Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesdays with Dorie - Croissants


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"!



48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much - we have had such wonderful sunshine for the last two days that outside picture taking is fun again.

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  2. Nice croissants Andrea, and so good you made the pain au chocolat also! I thought we were doing one at a time, guess I´ll have to make them and eat them all by myself...kidding. I like your blue and white bowl!.

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    1. Paula, thanks , I just made the Pains au Chocolat from the same dough (following the video of Esther MacManus and Julia Child) - instead if triangles I cut rectangles and placed some nice dark chocolate inside.

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  3. What lovely photographs and delicious looking croissants! They look so flaky that I'm almost ready to bake some more... well, made not just yet. Great job on a time consuming project!

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    1. Thank you, I think I will be trying my hand at a different recipe next time - this was terrific and I ended up with flaky Croissants but it took quite some time.

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  4. So beautiful Andrea! I can't wait to see if my croissants turn out. If they are even half as nice-looking as yours I will be happy!

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    1. Maggie, this was a fun experience and one of these days I might try this recipe again but for now, I will look for a faster version.

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  5. Love the mini's and the Little Red Ridding Hood drinking bowl!

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    1. Thank you, the bowl for the Café of Lait is from France and it is actually my favorite one.

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  6. Beautiful, tender, flaky croissants. I learned a few things with this challenge. And I need to plan ahead to get the correct yeast...it does make a difference. Your photos are so inviting. You are a success with this recipe.

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    1. Kris, thank you so much - this recipe certainly was challenging and it took forever but it was indeed a good learning experience - I think I will try another recipe next time, one that is less time consuming.

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  7. I love your photos and your croissants turned out beautiful.

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  8. Good for you! These looked to big for me to tackle. I'm sure they were delicious. Nothing better than a fresh croissant. Good work--I love your photos.

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    1. Cindy, I pondered this recipe for a few days and somehow did not really want to get started but once I did it was fun and the pastries came out nice enough for me to be doing this again one day.

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  9. Beutiful! I've never made croissants but these look delicious.

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    1. Thanks, Guyla, Croissants are quite a task to conquer but once done, they not only taste wonderful but will leave you with a certain sense of accomplishment - and that cannot hurt every once in a while.

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  10. Beautiful - as always.
    I think this recipe was slightly fussy, but the results could not be argued with. And adding chocolate to the croissants is the "icing on the cake"

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    1. Thanks, Cher, yes, this recipe was a true learning experience and the Croissants were delicious with that bit if chocolate, truly a treat!

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  11. Andrea, a beautiful post, as always. Your croissants look just about perfect, and your photography is gorgeous. While we weren't able to join in this time, we look forward to attempting a gf version of this recipe in the future. Hope your Wednesday is going well.

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    1. Inge and Gillian: thanks for the comment - I am looking forward to your gf version of these little gems!

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  12. Love your pics! And your mini croissants look fantastic!

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    1. Sandra, thanks for the lovely comment - mini versions of just about anything are just what the kids are crazy about these days and bite sized gooodies are always fun to make.

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  13. It shouldn't surprise me that you tackled the challenge with great success. I love all the beautiful flakes that you can see in your photos. These are one of my weaknesses when traveling...but I must have orange marmalade with mine.

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    1. Karen, thank you so much - it did take me a while to get started on this recipe though - the mere sight of this recipe made me wait until the very last minute...but I am glad I baked these Croissants but it will be quite a while before I bake them again. I will follow a shorter recipe next time.

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  14. Oh croissants! I can't get enough. They are one of my favorites foods to make and eat. But they do take a lot of work! Thank you for sharing such a sweet post. I can't wait to give another batch of croissants a try. I hope you are having a beautiful day!

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    1. Monet, thanks so much - Croissants are one of your favorites to make...you must be such a patient person/baker. I must confess things were taking a tad too long for my taste, although the outcome was well worth it.

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  15. Wow, these photos are beautiful, I wish I could have been there to eat the croissants and enjoy the sunshine! :-)

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    1. Thank you, the sunshine was just a lucky coincidence and it seems that it was just a reminder that spring will be here soon because there is major snow in the forecast for the next few days...but it was a nice "petit déjeuner" and we did enjoy it.

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  16. Your croissants look lovely. Probably a little too much work for me, but I'm impressed that you all tried making them. I'm sure they were delicious!

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    1. Beth, this was a once in a lifetime experience - fun and interesting but I will try a different recipe for Croissants next time - life is a bit too busy for a repeat performance of this recipe but I certainly learned a lot and I am glad that I made this recipe.

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  17. That is one lovely looking spread! You are making me hungry.

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    1. Thank you very much - it is nice when the sun is shining and you can sit outside and enjoy a nice "petit déjeuner" with homemade croissants!

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  18. Great post! You did a lovely job! Blessings, Catherine

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  19. I am officially VERY jealous of your croissants and all the lovely props! Only thing in common is those jams! :) Wish I have this for breakfast tomorrow!

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    1. Nami, that woul certainly be a fun breakfast, I am going to make sure that if you happen to drop in for breakfast one of these days that I will bake you some fresh croissants.

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  20. That last picture shows how flaky your croissants are. You do such a beautiful job with these recipes. I am alway so impressed. The pictures are gorgeous and the food looks wonderful. Have a good week!

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    1. Thank you Kristin, flaky was what we were looking for here but it certainly was a time consuming baking project.

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  21. Lovely, just lovely. We loved these as well, but they are quite time consuming. A recipe for special occasions.

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    1. Thanks so much. You are absolutely right, this is a very lovely recipe but for special occasions only.

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  22. I was truly sad that I missed this one, but do plan on making these as they are my husband's favorite. Yours turned out just gorgeous and I love the look of the chocolate ones.

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    1. Elaine, thank you very much - when you make them keep in mind to set aside "two days" for these - while you will not actaully doing s.th. with the dough the whoöe toime, you will have to supervise it and let rest and fold and let rest and fold some more. Time consumig but certainly worth the experience.

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