Week 1: Croissants! This is one I’ve tried a few times with varying success. It’s amazing how much the weather plays into it. (Hint: these are much easier to make in the winter when your butter actually stays solid.)
No matter how you pronounce the name, the croissant is a work of art. All those layers! So much butter. (I never tell the people I feed my treats to how much butter I used making them – wouldn’t want to scare them away.) While mine are not the prettiest croissants out there, it’s all about the flavor right? I know they’ll be more uniform in size and shape with more practice; but for now, they are just yummy lumps of pastry.
When I made them this month, I decided to triple the batch and freeze two-thirds of them for a later date. Little did I know, I was signing up for a whole day of rolling, chilling, laminating and forming dough. If I learn one thing from this project, hopefully it will be setting better time expectations!
Filling time! I love how you can make them savory or sweet, whatever strikes your fancy. (With all the different filling options, you could have croissants for all meals of the day. . . what a lovely thought.) Since I was making three batches, I chose to have a Nutella group, a jam group and a classic group. I used a raspberry jam by Just Jan – yum!
The best arm workout: roll out three batches of laminated croissant dough in a row. If you’re feeling inspired, you can through in some vertical counter push-ups while you’re waiting for the dough to chill again. This will help you to feel entitled to eating that fourth croissant fresh from the oven later.
One huge discovery I made was when I finally went to bake them. They ooze butter until they are happy little islands on their own butter lakes. The lakes will then overflow and burn on the floor of your oven. After an eventful cleaning session, I modified the baking set up to a rack inside of a lipped roasting pan. Success!
Next time, I’ll have to make them with savory fillings. I’m thinking a twist on a BLT or Croque Monsieur . . .
Recipe that I used: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-croissants-step-step-photos/