired by your recipe, I am gonna give it out a try. Thanks for sharing recipe :)

    17. I can't believe you made those- they look incredible!

    18. Those were huge croissants! I bet they tasted delicious. I haven't attempted them, though I have have made puffed pastry for other uses. The work and effort is always worth it.

    19. Congratulations on baking croissants. Oh I love the picture of your daughter holding a huge croissant. So cute.:)

    20. I am in awe. I don't think I could ever attempt something as complicated (and scary) as croissants. Yours are absolutely perfect.

    21. Awesome job making croissants, I love the picture of your little one with that huge croissant!