March 3, 2014

Traditional Croissants

Now that we have made our croissant dough, we can make croissants! First up, are traditional croissants. The crescent-shaped flaky buttery pastry is enjoyed all across Europe for breakfast along with a latte or cappuccino. It's too bad that tradition hasn't caught on here in America! Instead, we rely on ready-to-bake crescent rolls or croissan'wiches, a pale comparison to the real deal. 

Although this recipe takes some time, it's not complicated or difficult. Once the dough is made, rolling the triangles into crescents and baking them is a snap. With a little advance planning, it's quite easy to enjoy home made, freshly baked croissants as often as you wish. They even freeze well, so you can make a big batch and save some for later.


I can't express enough how much I love croissants! In my opinion, a bad croissant is better than no croissant at all. But these are amazing croissants! I made this recipe twice in one week I loved it so much. The instant the croissants came out of the oven I had a burning desire to make more! 

The dough was easy enough, just a lot of waiting time involved. Once it was ready, rolled out, and cut into triangles, the job was easy. Although I did have trouble rolling the dough out as long as the recipe indicated. I managed to get it to 15 inches instead of 19. From each half of the dough, I cut 6 perfect triangles and two not so perfect ones from the scraps. After rising they were ready to bake.

The smell from the oven as they baked was intoxicating. I stupidly chose the same day as I baked the croissants as the first day to go back to the gym. I tried to resist the smell, but I had to sample the goods while they were still warm. The croissants came out of the oven golden brown, thanks to the double egg wash. A few had leaned over and lost their perfect shape. So I ate those, and spent an extra 30 minutes at the gym. 

The croissants are best eaten while warm, they are soft and flaky and irresistible. I prefer to tear into them rather than biting, ripping off the ends first and saving the middle for last. After I made the second batch, I froze a few of them to see how they'd hold up. After defrosting in the fridge overnight, and a quick re-heat for about 5 minutes in the oven, they were as good as new! Maybe even better, flakier and lighter in texture. I love the idea that I can have croissants any day I want after making them once. Although so far it's been hard to just eat one.

This is a recipe that I know I'll make over and over again. I also want to adapt the dough to make cronuts and kouign amanns. It's safe to say that I'm even more addicted to croissants than before. 

Guest Baker: Amanda

This is my second attempt at making croissants. The first time I used Peter Reinharts recipe. I couldn’t say which recipe yielded better results since it was a couple years ago when I made them, and I just don’t remember.

I followed all the directions, but I felt like I should have been cutting off the extra dough on each turn that got pushed beyond the butter block when I rolled it out. I might try this the next time I make these. I don’t know if it is normal or not when baking croissants but I did notice a pool of butter around my croissants as they baked. The butter seemed to get absorbed back into the croissant by the time it was done baking so I didn’t worry too much about it.

In the end they were ok, a little greasy, and not quite as light as ones that I have had from my favorite bakery. They all seemed to have a big bubble of air in the middle and they were quite dense towards the bottom. I think with practice I could get better at my technique and solve these problems.

Oh, also, I made half of the recipe into ham and cheese croissants by wrapping about a tablespoon of gouda and a tablespoon of schinkenspeck into the middle of each croissant before baking. These had a great flavor… but like the plain croissants they too were a bit dense and had the same air bubble in the middle.

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