Today´s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is for buttery Croissants. The recipe for these traditional French Croissants was contributed by baker and teacher Esther McManus. Basically, a Croissant is made of a simple yeast-risen dough, layered with butter, cut into a triangle and rolled up like a scroll so that the center bulges and the ends taper out. Traditionally, the unbaked Croissant was then curved into a crescent shape, though nowadays Croissants are often left straight.
I decided to make miniature Croissants (crescent shaped), filled some of them with dark chocolate (66% cocoa solids) and left some of them plain…
….and to make some miniature Pains au Chocolat (rectangular shaped).
To start off the baking of these French pastries, you will need to prepare a croissant dough made of fresh yeast, plain flour, sugar, salt and whole milk. Fresh yeast is readily available and I had no trouble whatsoever finding it around here, I almost always use fresh yeast when baking cakes and breads that call for a yeast dough. For the flour, I chose to use an all purpose white flour from an artisan flour mill that I visited two weeks ago.
The dough gets an overnight rest in the refrigerator along with 510 grams (4.5 sticks) of unsalted good quality butter – the dough and the butter have to have the same temperature the next day so you will be able to incorporate the butter properly into the dough. After the first rest, the dough needs many more rests and turns and folding and chilling before it can be rolled out and cut and made into delectable Croissants and Pains au Chocolat.
This recipe proves that a warm, buttery Croissant or Pain au Chocolat for breakfast is really one of life’s little pleasures, and you certainly do not need to live above a Parisian Pâtisserie to enjoy them. These French pastries are notoriously laborious to make properly. They require quite some patience and lots of folding and rolling, so you may need to supervise. But it will be worth it once your family is sitting down to Le petit Déjeuner of homemade Croissants, Pains au Chocolat, big bowls of Café au Lait, and French honey and apricot preserves.
Homemade buttery croissants, freshly baked, are a real triumph. And you can feel proud when you succeeded in making them.
This rather labor intensive recipe lives up to all the expectations! A good freshly-baked croissant should be flaky and crisp on the outside, and tender and moist inside with all the dough aerated and evenly baked. There should be no layers of unbaked dough, and the crust should leave very little buttery oil on the fingers.
If you have any leftovers (which we did not) you can store the Croissants at room temperature in a paper bag, to avoid condensation and retain some crispness. For longer storage, you can easily freeze the Croissants, then bake from frozen.
I really enjoyed the experience of baking these Croissants and we loved the way they tasted but next time I might try my hand at a recipe that is a little less time consuming, even if it is just to see and taste the difference.
To see the other Croissants as prepared by all the other enthusiastic members of the Tuesday with Dorie group, please do click here.
The recipe can be found at Amanda´s blog – Girl+Food=Love- "Thank you for hosting today´s recipe, Amanda"!