1/20/13

Homemade Croissant

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There are times in life when we just have the urge to set some challenging goals for ourselves. Things that we don't do or achieve every day. So when we do it feels like we're on top of the world! Because we got out of our comfort zone and achieved something we thought we'd never be able to do or would take really long and hard... Let it be applying for our dream job and working sooo hard to get it or finally decide to go on the trip we always wanted to but the time was never right, or running the marathon... or making the dreadful croissants :) 
January is all about doing new things, trying to be our better selves so it's no wonder I finally thought it was time I let go of my fear that I will never ever be able to make the real flaky and tender croissants you eat at fancy bakeries! Because I've tried sooo many times...and failed. I didn't give up though! It became my project and tried a new recipe every single day for a whole week :D They were all right but had no resemblance to real croissants :) 



So yesterday my plans got canceled and had nothing better to do on a Saturday night so I thought why not try it again? :) So I got to it, I used Pierre Hermé's recipe because his recipes pretty much rock. And guess what! We had freshly baked croissants for breakfast! On a Sunday! How perfect is that? :) Okay, not really, we missed the freshly squeezed orange juice. Ahh, I knew something was missing ;)

ps: I didn't take pictures of the method because I wasn't sure if they'll work. Next time I'll post step by step photos!

Homemade Croissants
makes about 25-30 mini croissants
recipe is from Pastries by Pierre Herme

12 grams active dry yeast - about 1 and a half packet
1 tsp sugar
7 Tbsp (100 grams) warm milk
2 cups (500 grams) AP flour
1/2 Tbsp (12 grams) sea salt
6 Tbsp (75 grams) granulated sugar
2 1/4 Tbsp (35 grams) very soft butter
1 Tbsp (15 grams) dry milk powder
2/3 cup (145 grams) warm water
3 sticks (325 grams) unsalted cold butter

for the glaze
1 egg
1 egg yolk
dash of salt

Let's start with making the yeasty dough. Mix the 1 teaspoon of sugar with the yeast and dissolve in the warm milk. Incorporate the flour, salt, sugar, very soft butter, milk powder, two thirds of the warm water and the yeast dissolved in the milk. Knead the mixture very briefly. Add the remaining water if the dough is too firm. Don't knead for long. Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover it and let it sit in room temperature for about 1 and a half hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough and cover it again. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Punch down again and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Grate the butter and place it on a plastic wrap. Form a rectangle, wrap it tightly and put it in the fridge.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Sprinkle a kneading board with flour and roll out a long rectangle of dough, it should be 3 times longer than it is wide. Place half of the butter into the center of the dough. Fold the right side of the dough on the part covered with butter and then fold the left side on it. Seal the edges. Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 1 hour. ( Don't cheat with the time, I did and the butter was melting and it broke the dough so everything was a buttery mess.)

Roll out the dough as before and proceed in the same way with the other half of the butter. Place the dough in the freezer again for 30 minutes then in the fridge for an hour. 

Roll it out again and fold it. Put it back in the fridge for another hour. Repeat it one more time.

Sprinkle flour on the kneading board and roll out the dough to rather thin. Using a sharp knife, cut out triangles 8 inches (20 cm) high and with a base measuring 4 1/2 (12 cm) inches. Roll each triangle on itself, then curve the ends into a crescent shape. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. As you finish shaping the croissants, place them on the sheets and let them proof for 1 and a half hours. 

Before proofing. Don't put them so close to each other, I also put half of them on another sheet.

After proofing and brushing the glaze on top. See how poofy they got?

Preheat your oven to 410F (210C).

To make the glaze, whisk the egg, egg yolk and salt. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the croissants with the glaze. Put them in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temp to 350F (180C). Bake for 18-20 minutes. After removing them from the oven, let them cool before eating :) Enjoy!


So so tender inside!! And amazingly crsipy outside...Oh my, perfection :)


5 comments:

  1. Well done, they look fantastic. Once you've made them once they are much easier the next time around (and quicker because you don't have to look at the recipe every 5 minutes). I love making them.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yeah, I am hoping it will just get easier because I did struggle a bit and was not real sure they'd turn out the way they did :)

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  2. Can you do part of this the night before to have them fresh in the AM? Could you freeze these as well? At which step would you stop?

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    Replies
    1. I did most of the parts at night so all I did in the morning is rolled the dough out, shaped them, let them sit and then baked them. So I would do all the folding the day before and then let the dough chill in the fridge till morning! I'm not sure about the freezing since I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work :)Hope it'll work for you! :)

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    2. Thanks! I'll let you know how it turns out :)

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