Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daring Bakers September - Croissants!

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Finally, I can compete!  I've been following Daring Bakers for months now, and not until this month has a challenge been feasible for me.  But croissants?  Yeah buddy.  I made mine three different ways.  Some are plain, others filled with chopped almond and dark chocolate, and the rest...brunost!!  (That's brown, caramelized cheese for the non - scandinavians).  Those are the absolute best in my opinion, it goes so well and tastes divine.

At first glance, croissants seem rather daunting.  These are very time consuming, but keep in mind that the amount of time you are actually doing any work is minimal.  There are many, many steps involved in making these flaky little beauties, but none of them are difficult.  The hardest part about them is the waiting.  Can you wait?  If so, you can make croissants. I did, and we all know that I am the most impatient person in the whole entire world.  I do not like to be kept waiting, not one little bit.  I made an exception for these though, simply because I could get them back when I shoved them in my face.  Take that croissants.

If you want to join in with the Daring crew, head over to The Daring Kitchen and sign up!  There is cooking, baking, and alternative cooking and baking.  It's all about fun and you don't even have to be a blogger to participate.  


Recipe Source
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Julia Child and Simone Beck

Preparation time
In total, 12 hours
 Making dough: 10 mins
First Rise: 3 hours
Kneading and Folding: 5 mins
Second Rise: 1.5 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Rolling in the Butter (turns one and two): 15 mins
First Rest: 2 hours
Turns Three and Four: 10 mins
Second Rest:
2 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Forming Croissants: 30 mins
Final Rise: 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
Baking: 15 mins

Equipment Required:
• Measuring cups
• Measuring spoons
• Mixing bowls of numerous sizes
• Rubber spatula
• Plastic bag
• Pastry scraper
• Counter space or board for rolling and kneading
• Rolling pin
• Plastic wrap
• Baking tray

Servings: 12 croissants 

 ¼ oz/7g Fresh Yeast OR 1¼ teaspoon/4g Dry Yeast
 3 tablespoons Lukewarm Water
 1 teaspoon Sugar
 1 3/4 cups/225g of Flour
 2 teaspoons Sugar
 1½ teaspoon Salt
 ½ cup Milk
 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
 ½ cup/115g Unsalted Butter, Chilled
 1 Egg, for egg wash

Here are the steps to making croissants...all 57 of them.  Don't be afraid!  It's a whole lot of reading and not at all a lot of work. 

1. Mix the yeast, water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.

2. Measure out the other ingredients.

3. Heat the milk until lukewarm and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar.

4. Place the flour in a large bowl.

5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour.

6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated.

7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl.

8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only.

9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag.

10. Leave the bowl in a warm place for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.

11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.

12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or counter top, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm). 

13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the bottom third up, then the top third down).

14. Place the dough back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.

15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.

16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge.

17. It’s time to incorporate the butter.

18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board in between sheets of plastic wrap.

19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little.

20. Roll out into a smooth, thin square, don't worry about size. Set it in the fridge.

21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.

22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). 

23. Remove the butter from the plastic wrap, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle.

24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from the edges.

25. Fold the bottom third of the dough up, and the top third of the dough down.

26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is facing to the right (like a book). 

27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).

28. Again, fold the bottom third up and the top third down.

29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours. 

30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.

31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little

32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes

33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).

34. Fold in three, as before

35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).

36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for
two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)

37. It's time to cut the dough and shape the croissants

38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet or parchment paper so that it is ready.

39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter.

40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).

41. Cut the dough into two rectangles, each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm).

42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold.

43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).

44. Cut the rectangle into three squares, each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm).

45. Place two of the squares in the fridge.

46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square

47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.

48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles. 

49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.

50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet

51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.

52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour.

53. Preheat the oven to 475°F/240°C.

54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water

55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.

56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely.

57. Take the croissants out of the oven and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

And there you have it!  A dozen beautiful, flaky croissants.  Easy, right? 
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Jo said...

Your croissants look wonderful, great job!

The Betz Family said...

Yah for being able to participate in the challenge this month! Your croissants look tasty. Nice job on the challenge!

Audax said...

Wonder plate of goodies there the colour is stunning great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jenna Ravnestad said...

Thanks everyone! I'm quite proud of them, not bad for a first attempt!

Jenni said...

Your croissants look fantastic! Great job!

Living with Bugs said...

holy crap! i wish i would have the patience to go through so many steps to make something...i am in awe of you.....i have a serious case of envy at svein who can enjoy all your creations....

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