bakerisbetter

Croissants

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Croissants have been on my baking bucket list for about as long as I can remember! In other words, I was really scared to finally take them on 😡 Not only is croissant-making a three-day process, but it also involves working with yeast and is, in general, insanely difficult because of the technique. Getting the layers to form properly is really, really hard. Oh, the french and their absurdly precise baking methods…

Recipe Used:

What I Changed:

  • The first roll-and-fold to 8 x 24 did NOT happen. The dimensions of my butter square and dough square were okay. However, the butter didn’t reach the ends once I rolled out the combined square, and I wound up cutting them off.
  • The second roll-and-fold didn’t happen according to the recipe. Because I had cut off some of the dough, my dimensions were improvised. Moreover, the butter started to melt on me a little so I panicked and just folded the dough up quickly D: I’m pretty sure I tore a layer in this process…and again, I wound up trimming.
  • I managed to get through the third roll-and-fold without melting the butter or tearing layers or cutting off excess dough!!! SUCESS. I should add though, that the dimensions were improvised because of the lost dough, just like they were for the second roll-and-fold.
  • I used bread flour and not all-purpose, I think it was a good decision
  • I did all of the rests overnight except for the first, also a good decision
  • Once I folded the crescents, I let them rest for a few minutes in the fridge before letting them rise at room temp, just to ensure the butter wouldn’t melt. Didn’t see much rising at room temp, though.
  • I made one batch right away, and a second batch the next day, after a night in the freezer followed by a day defrosting in the fridge. The second batch turned out significantly better. Whether that happened because of the extra resting time or because the dough was more firm, I have no idea, but I think I’m just gonna freeze my dough overnight from now on!

What I Liked:

  • CROISSANTS!!!! Who doesn’t love a croissant ❤ The recipe was great–a crispy exterior with soft, flaky, super-buttery layers on the inside…chocolate croissants next? Maybe nutella? biscoff?

What I Would Change:

  • Errr I feel like I can’t name any specific changes. There’s so much technique and improvisation that goes into this imo. In terms of general changes, I have to be sure to…
  • Use lots of flour while rolling out the dough so the layers don’t tear
  • Not hesitate to pop the dough back in the fridge if I feel the butter is melting. Any roll-and-fold that takes more than 4 or 5 minutes is taking too long. I didn’t stick it in the fridge at all this time around, but I really should have! I think the reason I decided not to was that I didn’t want my dough to shrink when I pulled it off the counter. I was afraid having to roll it out a second time would not only overwork the dough (didn’t turn out to be an issue, the croissants are just generally really tender and I think it would be really difficult to overwork this dough) but also make the situation worse somehow in terms of melting the butter, which makes absolutely no sense considering I would have popped it back in the fridge…I don’t know what I was thinking…
  • MAKE SURE THE HOUSE IS COLD. SO IMPORTANT.
  • Go ahead and just fold if it’s really that difficult to get it to roll out. The first 8 x 24 was admittedly completely unrealistic for me…I was making the dough sooo thin, which I think is supposed to help develop the layers, but it was at the expense of melting the butter almost entirely! If I decide to make these often and actually develop some skill at it, then I can attempt to get the dimensions right, but for now, I just need to focus on not melting butter or tearing layers!

Other Comments:

  • This was by far the most challenging thing I have attempted to bake 😡 Considering how much I improvised, I am insanely happy with the result. There is definitely room for improvement in terms of developing more distinct layers, but I do think these layers were okay by my standards 😀
  • I think I have gotten over my fear of working with yeast 😮 For the most part, anyway…
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