The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!
Croissants are not something I make regularly actually I’ve only made them twice! The recipe I have used (and blog about here ) is very similar to the challenge recipe. However the challenge recipe had double the amount of salt and only a small amount of sugar. These croissants I found were salty when eaten on their own or with strawberry jam but fill with ham or cheese and they were sublime!
I doubled the recipe because it didn’t seem worth all the trouble to only make 12 small croissants. By doubling the dough I ended up with 15 nice size croissants and 4 pain au chocolate.
Servings: 12 croissants
Ingredients¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar
1 3/4 cups (225 gm/½ lb) of strong plain flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk2 tablespoons (30 ml) tasteless oil ½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag. I just covered the bowl with cling wrap. 10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.