Sunday, November 30, 2014
classic french croissants.
It's strange that I would attempt making croissants when I can't even roll out cookie dough decently. The power of boredom is amazing. But you know what? I think I've always made croissants out to be more difficult to make than they actually are. Sure they're a little more difficult to master (I think), but they're not exactly something that home bakers cannot and must not attempt for they'll flop for sure. In fact I think I'll give this recipe another go because I accidentally made these smaller than I wanted them to be. And forgot the egg wash.
The step of wrapping the butter in the dough and rolling it out was pretty nerve wracking because the butter was stone-hard as it was stone-cold and certain parts of the dough were thinner than the rest so bits of butter would occasionally poke through the dough. I had to constantly patch those holes up with dough from the thicker portions. The rolling and folding gradually got easier as the dough spent more time in the fridge so discounting the start, I actually thought that the process was pretty fun. I was tempted to create more layers because it was so easy to do so but more layers actually hamper the rise of your croissants so don't get carried away!
Before I embarked on making the croissants I did some research. Tips, basically, on how to avoid a croissant calamity. One particularly useful one I found on a thread was to trim the ends of the folded dough such that dough containing no butter is removed. I think this helps to prevent your croissants from baking up misshapen by keeping the layers of butter and dough even. I ended up with a lot of unwanted dough and I didn't want to waste them so I gathered them all up, braided the pieces and baked them separately.
To be honest, I don't eat a lot of croissants so while I can more or less judge that one is better than the other, I'm not sure what really makes one superior. I felt that these were passable texture wise - quite flaky, not too dense - but there is just something that these are lacking. I'm still trying to figure it out. I have a feeling that the problem may lie in my rolling technique more than the recipe itself. So I don't know if this recipe is the best out there but for record's sake I shall just post it here. If you have any tips on making croissants please share. Similarly if you have a great recipe to recommend I'll be eternally grateful!
Classic French Croissants
makes 15 regular sized croissants
500g plain flour
140g milk (can be taken straight from the fridge)
40g soft unsalted butter
11g instant yeast
280g cold unsalted butter for laminating
1 egg + 1 tsp water for the egg wash
Refer to this link for instructions with a pictorial guide.