SFPH: French Croissants

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Do you like croissants? Have you ever made them at home? I always wanted to learn how to make the classic buttery type that every single bakery in Paris sells. There is something so French and poetic about the technique of dough layering; the time that each section of the well crafted recipe requires; and your mind set that transforms into this skillful beast as soon as you mix the first two ingredients. One afternoon last week, I turned off my phone, put on a pretty dress, rolled up my sleeves, turned on my favourite jazz vinyl record and spent the rest of the day mastering the French technique of croissant making, all barefoot in my kitchen using Stephane's amazing recipe.
The result was mouth-watering! I highly recommend it not only because it's a treat for your tastebuds, but also for the mind soothing goodness. Are you tempted now? xo
Here is the recipe if you fancy a French baking day in your home:  

French Croissants
(Makes 20 croissants. Adapted from Stephane - Zen Can Cook)

* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
* 7 tablespoons milk
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 5 tablespoons fine sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoon fleur de sel
* 2 1/4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
* 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
* 1/3 cup water
* 3 sticks (12 ounces) French butter
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 whole egg
* dash of fine sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Sift the all-purpose flour, then incorporate the sea salt, sugar, very soft butter, dry milk powder, water and yeast dissolved in warm milk. Knead the mixture briefly. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it at room temperature (ideally at 72′F) for 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough to its initial volume and cover it with plastic wrap again. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Punch it down again and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Pound the cold butter in between sheets of parchment paper with a rolling pin to soften, then knead butter with hands forming a rectangle. Place it in the refrigerator while you roll the dough.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll out a long rectangle of dough; it should be three times longer than it is wide. Place the pad of butter on one half of the dough rectangle. Fold the other half of the dough rectangle over the butter pad and pinch the edges shut around it.

To make the croissants you will need to put 3 double turns into the dough. To make your first double turn, dust your counter surface with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle three times longer than it is wide.

Visually divide the dough lengthwise into quarters. Fold the two outer quarters over the centre axis, or spine, of the rectangle of dough, so they meet in the center. Then close the book, bringing one edge to meet the other. Double turn complete. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat the operation twice more for a total of 3 double turns with one hour of rest in between. Make sure you start each turn with the centre axis, the spine of the book, on your left.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Cut out long triangles, each 8 inches long from the pointiest tip to the center of the side across it and 4 inches wide at the bottom. Roll each triangle tightly from the wide bottom to the tip of the triangle and give them a crescent shape.

Transfer the croissants to two baking trays lined with parchment paper. Cover lightly with plastic and leave at room temperature to double in size, about one hour.

Heat the oven to 450′F. Whisk the egg, egg yolk and salt together in a small bowl and brush the top of the croissant generously. Place the trays in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350′F. Bake the croissants for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they double in size, caramelize on the edges, and have a crusty outer layer. Ta dah!

P.S: Also, the delicious nutella croissants and my favourite breakfast treat: nutella + blueberry French toast.
P.P.S: And a few more of my favourite recipes.

(Photos by exPress-o. Layout by Ana Degenaar - Blog Milk for exPress-o. Thank you Ana for your help with this series).


Anonymous said...

They look delish diana. I love your recipe posts!! Can I have a bite? Haha. Jill

KAIT said...

Yum! I haven't ever been brave enough to attempt croissants in my kitchen... perhaps this was just the inspiration I needed!

Unknown said...

def looks YUMMO!

PS – my friend is gonna be on Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo TONIGHT come check it out on the bog :o)

Christianna said...

I'm so excited to eat a real French one of these! In a week I'll know what all the fuss is about and I just might come back and snag up this recipe as well!

Amanda Swann said...

I can't believe you posted this! Just the other day I was thinking "I bet there's a really good croissant recipe out there I need to try".

Thanks for posting.

The Cheeky Cafe

McKenna Lou said...

Not only do these look delicious, they are absolutely gorgeous! I could really use one of these for breakfast. xx. McKenna Lou

KUCHARNIA, Anna-Maria said...

Beautiful! Homemade are the best! I've recently made chocolate croissants and they came out absolutely gorgeous!

HiLLjO said...

I might make some now that I see how accessible they are! Yours are lovely!

Melanie said...

Oooo I'd love to make these!! I've only made the Pillsbury ones, well that's a lie I pop the Pillsbury ones in the oven...lol. Maybe croissants will be my next adventure!

Btw - thanks for telling me about 2 days in new York...I'm half way through it, I'm at the part about the brain tumor. HILARIOUS!!! =)

Ergo - Blog

Lady Grey said...

I've always wanted to try this, but I find it so daunting. Bravo, my belle, they turned out amazingly!

Oh, My Darling said...

Mmm, breakfast decadence.

Elisa R @ Rely design said...

I never make them...yours look delicious!!!

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww...thanks, Jill:)

Diana Mieczan said...

You should totally go for it, KAIT! It's so wonderful to spend an afternoon layering the dough:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Oh boy, Christianna! You will love them for sure:) They have the most amazing buttery taste. yum!

Diana Mieczan said...

How awesome, Amanda:) xoxo

Diana Mieczan said...

Anna-Maria, I really want to try the chocolate version now too.

Diana Mieczan said...

My pleasure, Chloe! Giggle, the brain tumor part is hilarious, isn't it?

Diana Mieczan said...

Thank you, Vanessa:) xo

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