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!
This Challenge was terrific. I wanted to try the croissant a long ago, but there was always no time, I know it will take too much time in preparing the dough, may be this was the reason I didn’t do it until the challenge, but finally I did it, Thank you Sarah for letting us do the honor to make these jewels of croissants.
I followed Sarah recipe and steps except for preparing the butter block, I did the same measurement for the folding the dough though, but found that the final pieces too small, I cut the salt in half since I found it too much for the amount of flour, I twice let the dough sit in the fridge overnight.
The final results was amazingly good, I liked the croissant and the little pockets inside, the croissant was light and fluffy from inside crisp and flacky from outside, I used some dough to make chocolate croissants and pain au chocolate, my kids loved it too, that those beauty didn’t stay for the next morning hahah …
Will definitely be making these goodies again.
Here you will find the recipe as in Db by Sara with tip and vedio clip for Julia Childs, down I wrote the recipe with some improvements and did the correct size for this batch of dough to make a decent medium size croissants for the next time I will do it.
Fresh, Fluffy, French Croissant
Preparation checking outlines
Making dough, 10 mins
First rise, 3 hours
Kneading and folding, 5 mins
Second rise, 1.5 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Rolling in the butter (turns one and two), 15 mins
First rest, 2 hours
Turns three and four, 10 mins
Second rest, 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Forming croissants, 30 mins
Final rise, 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
Baking, 15 mins
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
3\4 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
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.
Measure out the other ingredients
Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
Place the flour in a large bowl.
Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
Knead the dough eight to ten times only. 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.
Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag
Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
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.
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).
Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. I let the dough rise overnight in the fridge.
Cut the butter into pieces, put between two sheets of plastic or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to tap the butter until it’s soft enough to roll, roll between the two sheets until it’s a 7.5X7.5inch square. Put in fridge.
Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
Roll the dough out until its double size of the butter sheet, 11X11inch in this case. Tap butter until it’s roll-able, and the texture is similar to the dough. put the butter in the middle of the dough as following, fold up dough and seal the butter. Pay attention to corners and edges, you don’t want spots where there’s no butter.
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.
Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
Fold in three, as before
Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (I let it overnight)
It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
Roll the dough out into a 16 by 8 inch rectangle
Cut the dough into four rectangles (each 8 by 4 inches ).
Cut the rectangle into two triangle
Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 8 croissants in total.
Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
Mix the egg with a teaspoon of milk
Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.