Tuesday, March 5, 2013

TWD: Croissants!



Oh my.

When reading over the recipe for this week's Tuesday's With Dorie, I immediately felt intimidated.  Croissants?!?   Seriously?!?

After reading the recipe several more times, I gained confidence.  The ingredients were simple.  The process lengthy.  The results heavenly!   (And messy!!  More on that....)

Before I go too far, please take a peek at Amanda's blog at Girl + Food = Love.   Amanda has beautiful step-by-step photos, helpful hints, and the recipe if you're up to the challenge!

So I gathered the courage, figured out the timing, and made the dough on Friday evening so that it could rest in the fridge overnight.  Saturday morning I began the process of rolling, folding, resting and chiling.  Rolling, folding, resting and chilling.   Rolling, folding, cutting, forming, rising, and baking!   24 hours later I had croissants!

Yes, I was baking at 10:00 at night.   Why??  Because the entire process of making these buttery and flaky pastries needed a full 24 hours.  Amanda was wiser than I.  She began in the morning, so the following morning she was able to bake.  Makes more sense, right??

Regardless, my croissants were beautiful and scrumptious!   Here's a summary in pictures, followed by a funny story. 

The dough, after resting in the fridge overnight. 



The dough is rolled to a large oval, and the chilled disc of butter is laid on top.  Then, the top and bottom sides of the dough enclose the butter.








The butter is "whacked" with the rolling pin, then rolled flat.  Then the side of the dough are folded in.






At this point the dough is set on a sheet pan and covered, then refrigerated for at least 2 hours.   After that time, the dough is rolled again, folded again, and refrigerated again.   Then the dough is rolled and folded into a "wallet", a book-like double fold.  Imagine all the layers of dough and butter that have been created with all the rolling and folding!!




The dough is rolled for the last time, cut into triangles, stretched gently by hand, and formed into crescent shapes.   This is where I struggled the most, apparently.  As I gently tried to stretch the triangles of dough, the dough cracked and broke.  I was not able to stretch it as much as I should have, thus my croissants do not have the beautiful and classy croissant look.






The croissants are brushed with an egg wash and set aside to rise for 3-4 hours in a warm place. 






They're brushed again with an egg wash, then baked until deeply golden brown.





I prepared a walnut filling for some of my croissants, following the recipe (but substituting walnuts for almonds) in the Baking With Julia cookbook.  The sweet filling had finely chopped nuts, brown sugar, butter, and a little flour.  Weeelllll......here is where the fun really began in my kitchen!!  





As you can see, the nut filling oozed out, and since I neglected to use a sheet pan with sides, the butter dripped off of the pans, onto the oven floor.  Oh yes.  You can imagine the smoke!   Needless to say my smoke detectors did their job.  (Keep in mind this is 10:00 at night, and I have four sleeping children upstairs!!)

So, there I stood, beneath the nearest smoke detector, using my daughter's science fair display board to fan the smoke away from the smoke detector. 

 FOR.  20.  MINUTES.

Yes, I did.  20 minutes of an upper-body workout (haha) as the 4 1/2 sticks of butter baked in the oven. 

Was it worth it?  Um, yeah.  Look at these buttery flaky layers!





I waited what seemed like an eternity to taste one.  11:00 at night, in a smoky stinky kitchen, I ate.  Mmmmm.  There is absolutely NO comparison between a warm, made-from-scratch croissant and a store-bought one.  The time and elbow-grease required of these babies is great, but the results are so worth it.

If you're up to the challenge, you can find the recipe on Amanda's beautiful blog!   Read here!   Thanks for hosting this week's challenge, Amanda!


P.S.  I filled some of my croissants with a spoonful of semisweet chocolate chips.  Divine!   And the first to be gobbled up by the little people in my house.....




19 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I wonder why the butter oozed out?? Regardless, they look perfect - flaky and divine! Great work at fanning the smoke detector after rolling and rolling and rolling the dough! I am not sure I could have lifted the display board to do so!

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  2. I had to stop myself from licking the screen on the last picture. They look so good! I also looked at some of your cakes on flicker and they are amazing!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! Is licking the computer screen calorie-free??? That might be the way to go with these,eh? I can't even begin to imagine the number of calories and fat grams in one of these.....!!

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  3. Your croissants are beautiful, I love your pictures the last two look so yummy!!!!
    Well done!!!
    Thank for your lovely comment!!!

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    1. Thank you! I think I'll attempt these again one day with a few tweaks along the way. :)

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  4. I can picture the cardboard waving going on there!!! Good to see the filling worked, even though it leaked...and a lesson learned to use a jelly roll pan instead of cookie sheet for filled ones. I'm thinking that maybe jelly roll pan on all since I got lucky and some of the melty butter on the regular ones didn't drip off while baking! Thanks for the early warning!

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    1. Good thing there weren't any hidden cameras around here, eh?

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  5. One of my biggest fears is that the smoke detector will go off when I am cooking. But even more than that, is that my kids will be sleeping when it happens. I am glad you lived through it. And your croissants look wonderful. Wish I had made them now.

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    1. Go for it! Just start in the morning....not at night like I did. ;)

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  6. Great pics. Your dough looks fantastic. And your croissants look really good. Love how the layers are showing and look flaky. Great job!

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    1. Thank you. It was a long process, but fun! I learned a lot too, so next time I think they'll look even nicer.

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  7. Wow - you did this all in one day? What a marathon.
    Bravo on a job well done.

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  8. Gorgeous croissants and photos! We also loved that first bite fresh out of the oven, though we didn't have as much smoke alarm drama!

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    1. There always seems to be some kind of drama around here. What's up with that?! ;)

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  9. Your dough is perfect! I'm going to try again. And your croissants look delicious.

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  10. I can only imagine your smoke-filled kitchen, the croissants baking, and you playing "fan the detector"! Great job! Blessings, Catherine

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  11. Whew. That sounded epic and you would do it again!?! I agree. Not much beats fresh croissants.

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