Fresh..Fluffy..French…Croissant..Daring bakers challenge

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Making croissant from scratch has been on my list forever.I always wanted to do it but never got around to for one reason:FEAR!

Fear of the process itself.Making laminated dough (dough of thin layers with butter in between) is not a simple process, it requires time, patience and cool weather none of which I have at the moment lol.

And fear of having a whole rack of freshly baked croissants with no one but me in the house. Honestly, I don’t trust my self control to put it through such a test.

Then comes this months daring bakers challenge and as with every month fears need to be faced!

I divided work into three days..working in the early hours of the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. On the first day I made the dough, allowed it to rise, punched it down and put it in the fridge.

The next day I added the butter and did the turns and made the croissants and allowed them to rise in the fridge over night and these yummy beauties were a wonderful breakfast over the weekend with jam or stuffed with turkey and cheese.

I have to say that I loved the taste but was not completely happy with the shape or the honey comb pattern when you cut into the croissant..to see what I mean check out my amazing fellow daring baker creations..they put bakeries to shame!

I will surly make croissants again,working on the technique and shape but in the mean time I would like to thank Sarah for an amazing challenge and for being a great hostess.

I included a video of Juila making her croissants..the recipe is slightly different from the one in the challenge but the video will help make sense of all the steps.

One last thing..If you have not already..you still have a chance to enter the giveaway to win two Albertson gift cards.

Ingredients
¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar
1 3/4 cups (225 gm/½ lb) of strong plain flour (I used Polish all-purpose flour, which is 13% protein)
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk (I am not sure if the fat content matters. I used 2%)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) tasteless oil (I used generic vegetable oil)
½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash

Directions:

1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl


8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. The best way is as Julia Child does it in the video It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag

10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.

11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.

12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.


15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge

16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.

21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle


24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.

30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)

37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm))
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour

53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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90 Comments

  1. eva626

     /  October 7, 2011

    do you still work? cause if i was your spouse i wouldnt be able to wait for you to make meals!!! love the color,…these beat Costco ones by a very far

    Reply
  2. I am so impressed with you! I have never attempted to make my own but YOURS, Yours look so spectacular that you may have given me the inspiration and push that I needed to try it. The layers of flaky dough just look fabulous. Your photos make it so clear how perfect your croissants are.

    Reply
  3. I am on batch number two for the croissants! I am going to make these until I get it right! ;-)

    Reply
  4. I have yet to make croissants but yours are simply stunning!! There’s nothing better than a good flaky, buttery croissant. Great job! I’m thoroughly impressed.

    Reply
  5. Wow, your croissants look so soft!!! A great job!

    Reply
  6. I have never made a croissant, love them, but it seems a lot of work! Your pictures and presentation are incredible….RaeDi

    Reply
    • Thank you so much RaeDi
      it is my first time making them and I have to say they sound harder that what they really are..the problem is really in all the waiting you have to do

      Reply
  7. The second picture clearly tells how gorgeous these are baked. Can see the fluff and the golden color is so lovely.

    Reply
  8. These are gorgeous!

    Reply
  9. Are those accidental burnt croissant or you did that in purpose, Sawsan? That’s how I like on my croissant because it makes it crunchy and have that smoky flavor. Whenever we have croissant in the house, I would purposely put mine in the toaster for a longer time so it will burn a little (I know, I’m weird), Haha! Very nice shot especially the one with turkey, yummm! Have a Happy Friday, Sawsan!

    ~ ray ~

    Reply
    • No, Ray. It was actually on purpose.
      I like my baked goods deep golden and crunchy so you are not weird at all..I am exactly the same

      Reply
  10. Your croissants look perfect! They look so flaky and delicious…I am getting hungry just looking at the pictures. Awesome job for this month’s challenge and great foodstyling too!

    Reply
  11. I think your croissants look lovely, Sawsan! That’s quite the lengthy process. Yeesh! I’m sure they were delicious with some butter or jam. Love the Julia Child clip–she’s the best. :)

    Reply
  12. Wow, those look amazing! But I have to admit I’m way too intimidated by the 57 steps to even attempt this. Glad I stumbled on your blog.

    Reply
  13. Wow. Wow. Wow. What a great croissants and pictures of them. And the one with turkey and cheese. You can wake me up at night for that one. It looks so delicious.
    Great job.

    Reply
  14. Fantastic job on your croissants! They look utterly stunning! Your photography is wonderful, too.

    Reply
  15. That croissant sandwich is making my mouth water. Yum. (And I think the cross-section of your croissants looks great!)

    Reply
  16. My hats off to you!!! Seriously!!! It is not easy to make croissants since you need to be careful about making sure you put the right dose of every ingredient and making the dough is not an easy task either!!!! These croissants look amazing!!!!

    Reply
  17. This croissants look to die for! Thanks for sharing the detailed directions and the Julia Child’s clip!

    Reply
  18. Oh my word, I can’t believe you tackled this! Huge FEAR!!! I think your texture looks great – not sure I could ever do these!

    Reply
    • It was scary..I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t a challenge but once I did they turned out to be really easy..just break down the work and you might enjoy it

      Reply
  19. Those croissants look perfect, seriously! I am actually giving you a standing ovation, respect!! The picture of the cut through croissant where you can see the layers is impressive, I really want to come for breakfast, jealous!! :D

    Reply
  20. I, too, love croissants but will never have the patience to make them myself. Yours look wonderful and the photos are well-shot. I’ll join the others in saying that I’m amazed and impressed — again!

    Reply
  21. I can’t even make my store-bought refrigerated rolls look right much less make them on my own! How totally amazing is this recipe and post! Congrats girl because this is a job well done

    Reply
  22. I was over at Samah’s blog, and checking out her croissants… I still can’t believe that you young ladies can make this stuff so perfectly!
    I’m so astounded, you’ve done such an amazing job! And your photos are realllllly creative and inducing! Makes you want to grab it right off the screen!

    Well done on such an amazing challenge! :D

    Reply
  23. Absolutely beautiful croissants – so golden and your buttery layers in the crumb are perfect! It wa a lot of work, but soo worth it!

    Reply
    • it was worth every minute..I aim to get croissants as professional as yours someday

      Reply
      • They didn’t brown below what you see and the edges are stumpy, hence why I placed the prettiest 4 in a basket, to hide the flaws lol The other 8 look like various twisted aliens!!

      • hehehe You should see my croissants that didn’t make it into the picture

  24. I have never made croissants. I have been planning to make them for ages, but wasnn’t brave enough- yet…You did a fantastic job, Sawsan! The croissants look mouthwatering, and you presented them perfectly! Love that you included the video. Very helpful!!!

    Reply
    • Thank you so so much Tanja..
      I can”t tell you how much your support and kindness means to me
      as for the croissants they are really much easier than the steps make them sound ..I am sure if you made them they will turn out heavenly

      Reply
  25. I think they look amazing! Well done :)

    Reply
  26. I love that 1st photographs so professional and the croissant look stunning wonderful job on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    Reply
  27. WOW – kudos on a job well done! I am hugely impressed and think your croissant are just perfect! Not sure I am brave enough to attempt these! I did, however eat more than my fair share of them while living in Mauritius!
    Have a super day. :-) Mandy

    Reply
  28. OHHHH MY!!! These look perfect to me!!!! Can they ship????? I have never made croissants… I am terrified by the full process and I keep them at the bottom of my to cook list! But I would looooove to try! Great job!

    Reply
    • I wish you lived near by Manu! I would bake you baskit fulls of it
      They were on the bottom of my list too! but fear can be defeated :)

      Reply
  29. Rizna

     /  September 28, 2011

    I would love to make these….. I live in Abu dhabi and its 42 degrees today:( I guess I will have to be a little patient and wait….:(

    Reply
    • It was 35 here when I made them and it was a nightmare…I kept putting them back in the fridge every 5 minutes..
      Cooler months will make this A LOT easier..thank you for stopping by

      Reply
  30. Your photos are beautiful! I love the meat and cheese croissant on the picnic cloth. Nice job on the challenge!

    Reply
  31. These look amazing!!! I love croissants but I know it’s not wise for me to make them…I would end up eating all of them!

    Reply
  32. Well I, for one, think that your croissants look awesome – shape and honeycomb included. They look flaky and delicious and absolutely fantastic. Really great job.

    Reply
  33. Gorgeous croissants!!! I don’t see a single thing wrong with them :) And I love that you included a Julia Child video…just perfect~

    Reply
  34. Wait I got lost somewhere around 38, must go back. OK, seriously these turned out amazing. Great job!

    Reply
  35. Eva@ kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

     /  September 28, 2011

    I just watched the Julia Child video you posted. I can totally do this! THANK YOU! I have always wanted to make croissants! Wonderful. YOU have inspired me.

    Reply
    • I am really glad I did :)
      I can’t wait to read all about your croissant making adventure..I know you’ll love it

      Reply
      • I spoke to one of the food stylists we work with (she is also a chef) and she mentioned that the most important thing is to keep the dough cool so the butter doesn’t melt. I have my dough resting in the refrigerator until tomorrow morning. I will fold in the butter. I have my fingers crossed. Your instructions are exceptional and the video makes it look easy. We shall see. Thank you!

  36. Wow…. you have more courage than me! Those look amazing! You did a wonderful job on them :) Making croissants has always scared me, mostly I think because of the time investment… and rising… and rolling… but yours look great, so congrats!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Stefanie..I was scared too! it turns out they are not so difficult..the worst part was actually waiting for them to rest time after time

      Reply
  37. I find croissants completely irrisistable.. you are so clever, what a process!

    Reply
  38. Eva@ kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

     /  September 28, 2011

    And again, I must take my hat off to you! Another difficult task, mastered! The croissants are beautiful! They must be so tasty. I will try this during our colder months.

    Reply
  39. Fabulous croissants & your photos are absolutely gorgeous! The insides of your croissants look so buttery and fluffy. Mm. I could definitely go for a croissant sandwich now. That looks fantastic.

    Reply
  40. Your croissants look yummy. Makes me want to go make another batch. My husband likes the one made into a sandwich!

    Reply
  41. Well, I for one think these are absolutely gorgeous croissants! I mean I could swear these were made in a bakery. You truly outdid yourself on this one. I can just taste these with the turkey and cheese. Delicious!!! Job well-done! :) Too bad we can’t still get little gold stars like when we were in school. ;)

    Reply
    • hehehe I remember those! I would be over the top when I got one..can I tell you a little secret..I now buy my daughter those same stars for her home achievement board ..I can buy usual stickers but I find the stars irresistable lol

      Reply
  42. I am hugely, enormously, gigantically impressed with this! Wow, they look amazing. Like you I have always been put off making them – possibly because of the time needed. Maybe when it´s cooler here I will have to just give them a go as I adore croissant and the look amazing. Did I say how imrpressed I am?!

    Reply
    • I am humbled by your kindness Tanya.. I know you will make amazing croissants when you decide to ..
      thanx again for your sweet comment

      Reply
  43. kouky

     /  September 27, 2011

    Gorgeous croissant Sawsen, stunning!! I love your beautiful présentation! Kisses!

    Reply
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