2011/11/20

Indignation is a great motivator (Croissants)

When I announced that I was interested in making croissants, it kind of went like this:  "Why? You can buy them in the store."




Game on.  I am not sure what it is, but there is no phrase that has the power to kick my determination into overdrive quite like that one. 

The nerve.  Questioning why I would make something at home vs. picking up a sad looking bleached-white-flour-with-who-knows-what-kinds-of-preservatives-to-make-it-shelf-stable-for-six-months version.  Seriously?

"Battle croissant" was on. 

If you are interested in trying this on your own (and you should, because it's not that difficult), King Arthur Flour has a great tutorial over on their site. 

A few process photos are below just to show how "doable" it is. 

Frankly - the only skills required are as follows: you need to be able to follow directions (mostly), use a rolling pin, fold a letter and be able to measure & cut. 

Anyone who tells you other wise is a Naysayer & a Negative Nellie - and should be banished to the corner for a while to think about their behavior. 

First you start with butter... (Isn't that the best direction to start with?  Ever.)



After you make the dough, you stuff it with a "love letter of butter".  See - not only is this doable, it's romantic. 



See... the "love letter of butter" waiting to be sealed.  Kiss. Hug.


If you are still with me and haven't run screaming because you think I have TOTALLY lost my mind (and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong...), the "love letter of butter" is then rolled out and folded in a series of folding processes. 

If you can wield a rolling pin and fold a sheet of paper, you can totally do this.   



After the folding & resting process is complete, you roll it out, trim it up and cut into triangles.  The triangles don't even have to be perfect.  Unless you are a perfectionist.  Which, obviously, I wasn't interested in being on this particular day. 


Roll 'em up... (I made half my batch as Pain au Chocolate - when you make your own croissants, you can go crazy like that.)




Bake 'em up.  And prepare to smirk in self-satisfaction as the peeps line up at the kitchen island waiting for them to come out of the oven.  Naysayers and all.  Be prepared to curtsy when you hear those magical words "you were right, these are better".  (But only if you are home in your own kitchen - it might come off a little weird if you are out in public). 



See - that wasn't so bad, was it?  And the moral of the story is: "if you believe, you can acheive" (or "don't you dare tell me I don't know what I am doing...").

These are totally wonderful fresh out of the oven on a Sunday morning.  With a smear of jam and a cup of coffee.  And a heaping dose of self-satisfaction. 

15 comments:

  1. Wow...these are perfect...beautiful...dreamy...and, oh my, with luscious chocolate. You're getting me into the Sunday dinner baking mood.

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  2. Hey Cher, Wow, these croissants are beauties(ha-ha naysayers!), I can almost smell them baking in the oven, please pass the coffee and jam;-) I'll head over and check out the KAF recipe. Thanks for sharing;-)

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  3. Awesome! That doesn't look nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be. OF COURSE it's better homemade. EVERYTHING is better homemade.

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  4. I am VERY impressed! I went to a workshop in Paris this summer at Lenôtre and it was fascinating but oh so much work. They said that croissants take at least 6 hours to make from scratch because of all the resting time with the dough etc.. How long did it take you?

    You are an inspiration! And I LOVE the love letter of butter!

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  5. @Mardi - I started these on a Saturday afternoon & had them completed up to the point of the last roll-out & shaping. I rolled them and baked them out the next morning. I probably spent 4-6 hours on Saturday, but most of that was resting/ rising time. Sunday morning was probably an hour or so to finish things off.

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  6. Those turned out great looking! I have never tackled croissants, but the process looks the same as when I made my puff pastry. You can't beat something made from scratch and fresh out of the oven!

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  7. Mmmm...I can imagine how wonderful these taste straight from the oven! What a great way to spend a day. Your love letter of butter is just great!

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  8. Aw, Cher, those are gorgeous! And I agree about the challenge - there's nothing I hate more than hearing, "Why would you make that yourself??" Thems is fightin' words! One of my winter projects is a kouign amann. Same principle of pastry dough and butter layers, only lots of 'em.

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  9. This has been something I have been wanting to make...it will have to wait till after Thanksgiving! Maybe on a day when it's cold outside and I can't do anything else except bake. Yours look gorgeous...an awesome job!

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  10. Wow! I am totally impressed! You took on croissants and you conquered!
    There's nothing standing in your way now!!!
    They look absolutely perfect!

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  11. I think I love you Cher! You spirit reminds me of how I've been feeling of late and my family has no idea how important my cooking and baking time is to me. Game on is right!!! These look simply (well, not actually SIMPLY) perfect and I applaud you for taking this on. You inspire me to try them myself one day soon. Bravo you!!!

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  12. Bravo and good for you! I can't stand "that" phrase either and it was also a motivator when I started cooking. Your croissants look perfect. Love this post :)

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  13. Wow that is just awesome. Baking croissants at home, you are a pro. Those croissants look perfect.

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  14. These turned out perfect Cher! I like that you added chocolate and kept the shape.

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