Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Ode to the Croissant, the HOMEMADE Croissant

I have always loved croissants. The buttery, flaky layers, the amazing smell, the way a dollop of jam finds it way into all the little nooks and crannies, just sublime. But little did I know how much better croissants could be when they are homemade, and fresh out of the oven.

Maybe it's the freshness of the ingredients, maybe it's the use of all butter and no shortening, and perhaps its the knowledge that you took the time to fold that dough encased butter into about 1600 layers yourself. Whatever the reason, store bought croissants, or the ones in the can, just cannot compare to homemade.

At some point in the near future, I hope to make these again, with step by step pictures, since that is really the only way to describe and show how to truly make a great croissant. I always wanted to make puff pastry or croissants at home, but was always intimidated by the instructions I read online. I never knew how easy it was until I saw it in person in class this week. While it takes a long time, and may be a little tedious, the best way to learn how it to see the method first hand.

Until I can take some step-by-steps, you can see a pretty good tutorial posted on The Kitchn. The one thing that stands out right away from their pictures is the size of the triangles they cut. If you want a more traditionally shaped croissant, you want to cut a very long and skinny triangle, maybe three inches at the base and 10-12 inches long. Then, cut a one inch slit in the middle of the base, and stretch the corners out a bit until you get a shape like the Eiffel Tower. You will get even more layers and rolls this way.

This February, the bleakest month of the year, try something you have been afraid to make. Pie crust, souffle, lemon curd, short ribs, duck, deep fried goodies, what's on your list?


Jenn said...

I once read a recipe for homemade croissants and it was an extremely long process. I am very impressed that you made them. They look perfect.

Anonymous said...

It's the fresh-out-of-the-oven crisp. Reheating doesn't quite crunch the same. When you first take a croissant out of the oven, the buttery goodness has melted and just begun to infuse the eight million layers of dough for the first time. That is one magical moment in baking that you just don't get when you bring home croissants from the store. Although they are still delicious.

Tonight I made lasagna for the first time, because I hate this weather. And it was brilliant. I hadn't eaten lasagna since I was three years old (tomato allergy, sigh)so I worried a bit that it wouldn't work out. I know that lasagna isn't a strange or intimidating food for most people, but there it is. Croissants are still on the scary list, however. Last time I tried to make them the cat stepped on the dough and, well, that's gross. It had to go.

Swee San said...

absolutely brilliant!!

Granny said...

I've been baking bread for fifty years or so and had always been put off by rumours that croissants were SO very hard/tedious to make. Made my first ones a couple of days ago and they were delightful to eat. I am surprised that you found them tedious - or that you needed pictures. I used the recipe in Secrets From a Jewish Baker with his professional method of spotting in the dough (he gives two methods). These were easy as pie and I have half the dough sitting in the fridge waiting for me to turn it into Almond Croissants or Cheese Croissants or Pain Au Chocolat. . . . . just as soon as I make up my mind which I'll have first.

marla said...

These homemade flakey croissants are beautiful - wish I had some this morning :)

Medifast Coupons said...

Wow! So flaky and buttery looking, good for you.
And thanks for the link, going to check out their tutorial.

Carrie said...

They look amazing! Beautifully done! It is a tedious process but the results are amazing! I need to try making them again... it's been almost a year now since we made them in class... can't wait to see YOUR step-by-step photos =)

LishySue said...

These are beautiful! Croissants are on my list of things I need to attempt and eventually master. This may just be the month that I try to make them from scratch! The red velvet cake pops I made for Valentine's Day were a huge hit. Thank you so much for your posts!

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