Making Croissants

A pan of golden croissants - warm from the oven.

It has been SO COLD lately, which gave me the time to try some new things in the kitchen.  I have always wanted to try making homemade croissants; the type of croissants made of many thin and buttery layers.  I have never attempted them because I read cookbooks like novels, and the croissant recipes are always about six pages long!  Since I knew the forecast was for “way-below-zero” weather – I figured I could attempt this at the bakery this week, in between daily demands.

I started out by finding a great recipe from one of my food idols – Carole Walter.  Her cookbooks aren’t filled with lots of color photos, but she gives excellent step-by-step directions – which is what I needed for this first attempt.  Besides, I have had lots of success with her recipes in the past.  After finding the recipe, I read it over from beginning to end three times, so I knew what I was in for.

I mixed up the dough on Thursday – a “sponge” with a process of mix, rise, mix, rise, etc.  Then for the tasty part – layering in cold butter with the dough while rolling, folding, and chilling the croissant dough. Finally, it was into the fridge for a night.

Here is the dough after the first day and a night's rest.

Here is the dough after the first day and a night’s rest.

 

On the second day I went through a process of dividing, measuring, rolling, and shaping the croissants.  At this point, I was thinking, “is this really worth it?”  I have included pictures of this process.

I tried to capture all the layers of buttery dough in a picture.

I tried to capture all the layers of buttery dough in a picture.

 

Rolling out the dough before cutting into triangles.

Rolling out the dough before cutting into triangles.

Cutting into triangles.

Cutting into triangles.

Rolling them up and making that traditional croissant shape.

Rolling them up and making that traditional croissant shape.

Finally, after a day and a half, we were rewarded with a beautiful, light, buttery batch of croissants.  I am already planning some delicious fillings!  If you have ever wanted to try this process – trust me, the end product is well worth it and can not be duplicated by any purchased product.

A pan of golden croissants - warm from the oven.

A pan of golden croissants – warm from the oven.

The finished croissant - hard to capture the taste in words.

The finished croissant – hard to capture the taste in words-or in a picture.