How to Make Croissants

Some recipes intimidate me. Crème Brulee. Do I really have to use a blow torch in my kitchen? Between us, I am very lucky that I have not burned down my house boiling water. Alfredo sauce. I have attempted this one many times and every time the results have been dismal. I may or may not have discovered a new recipe for cement though. That’s got to be worth something, right? Risotto. Special rice is involved. You can’t step away from it once you start cooking unless you want to serve up white wine rice mush; what happens when my dog rings the bell to go out and my kid is eating dirt from the aloe plant pot?

These recipes intimidate me because they’re classics. If you invite someone over for dinner and tell them that you’re whipping up a lobster and truffle risotto followed by crème brulee, they’re showing up at your house with expectations, high ones. There is some serious pressure associated with creating these dishes, but even though these recipes freak me out a bit, make my stomach turn, I still attempt them. This is not the same case for recipes that scare the ever-loving shit out of me.

How to Make Croissants

Enter the croissant. If I had a choice I would eat croissants at every meal, everyday. I would live in a house made of croissants, and just eat my way out every day to run my errands. Eating a good croissant is like crawling into a feather bed heated to two degrees above body temperature, wrapped in 2000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Heaven. Eating a bad croissant is like stubbing your toe in the middle of the night. No matter who you are, for a split second, you’re convinced you’re dying. For years I have put off baking croissants, wanting to avoid epic failure, but I bit the bullet, did my homework and churned out some buttery, flaky pieces of paradise.

I found that anyone can make croissants as long as you have some knowledge under your belt. The most important thing that I learned is that you need to keep the butter cold and intact during the laminating process (the steps in which you are creating “folds”). The signature flaky layers of a croissant are created by steam from the butter during baking. If you overwork the butter and it gets incorporated into the dough, your croissants will fall flat. I found that the best way to keep the butter intact is to give yourself plenty of time, and take two days to complete the process. It may be a bit time consuming, but the results are worth it.

How to Make Croissants

5 from 1 reviews
How to Make Croissants
 
Serves: 16 Croissants
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 7 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tablespoons softened butter
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 sticks high quality butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
Method
  1. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/1-resized.jpg
  2. Warm milk until it is warm to the touch, but not hot. Stir in yeast and set aside until bubbles form, between 5 and 10 minutes.
  3. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2-resized.jpg
  4. Sift together pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sea salt and sugar. Add to yeast and milk along with softened butter and warm water.
  5. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/3-resized.jpg
  6. Mix together with wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
  7. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/4-resized.jpg
  8. Knead lightly for five minutes. Place dough in well oiled bowl, cover with towel and set in a warm draft free place to rise.
  9. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/5-resized.jpg
  10. While dough is rising, place three sticks of butter between two pieces of parchment paper.
  11. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/6-resized.jpg
  12. Using a rolling pin, pound out butter until it forms a 9x9 inch square. Place flattened butter, still between parchment in the fridge.
  13. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/7-resized.jpg
  14. Let dough rise for at least 90 minutes, as long as it takes for dough to double in size. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough, removing any air bubbles.
  15. Cover bowl with plastic and place dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can leave it longer, but if you do, you will need to punch to dough down again before you work with it.
  16. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/9-resized.jpg
  17. Remove dough from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a rectangle using your fingers.
  18. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/10-resized.jpg
  19. Roll dough out to a rectangle that measures approximately 18x9.5 inches.
  20. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/11-resized.jpg
  21. Remove butter from the refrigerator and gently peel it off the parchment paper. Run a sharp knife between the butter and paper to loosen under stubborn spots. Place butter square in the middle of the rolled out dough.
  22. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/12-resized.jpg
  23. Encase the butter in the dough by folding each end of the dough into the middle of the butter.
  24. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/13-resized.jpg
  25. Seal the dough by crimping the edges, including where the two ends meet in the middle of the butter.
  26. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/14-resized.jpg
  27. Trim the excess dough from the top and bottom edges, getting as close to the butter without cutting into it.
  28. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/15-resized.jpg
  29. Working quickly, roll the dough out to a long rectangle, measuring approximately 16x9 inches.
  30. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/16-resized.jpg
  31. Now you are going to complete the first “double turn” You will be doing 3 double turns all together. Find the center of your rolled out rectangle. Bring the two long ends to the center of the dough.
  32. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/17-resized.jpg
  33. To complete the double turn fold the dough as if you were closing a book with the spine being where your two ends meet in the center. This completes one double turn.
  34. Wrap the folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  35. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and repeat steps 15, 16, 17 and 18 twice more, completing two more double turns. Make sure that you allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least an hour between each turn. This help keeps the butter intact. After the final turn, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  36. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/20-resized.jpg
  37. The next day, prepare two cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper. Lightly flour a large rollout surface and remove dough from fridge.
  38. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/21-resized.jpg
  39. Roll the cold dough into a long rectangle that measures approximately 32x8 inches. Dough should be about ⅛ of an inch thick.
  40. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/22-resized.jpg
  41. Using a ruler, on one long end of the dough, mark every four inches.
  42. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/23-resized.jpg
  43. One he opposite long end, make your first mark at two inches and then every four inches after that.
  44. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/24-resized.jpg
  45. To cut the dough into triangles, use your ruler as a guide and cut from notch to notch on opposite sides of the rectangle. You will have a total of 16 triangles when you’re done.
  46. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/25-resized.jpg
  47. To form croissants, start by cutting a small notch in the long end of each triangle. And roll each triangle, starting with the long, notched end.
  48. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/26-resized.jpg
  49. Once rolled, put a slight bend in the dough, forming a croissant crescent shape. Arrange the 16 formed croissant onto the two baking sheets.
  50. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/27-resized.jpg
  51. Cover both sheets lightly with plastic wrap and let croissants rise in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour. Croissants will rise, but may not actually double in size, which is fine. What you’re looking for is the layers to be just beginning to pull away from each other and looked “puffed up” when you view the croissants from the side.
  52. {3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f}http://www.fromaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/28-resized.jpg
  53. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and whole egg. Use a pastry brush to entirely coat the croissants with egg mixture.
  54. Once the oven has preheated, drop the temperature down to 350 degrees and immediately place croissants in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the cookie sheets halfway through to ensure even cooking. Croissants will have nearly doubled and size and have a golden brown color on the outside when done.

 

My love affair with food began on stepstools in the kitchens of the women in my family. Handing my great-grandmother carrots to grate for coleslaw, licking the beaters covered in my grandmother’s peanut butter frosting, and watching my mother cook up Italian dishes covered in cheese. To this day, I love cheese. Besides cheese, I love painting, ocean air, and the smell of tar after it’s rained. My husband Josh and I have created a little suburban farm with our Layla-Bug, a ridiculously hyper dog, and a one-eyed chicken. Someday, we hope to upgrade to a real country farm.

5 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m amazed by the detailed instructions! You gave me an inspiration to conquer my fear of trying this recipe. my husband I love freshly made croissant, but I never had any thought of making it (because of fear of failure and I might just be wasting my time). I thought it’s just for the expert bread/pastry maker…maybe, I will try …hehhehehe 😉

    View Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.