Since I’m a glutton for gluten I’ve had flakey croissants on my TODO list for a while. Nothing beats a large buttery croissant. The flakey, tender, supple, layers you get from a croissant put me into a state of bliss. Plain or stuffed I’ll eat them. I’ve been hesitant to make them because I thought I’d be completely disappointed with the result. I thought, “why bother if they won’t come out the way I want.”
It was decided that we would host Easter Sunday and The Mrs. asked if I would make croissants. I decided now was as good a time as any. I searched and searched for a recipe, lots of similar ones out there but I settled on this one from Girl vs Dough. One modification was white sugar instead of brown sugar.
I humbly admit these were the BEST croissants I’ve ever had. I will absolutely make this recipe again and I will not share next time. However, this is truly a labor of love. The dough has to be tended to each hour, on the hour, for about 5 hours. Then after a night of resting you’re finally ready to bake.
After making the initial dough I knew this could be great. This first step was boosting my confidence already. The dough felt so light and soft in my hands.
Dough needs time to rest. After it’s been rolled and kneaded it just wants to rest. I can understand why it feels that way.
While the dough is resting (for an hour), it’s time to roll the butter. THREE sticks of butter to an 8″ x 5″ rectangle. The butter needs to stay cold throughout this entire process. After you’ve rolled it out it goes back in the fridge for ~30 minutes.
After the first hour of dough at rest, roll it out and place the block of butter right in the middle. You fold each side in like a letter and then roll it flat again (15″ x 10″). Then you fold in the sides again to end with a 15″ by 5″ rectangle and it’s back in the fridge. This is called Turn 1 (roll and fold).
After another hour you repeat for Turn 2.
After another hour you repeat for Turn 3.
After another hour you repeat for Turn 4.
Now the dough stays in the fridge for 8-12 hours (aka overnight). The final dough looks like this the next morning. Can you see those lumps of butter?! Did you also catch how all that folding creates the many flakey layers you find in the final product?
Now the dough gets rolled out to a thin sheet roughly 32″ x 20″. Then divide the dough into sections depending on how big you want them to be. A pizza cutter works great for this.
Each triangle of dough is rolled to form that famous shape of the croissant that we all know and love. After they’re all rolled, they rest, covered, for another 1-2 hours until they’ve puffed up. You can see how plump these guys got.
Once it’s time to bake you cover these “Rolls of the gods” in an egg wash and bake them at 450 for ~12 minutes. I found that mine darkened pretty quick so I turned down the temperature and watched them closely. I was pumped when these came out of the oven. They looked and smelled so good. We let them cool and then it seemed like they were gone in minutes.
Some of them were eaten plain and some were stuffed with grilled chicken salad.
The final bit to this adventure is that we stuffed 5 of these croissants with chocolate chips. Why only 5 you ask?! I blame the Mrs. Next time it’ll be all of them. The ones with the chocolate were amazing! Better than any store bought chocolate pastry.
In closing. Yes, I’m for hire.