They See Me Rollin – [Butter Croissants]

This weekend I decided to attempt baking some butter croissants.  I did a lot of research online and realized A LOT of things can go wrong while making croissants, but I was up for the challenge!  I couldn’t find one recipe that I liked online, so I sourced from a couple different recipes.  I realized the biggest challenge for me was going to be the rolling of the dough, as I have limited experience in dough rolling (I’ve only just bought yeast for the first time 5 weeks ago!).

I decided to take the dough recipe from Epicurious given the good reviews by other online, but the only caviet was that the recipe didn’t have any pictures on how to laminate the dough and any instructions on how to roll/cut/shape the dough or how to bake the croissants.  So I used Jo Cooks for instructions on how to shape the butter and laminate the dough, and then Fine Cooking for instructions on how to roll/cut/shape the dough into croissants.  Lastly, I tested out two bake times with the croissant and found the best result was at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then lowering the temperature to 375 degrees for another 10 minutes.

For my first attempt at baking croissants, I was very happy with the results!  They turned out puffy and flakey with a crunchy top.  I could’ve done a bit better with the final roll and shaping of the croissants for aesthetics, as a couple of the croissants un-raveled slightly during the bake.  If you do have some time to laminate the dough, croissants are the perfect baking project with great rewards if you follow the steps properly!

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RECIPE (14 Large Croissants)

1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to warm (105°F–110°F)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold unsalted butter


MAKE THE DOUGH:
I leveraged the Epicurious recipe to make the dough.

PREPARE & SHAPE THE BUTTER: I leverage Jo Cooks recipe to prepare the butter, but used parchment paper vs. plastic wrap.  Make sure to put the butter back in the fridge after preparing it, so that it doesn’t warm up and melt into the dough.

ROLL THE DOUGH & LAMINATE THE DOUGH: I used instructions in Epicurious recipe, but referenced the visual graphics in Jo Cooks to make sure I was doing it correctly.  Also to speed up the process I decided to freeze the dough in-between “folds” for 20 min versus refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

CHILL THE DOUGH OVERNIGHT: I followed the instructions on Epicurious website to wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours but no more than 18 (after 18 hours, dough may not rise sufficiently when baked).

ROLL, CUT, & SHAPE THE DOUGH:  I followed the instructions I found on Fine Cooking, as it had very detailed steps and images.  Definitely don’t miss the instruction of making a 1/2″ – 3/4″ notch in the center of the triangle, as the notch helps the rolled croissant curl into a crescent.

PROOF THE CROISSANTS: I continued to use the instructions from Fine Cooking,  making sure to brush the croissants  before and after proofing.  Check your croissants after 1 hour, as mine were proofed and ready to bake.

PREHEAT OVEN: to 400 degrees

BAKE: for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn down the oven to 375 and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until the tops are browned.  Cool on baking sheets on a rack before serving.

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