Newest blog update:
I can say I have made homemade croissants and I survived!!…barely! 🙂
This was quite the task to take on. I was very thankful that the PBS video was posted on the P & Q page. It really helped to watch Esther in action with Julia tackling these croissants. She made it look SO easy, especially all the rolling. I kept thinking of her talking while rolling out the dough with really no effort. She kept saying if the dough isn’t ready don’t push it…I felt like I was pushing it the entire time!! That was some really, really tough rolling AND so many times! 🙂 I mean 24″x 17″ is a big piece of dough.
I thought I was so on top of the task, starting out the night before with making the dough and the butter mixture so they could set up over night. Isn’t it amazing to see how much 4 1/2 sticks of butter really is when you whip it together. That is why I don’t eat croissants!!
So the next morning, I neglected to get an early start and that really impacted my croissant day. I knew there were many rising periods but you need to plot out the time over a course of a day ahead of time to make sure you will stay on track. I think I was most grateful for watching Esther on the incorporating the butter into the dough. Watching her make the purse and pound the butter into the dough from the middle out was so easy after seeing how she did it. I think about this point I was thinking…what is the big deal…no problem.
It is the rolling that was the problem. That chilled dough with the chilled 4 1/2 sticks of butter incorporated is very hard to work out to that big of a square.
I did the first two turns with the two hours rise time…did the third turn making the “wallet” turn and ran out of time to finish that same day. I let the dough rest in the fridge over night and then started the next morning.
I cut half the wallet and put the other half into the freezer for another time. It was then onto the HARDEST rolling of them all. I rolled out the half of the wallet into the 24″x17″ and it took forever and my hands felt bruised from the pressure I was putting on that rolling pin…so much for not pushing the dough. I think this step took me almost a half an hour. How did she do it haha! Finally, the dough was the right size…I was constantly checking with my ruler…am I there yet…now? See how small half of the wallet was in comparison?
I tried to eyeball the size of each triange as I cut the croissants and next time I would make sure they are each the 4 inches because I think mine must have been more like 3. I ended up with many more croissants out of the half of dough than I should have…they were a little small but probably better that way so you don’t eat so much of them.
I actually had fun with the next step of pulling the dough and rolling the croissants. Check out how you can see through the dough! After all the rolling, everything else was pretty easy.
I put the two pans of rolled croissants into the oven with the pan of steaming water and left them for 4 hours. I have to say I didn’t see much rising…certainly not triple in size. I was hoping that wouldn’t affect the final outcome.
It was over two days in the making but finally they were ready to be put in the oven…gave them the second egg wash and popped them into the oven to bake. The first real payoff from this project came from the amazing smell these produced while they were cooking..I mean really good. My house smelled like baked bread for most of the afternoon. They baked up really bronzed, crispy on the outside and looking really fluffy on the inside. I took them out and refrained from tasting them the way the cookbook said and let them rest. 🙂
My son and I were the first to taste them and after all the work I was saying they had better taste like they were flown in from France and truely they didn’t disappoint! They were simply delicious! I ended up having 10 people in on the tasting this time and everyone raved about them….couldn’t believe how good they tasted and how fresh and flakey they were!!! What a great feeling after ALL that rolling…at least the end product made it seem worth it.
I am glad I have the other half of the dough in the freezer…for that batch I am going to make some of them chocolate croissants. I am sure they will turn out great. After that batch I am not sure I would take this recipe on again just because of the time involved but who knows another year and my youngest will be away at college and I may find I have a lot more time on my hands! This was a fun adventure! 🙂