I did it! And I’m never doing it again…

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…or at least that is what I thought before I tasted heaven on earth, or what you might call a croissant. Yes, I made croissants from scratch. Yes, I spent two days rolling and folding dough, spreading butter (oh so much butter–5 1/2 sticks!!!), and waiting-lots of waiting.

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I never realized how much work went into making croissants {ignorance is bliss!} and maybe that’s why there are so many bad-tasting ones out there…nothing beats a handmade croissant. Wow. If I seem very enthusiastic right now, it’s only because I just finished eating my first one. There are still crumbs on my shirt, on my lips.

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The recipe I used comes from Tartine from the owners of the bakery of the same name in San Francisco. The Daring Bakers chose it has their monthly challenge in January 2007 long before I joined. I’m slowly baking my way through past challenges and after tasting these, I’m so glad I am. You can find the recipe at Veronica’s Test Kitchen, but the recipe is so long with a lot of steps {and the cookbook is great!} I urge you to get your hands on it.

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Here is a brief summary of the steps involved in making the best tasting croissant you’ll ever taste:

  1. Make a preferment. Let rise 2 to 3 hours (or overnight in fridge).
  2. Mix dough ingredients with preferment, let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Knead dough for a maximum of 4 minutes in stand mixer. Let rise 1 1/2 hours or until doubles in size.
  4. Transfer dough to work surface. Pat out into a two-inch high rectangle, wrap in plastic, and place in fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. An hour before your ready to start laminating the dough, take out the butter {22 ounces!!!} and use stand mixture to make butter malleable {but not warm! not soft!}. Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator.

    This is what 5 1/2 sticks of butter spread out on dough looks like

    This is what 5 1/2 sticks of butter spread out on dough looks like

  6. Remove dough and butter from refrigerator. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. {Do you know how long 28 inches is? OMG, it’s long. I know I used a measuring tape.}
  7. Spread and pat the butter over 2/3rd’s of the rectangle. Fold in thirds starting with the unbuttered side. Like a business letter. This is apparently known as a plaque.¬†imgp3189
  8. Use your fingers to seal the seams and give the plaque a quarter turn. Roll out the dough AGAIN to a 28 by 12 inch rectangle. I feel like I got a good upper body work out this weekend. :P
  9. Fold it into a plaque again, wrap in plastic, and place in refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to relax the gluten.
  10. Clean work surface, dust with flour, and AGAIN roll out dough to 28 by 12 inches. It’s neat you can see the streaks of butter when you roll out the dough.

    This is a 32 by 12 inch "rectangle".

    This is a 32 by 12 inch "rectangle".

  11. Fold it into a plaque. Wrap in plastic. Place on a quarter sheet pan and place in FREEZER for at least an hour or up to a week. Remove from freezer and place in fridge the night before you plan on making the croissants.
  12. When you are roll out the dough, lightly flour work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle 32 by 12 inches. {That’s longer than 28 inches!! :P }. imgp3192
  13. Cut dough into triangles with a four inch base and 10 to 12 inch sides and roll into croissants.
  14. Let croissants rise for 2 to 3 hours. imgp3195
  15. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  16. 10 minutes before croissants are ready for oven, make egg wash and brush on croissants. Let croissants sit for 10 minutes.
  17. Place in oven and turn temp down to 400 F. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, turning pan half way through.
Croissants...fresh from the oven.

Croissants...fresh from the oven.

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39 thoughts on “I did it! And I’m never doing it again…

  1. Your croissants look fantastic! I made these for the first time a few months back and have made them now 3 times since! You’re right… nothing beats a homemade croissant! They are totally worth the effort. Great job!

  2. OMG!!!! They look amazing! What an accomplishment! I know that I don’t have the talent to ever pull these off, but let me know if you ever want to sell them!

  3. Wow! That is ALOT of work but they turned out beautiful and perfectly browned! Too often I find that pastries are over baked to a yucky brown instead of the golden brown of your croissants!!! I’d love one right now! Great photos, too!
    ~ingrid

  4. thanks for visiting my blog! your croissants look gorgeously buttery! i just visited tartine for the first time a couple of weeks ago, i’d love to try their recipe.

  5. You know, I’d actually put more butter on it while eating it… They look delicious!
    As much work as I know it’s going to be, I am planning on making my own within the next little while. I hope they turn out as great as yours.

  6. Sheesh kabobs. You actually made croissants. I bow down to thee. ;) I am not worthy!

    Might as well put the 5 1/2 sticks of butter on my ass because I am going to eat all of them!

  7. It may have been difficult, but I’m sure there’s nothing better than that first bite into a homemade croissant. WOW.. 5.5 sticks of butter, now that’s scary!

  8. THOSE look amazing! I’ll bet there’s nothing like homemade fresh ones, especially since store bought ones are even pretty good–these have got to be heaven!

  9. These are indeed beautiful and I’m glad you found them worth the time investment! The picture of the croissant on a bed of greens cracked me up – was it trying to hide the 5.5 sticks of butter?
    Nancy

  10. I am almost speechless. How wonderful is this? Your blog was funny, but your croissants look amazing. Now, I am craving one! I even want to try doing this, even though you may warn me not to.

  11. These look so tasty! It’s strange, but it never occurred to me to actually make croissants – like it was something you had to buy from the store. Something to consider making in the future.

  12. Those croissants are gorgeous. I’ve been dying to make homemade croissants but I’m chicken. I’m really worried that they won’t turn out. Yours look sooo good though!

  13. Just wanted to add to the comments. When I was a young teenager (now 53) I made danish pastries and they were sooooo good. Lot of work, though. I tell people that it takes 2 days…1 to make dough and 2 to make the danishes. I have been wanting to make more for a long time and I finally am making some. I think I’ll try to make some crossants also. If you love to bake, you should try this at least once in your life. You will be glad you did!!!

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