I got a new rolling pin at the market, and since I got it I’ve wanted to use it. I made pie over the weekend (but it’s nearly gone now), and today I decided to make some croissants.
I used a recipe that I’m told is basically Julia Child’s. I do not know one way or the other about this, but I did commit to taking lots of detailed photos of the whole process so you can follow along! It wasn’t hard, just a long process–about 4 hours (granted I rushed here or there).
To start with, the ingredients:
1/3 cup tepid milk, 2 cups of all purpose flour bleached, 4Tbps of grape seed oil*, and some proofed yeast.**
You mix all these pretty easy to have around ingredients together, pressing them with a spatula. Next thing you know, you have this thing:
Not super pretty, I admit, but it’s getting there. This was surprisingly not sticky despite not having a ton of flour in it. I kneaded it for a while, until I got a very smooth and elastic dough:
Then I whipped out a ‘stick’ of butter***. Look at that pretty butter–this is some English butter I bought last grocery run, and I quite like both the colour and flavour.
Then, you begin to beat it. This helps a LOT if your butter is chilled well before this. I thought mine was, but you’d be surprised how quickly it heats up, so try and work fast. Here, check out my action shot of beating it with my NEW rolling pin I mentioned:
Keep beating it. Eventually it will be mostly flat, start smoothing it out more with the heel of your hand. You’re going for a disc about 5″ wide. I ended up using my bench scrapper to put my disc on a cutting board for this next step.
Take your dough back out and roll it into a 9″ disc. Then, put your butter disc in the center, like so:
Then, fold the sides in followed by the top/bottom, pinching together to make a pouch:
And finally wrap and chill AGAIN for about 30-hour in fridge. All of this chilling is helping keep the butter from disappearing into the flour and thus ruining the whole point of it–making your croissant flakey. You do something really similar with pie dough.
In any case, once you’ve managed that, set it back out on a lightly floured surface. Then, roll it into a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. I think mine was closer to a foot, but I don’t care! Haha! Take that recipe!
Like so. Then, fold each of the long ends in, like a business letter:
Turn it sideways (so the folded edge is facing which way you’re rolling out), and roll out again. You’ll do this 4 times total, but you’ll need to stop after roll 2 because it needs to chill again. If the dough gets rubbery at any point (thus too warm) chill is the answer!
Finally, roll it into a 20 x 5 rectangle, keeping it as straight as possible. Slice that in half. On each half, you’ll be cutting three more slices (into 1/3s) and then those rectangles will be slice into triangles and rolled up. Like so:
Line all your pretty crescents on a pan (I lined my pan with wax paper), and then let them rise for about an hour.
Finally, it is time! Preheat the oven to ridiculous hot (475F), shove the croissants in, and then get them out in about 5-8 minutes. Watch them like a hawk, because they cook super fast despite how long they take to prep!
Cool and devour. (But not all at once). Excellent with jam and deliciousness. Mine are super light and flakey, and maybe next time I’ll roll a strip of bacon in them, or something similar, for a super tasty breakfast snack.
*My own thing, I’m using it nearly every where right now. Fantastic fry oil, as the smoke point is 485F. It has a very subtle flavour when cooked, and makes a great base for things. I think it’s a little nutty in taste, but again, subtle, so it doesn’t overpower. Also, it’s GREEN, which is awesome.
**1/4th cup warm water, 1/2tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar
*** 2 ounces, weighed, due to the fact the butter only comes in 8 ounce blocks.