Can I have everyone’s attention please. I am very excited about what I am getting ready to type….I made homemade Croissants! Yes, homemade Croissants! They were buttery, and flaky, and totally amazing! I can’t believe they were made in my little kitchen. Now, I could never take all of the credit in making them. My husband’s Aunt Susie is a trained pastry chef and every now and then when she is off work, and feeling ever so kind, she comes over and gives me baking lessons. Isn’t that incredible!? I soak up all of her knowledge and I can’t get enough. We have made fruit tarts, meringues, cream puffs, and now croissants.
Let me show off some of the delicious creations we have made!
Now onto the star of this show…..Croissants!
Let me start by saying that making croissants is quite a process. I wouldn’t say they are difficult to make but really time consuming. They also require a lot of patience which, as I have said before, isn’t my strong suit. Aunt Susie knew that we wouldn’t be able to taste our end product the same day, so she was kind enough to get the process started the day before. She arrived with dough that had chilled overnight and a batch of dough that was rising. This made it possible for her to teach me the entire croissant making process in only one day. We ended up making three batches of croissants which left us with plenty to eat and lots to go in my freezer. Win!
FIRST STEP: Mixing the croissant dough is pretty straightforward. First, you dissolve the yeast into lukewarm milk. Then in a mixing bowl, you combine: bread flour, the milk, sugar, salt, and butter. You place the dough ball in a bowl and let it rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Once the dough has risen, you spread the dough out onto a pan in the shape of a rectangle and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (Something very important that Aunt Susie kept reminding me of is that in every stage of croissant making you always want your dough to be in a rectangle because that’s the end goal.)
SECOND STEP: (Enter butter stage right.) There is a lot of butter in croissants. I mean ALOT. That’s why they are so irresistible I suppose. Take the wrappers off two room temperature sticks of butter and place them side by side on wax paper. Take the butter wrappers and place them over the sticks of butter to keep your rolling pin from sticking. Use your rolling pin to make one big rectangle of butter. (Now you want to chill the butter before the next part). Take your chilled dough out of the fridge and place your butter on the dough. Now you fold the dough into thirds remembering to keep the rectangle shape. Now the dough chills for 30 minutes.
THIRD STEP: Now we begin what is called the 3 – 3 folds. This is what gives the croissants their beautiful layers and ensures the entire pastry is filled with butter. Roll out your chilled dough on a lightly floured surface remembering to keep the rectangle shape. Once rolled out, you will fold the dough into thirds. This is the first of the 3 – 3 folds. To mark this, you make an indentation on top of the dough with your finger. This is so you can remember what fold your pastry is on. The dough goes back into the fridge.
FOURTH STEP: Repeat the previous step. You will do another 3 fold and mark it with two indents. Back into the fridge it goes. It is very important to fully chill the dough in between steps so that the butter stays cold and doesn’t seep out of the dough. You don’t want to lose any of that precious butter!
FIFTH STEP: Time for the last of the 3 folds. Roll the dough out, fold it in thirds, and mark it with 3 indents. Now you can wrap the dough loosely in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge to chill overnight. Yes, overnight…..it will be worth it I promise!
SIXTH STEP: It is time to roll out our dough! Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out keeping the rectangle shape and always roll from the middle out. Once our dough was rolled out we used a measuring tool to help us give the dough even marks so we would know where to cut. You can just eyeball it and that’s fine too.
SEVENTH STEP: Now cut the dough for the croissants you plan on making. We did some filled with chocolate for “Pan Au Chocolat” and we also did some traditional croissants. You will want to work fast so you don’t warm up the dough too much. Once your croissants are filled or shaped, they go on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to rise. Set them in a warm area for a while until they have puffed up.
EIGHTH STEP: Now that the croissants have risen, it’s time to brush them with an egg wash and finally get them into the oven. They bake at 400 degrees until they are puffed up and lightly golden brown. Now for my favorite part, let them cool and enjoy!
Aren’t they beautiful? They bring a tear to my eye (dramatic). No, but really, making Homemade Croissants was so rewarding! Having them in my freezer to pull out and bake whenever I want…..amazing! I want to say a big thank you to Aunt Susie for being willing to come over and teach me how to make such delicious treats. I really couldn’t do it without her and I enjoy our time together. I wonder what we will make next……
1 cup milk
.25 oz dry yeast or .5 oz fresh yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 oz butter, softened
3 3/4 cup bread flour
8 oz butter, separate