Croissants

Homemade croissants can be a daunting task. One has to make laminated dough, after all, and that is no small feat in itself. I’ve mentioned before, though, that it’s worth it, and I stand by that. On the other hand, when is the last time you had one of these– –piping hot from the oven, exterior crisp and shattering, full of layer after layer of steaming, buttery, flaky pastry? If your answer is “I live in Paris; there are three cafés withing two blocks of my apartment,” then fine, you don’t need to do this. Everyone else? Get out your rolling pin and start cowing some butter into submission. It’s the only way. I actually made these when we still lived at the old apartment, which two months after move-out is still making me tear my hair out over the security deposit (grumble, grumble). I forgot to mention them until I made a second batch yesterday. Clearly, this could not be allowed to stand. The world must know that making croissants something you can do! The technique here comes from James Peterson’s Baking, and it’s pretty much spot on. You’ll need prepared laminated dough for the purpose, and an egg wash. That’s it.  Directions  The night before you want croissants, get out your laminated dough and roll it into a rectangle about 7 inches by 21. The dough should be just a bit more than 1/16 of an inch thick. Cut the dough into about 6 long triangles like so. Cut a little notch in the base of each triangle. Fold back the dough from the notch like you’d fold down lapels on a coat. Roll the triangles into croissant shapes, pulling on the end as you approach it to give the croissant more layers. Pull the ends of the croissants towards each other to form a crescent shape and arrange the croissants on a parchment lined baking sheet in a formation suitable for Space Invaders. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight. The dough will rise slowly and after 8-10 hours you’ll be able to pull it out and bake them for breakfast. If you don’t want to wait overnight, let them rise for 1-3 hours at room temperature instead. After the croissants have risen, brush them with an egg was made from 1 egg, 2 teaspoons of milk, and a pinch of salt. Bake the croissants at 375°F for 30-35 minutes. These can be served as is, of course; a fresh homemade croissant is rich and moist enough to be enjoyed without any kind of topping. On the other hand, I have always eaten croissants with jam, and black raspberry jam is my particular favorite. The best part is pulling off the horn of one end of a croissant, which leaves a great big hollow space behind it. Stuff that with jam, wait a minute for the steaming hot croissant to warm it up, and prepare to be amazed. These are also good, if a bit overly decadent, with a smear of double cream and of course a bit of espresso to perk up your morning. This is definitely something worth getting out of bed early for.

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  1. #1 by whilehewasout on February 22, 2012 - 2:51 AM

    YUmm

  2. #3 by frugalfeeding on February 22, 2012 - 12:04 PM

    I’ve never made them, but I should. I simply love the method in particular. Thanks for posting this 🙂

    • #4 by koshercorvid on February 23, 2012 - 11:23 PM

      They’re well worth it. Make enough pastry for several batches ahead of time and you’ll be set for croissants for months!

  3. #5 by Joanne on February 23, 2012 - 6:17 AM

    My coworkers really want me to make nutella-stuffed croissants for them…and you’ve also helped convinced me that it needs to happen! These look amazing.

    • #6 by koshercorvid on February 23, 2012 - 11:22 PM

      Nutella stuffed? Yes, please! It’s really not so hard, just planning intensive. And come on, who doesn’t want fresh croissants?

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