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Friday, September 6, 2013

Baking Croissants

I took a break from my August busyness to take a croissant class at a local bakery (Ann Marie’s ) .  With all the bread baking classes I’ve taken, I’ve never made croissants before.  So I jumped on this opportunity.
I walked into the shop to this…a half pound of butter and rolling pins.  Hmmmm…interesting.
Our fearless teacher ready to share the secrets of the flaky croissant!
First we rolled out the butter into a square about a quarter of an inch thick.
Then we rolled the dough out so that it was a bit wider than our butter and about 3 times as long.  (The dough had been premade for us since it has to rise and that takes a while).
Once the dough was rolled to the correct size, we laid the butter across the bottom – leaving about 2 inches space.  The top of the dough was folded over the butter, and then the bottom is folded back up and over. (This is a little different than the recipe below.) 
Rotate the dough so that the open side is next to you and roll out again.  Repeat this process AT LEAST four times to give you many layers in your dough.  You may have to chill the dough between rolling to keep it firm.
Before your final roll out, let the dough rest in the refrigerator.
To make your croissants, roll out the dough one more time.  Using a wheeled cutter (pizza wheel works great) cut the dough into triangles.
See all the layers?
At the top of each triangle, cut a deep notch.  When you roll the croissant, start at the notch and spread it to each side and roll down towards the point.
So it looks like this.
Place on a parchment lined baking tin (these are a bit too close). Brush with an egg wash.
To make a chocolate croissant, you cut the dough into a rectangle.  Place some chocolate chips in the middle…
… and bring the back third of the dough up over it.  Push the edge down into the bottom dough to lock in the chocolate.
Then add a few more chips!
Roll the dough on over the last edge and seal as best you can.  If it’s not completely sealed, that is fine.
It goes on a parchment lined baking pan too and egg wash.
Then bake!
You’ll soon have fluffy croissants.
And delicious chocolate croissants.
MMMMmmmm… Look at all those layers!
 Croissant Recipe
1 Cup Scalded Milk
2 3/4 tsp. Yeast
2 3/4 tsp. Sugar
1 1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Butter Softened
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter for Folding in.
1 egg and 1 TB water for egg wash.
Parchment paper.
Mix the yeast with sugar & scalded milk. Make sure the milk is cooled. Let sit for about 10 minutes for the yeast to 'bloom' (get bubbly).   Add the remaining ingredients except the sticks of butter and mix into a dough.  Once mixed, let it rise until doubled.  Knock down and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight (cover in plastic wrap). 
When ready to roll out, turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 10” square.  
Pound and roll out stick butter between two pieces of parchment paper into a sheet about 9” square.
Place butter in the dough square diagonally (butter corners to the dough sides).  Then bring the corners of the dough one at a time to the center of the butter to form an envelope.  Press the dough together along the seams to seal.  
Roll the dough/butter to elongate to about 24”.  Reshape the ends as needed to keep square corners.  Brush flour from the top of the dough.
Take one end of dough and fold towards the center …leaving about a third of the dough exposed.  Brush off flour from the top again and fold the other third over…forming 3 layers.
Place on cookie sheet, cover, and chill for about 20 minutes.
Roll out again, this time elongating towards the open ends.  Repeat folding process.  Chill. Repeat this process at least 4 times to incorporate the butter into layers.
After final roll out, cover and chill overnight.
The next morning, set the dough out for one more roll out.  This time elongate to about 44”.  The dough sheet will be very thin.  (If the dough starts pulling back and becoming hard to roll, refold and chill to relax the dough…then unfold and continue rolling.)
When it’s rolled out, let it rest for a few minutes.  You can even lift the dough a bit so it doesn’t spring back as you cut.
Cut the dough into long triangles back and forth across the rectangle.  Use a pizza wheel to cut.  You can measure if you’d like, or just go for it.
Make a quarter inch notch in the short end of each triangle.  Then give the dough a stretch from short end to point. 
Roll the croissant from the short end towards the point, giving a flare at the notch when you start.  This creates the classic croissant shape.
Place widely spaced on parchment covered cookie sheets and allow to rise for one and a half to two hours. 
After they have risen, brush each lightly with the egg wash.
Place into a pre-heated oven (425*).  Bake about 22 – 24 minutes; until nicely browned.  Cool on the baking sheet on a rack. 
It’s a long process but so worth it. 
The dough before the final roll out can sit about 5 days in the refrigerator or about a month in a deep freezer when wrapped air tight (thaw unwrapped).  The baked croissants also freeze well. 
Mini croissants can be made by cutting the final dough in half long ways.


  1. I've tried this once on my own before, but I know it's like an art form to be practiced over and over. What fun to learn from a pro! Thanks for posting. Sitting here this morning enjoying my coffee and upon seeing your last 3 photos....ohhhh just like you said...totally worth it!

  2. This looks yummy Teri! You are much more ambitious than I :)


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