Buttery Croissants*

There are three reasons to go to Paris…Fashion, Eiffel Tower, and Croissants. Last week when I was rewatching Gossip Girl (yes I said rewatching, you can judge me when your husband only comes home on the weekends), I was watching the first episode of this season when B and S are in Paris. By the way, if you do not watch Gossip Girl, you have to start immediately. Yes I know it is on the CW, yes I know it revolves around 25 year old adults who play teenagers, and yes I know that it is on at the same time as Dancing With The Stars…but I also know that it has some of the most amazing fashion on television, like this dress that I would sell Jorge for. It also has the amazing Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass, and without him, the show would suck. Anyways, in the Paris episode, I saw B eating a beautiful, buttery, delicious Croissant…and I knew I had to make them, immediately.

Luckily, I had everything handy to make them and a quick Google search turned up a recipe from Martha Stewart. While they are time consuming, they honestly are not that difficult. And they truly are well worth your time! My favorite way to eat a croissant is toasted, buttered, and with coffee…for a midnight snack breakfast. The French really new what they were doing when they created Croissants.

 

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Buttery Croissants

Yield: 16 Croissants

Ingredients:

1/3 cup warm water, (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 package dry-active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon table salt
1 1/3 cups warm milk, (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 1/2 sticks (14 ounces) chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

Make the dough: In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes to allow yeast to proof. In a second measuring cup, dissolve the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, and the salt in the milk.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour. Add the yeast mixture, milk mixture, and oil. Blend everything together by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, being sure all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very wet.

Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface. Let stand for 3 minutes to allow the dough to absorb some of the liquid. Start kneading by lifting near edges, with a bench scraper, and flipping it over onto the other side. Rapidly repeat the movement from one side to the other, and end over end, until the dough feels smooth and begins to draw back into shape when pushed out, 8 to 10 times. Do not over-knead.

Transfer dough to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, pat and push the dough out into a rectangle about 12-by-10-inches. Fold the dough in three, like a business letter. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet or plate; cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. This second rise can be done in the refrigerator, overnight.

Punch down dough. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap, and transfer to refrigerator for 20 minutes; this will allow the gluten to relax, and make rolling out the dough easier.

Roll in the butter: Place butter on a lightly floured work surface and beat with a rolling pin to soften. Then smear it out with the heel of your hand until it is of spreading consistency, but still cold; it must not become soft and oily, refrigerate if necessary.

Place dough on a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to a 18-by-10-inch rectangle. Spread butter as evenly as possible over the upper two-thirds of the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Fold the bottom (unbuttered) third of the dough up to the middle. Fold the top third down to cover it.

Lightly flour the top of the dough, and work surface. Turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 18-by-8-inches. Roll rapidly, starting an inch from the near end, and going to within an inch of the far end. Fold again in three, as above. Wrap in plastic wrap, and transfer to refrigerator for 1 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and deflate the dough by tapping lightly with rolling pin. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 8 minutes to relax gluten, if necessary. Repeat rolling and folding process twice more, as above. If the butter has hardened and congealed into flakes, beat the dough with light firm taps going from one side to the other until butter has softened. It must be able to extend the length and width of the rectangle inside the dough as you roll it out until it has softened. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. If refrigerating overnight, cover with a board and a 5- pound weight. Resting overnight will facilitate shaping.

Shape the croissants: When shaping the croissant, keep the dough that you are not working with refrigerated. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Deflate dough. Roll the dough out to a 25-by-12-inch rectangle. (If at any time the dough becomes too elastic to work with, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let rest 10 minutes, to relax gluten.) Cut in half lengthwise. Working with one piece of dough at a time, using a pastry wheel or a croissant cutter, cut into triangles with a 5-inch base.

Roll the triangles out to enlarge slightly. Roll towards the tip, creating tension by using your other hand to stretch the top of the triangle away from you. The dough should overlap 3 times with the tip sticking out from underneath.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving 2 inches between croissants. Curve the ends of the croissant inward, forming a crescent shape. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until very spongy and doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream, and lightly brush over tops of croissants. Open the oven door, spritz the oven heavily with water from a spray bottle, and quickly close the door. Place croissants in oven, and spray bottom of oven with water once more. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, rotate pan to ensure even baking. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. and continue to bake until cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

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19 Responses to “Buttery Croissants”

  1. 1

    Eliana — November 9, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    Hmmm – your croissants looks absolutely perfect!!! And you’re totally right – they are a great reason to visit Paris.

  2. 2

    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — November 9, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    They look so light and airy, perfect!

  3. 3

    Christine — November 9, 2010 @ 7:45 am

    I love croissants! Yours look so beautiful – I think I have to make them now!

  4. 4

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 9, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    Oh, TOTAL guilty pleasure: both Gossip Girl and croissants. Thanks for combining my two favorite things in one awesome post! These croissants look incredible, Jessica. I definitely will have to try them one day!

  5. 5

    Kim — November 9, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    I’m Danish and oh boy, am I in trouble! These look heavenly!

  6. 6

    Cookbook Queen — November 9, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

    Gorgeous croissants!!

    I’d almost be afraid to try…so I admire you for doing such a great job.

    And I LOOOOVE Gossip Girl!! (and my husband is home all weeknights so I really have no excuse). Chuck truly does make the show, but so does Blair. I just adore her!!

  7. 7

    Juliana — November 9, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    Jessica, you made croissant? They look so perfect and light…really professionally done :-)

  8. 8

    Jenna — November 9, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    Wow, your croissants look like they just came from a professional bakery. Perfectly shaped and amazingly delicate . . . yum!!

  9. 9

    Kaitlin — November 9, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

    These look so perfect! Yummy!

  10. 10

    ErinsFoodFiles — November 9, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

    Wow!!! Such a long list of instructions! I can’t believe you did all that . You’re awesome!

  11. 11

    Sharlene — November 10, 2010 @ 7:53 am

    I have to make these ASAP! They look gorgeous.

  12. 12

    Paula — November 10, 2010 @ 11:30 am

    They look light and delicious! Good for you for even trying them, you are much braver than I.

  13. 13

    Anna Johnston — November 11, 2010 @ 3:03 am

    Oh yeah…, your so right, the French really did know what they were doing with croissants didn’t they. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  14. 14

    A Twist On The Croque Madame » The Novice Chef Blog — November 16, 2010 @ 2:03 am

    […] note: I used the croissant dough from when I made croissants. But you can just as easily use store bought croissant dough for this […]

  15. 15

    Tereza — February 15, 2011 @ 2:08 am

    Wow, I’d love to try this, but here, in Czech Republic, we have probably different package of dry-active yeast. Can you please tell me how many grams of yeast is in yours?

    • Jessica replied: — February 16th, 2011 @ 1:06 am

      One packet of yeast here in the US is .25 ounces or 2.5 teaspoons! Good luck!

      • Tereza replied: — February 16th, 2011 @ 4:57 am

        Thank you so much!

  16. 16

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    […] note: I used the croissant dough from when I made croissants. But you can just as easily use store bought croissant dough for this […]

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