Croissants are a pastry made from chilled yeasted dough and layers of chilled butter that get folded and refolded, this yields the flaky moist pastry some of us dream of. (don’t you?) They are a basic bakery staple, And for good reason! They are delicious in all ways, fresh with nothing else, with more butter and jam, the next day, grilled with fillings, baked twice with frangipane, baked in a bread pudding, im sure you could put a croissant with every meal and no one would bat a lash. Im wondering how many have actually tried making them? I will write a post describing each step of the process, but first I feel our croissant story needs telling. It takes place years ago. Maybe 2 years…..
Croissants are delicious!
This is a bakery, Lets make them!
Ok… I’ve made croissants in a few places with good result. Studied recipes late in the night…. Why not give em a go?
A note on our bakery: it’s special, we rely on nature and room temp to rise our breads. Most bakeries have a proof box to control temperature for rising yeasted breads and pastries. We just shut the door to the kitchen or turn on the ventilation and set the stuff above the oven. Works for almost everything, but those croissants. (croissants are delicious!) they always eluded this system….
Sure our croissants bake and are edible, but there was always a lacking to them: Kinda small, kinda not light enough, kinda ugly (see above). While baking the butter would pool out around the pastries. We went for a couple years of trying then not being happy then trying again a half year later, Then getting too busy to start and try again. And I just thought we’d wait and get a proof box.
It got really dull.
I guess Diva going to Paris last christmas really shook us up. I think for the 3 days we stayed, I ate a dozen croissants! Then brought 6 pain au chocolat home on the aer lingus flight. (Half made it home) so afterwards I had to have a croissant for breakfast everyday….. but from where? Nowhere makes em like the French do…. At least in my local area. We had to stop this nonsense, I mean what did they do before proof boxes really?
I have found out recently that the reason for our past sad croissants might be that while rising, the temperature gets too high. So I monitored the temperature of the air around these little guys. They like it warm but cool, around 25 celcius, Which some in Ireland call hot. I don’t notice that the kitchen is hot anymore, I guess im like sourdough: I like it warm and humid. Anyways…. im obviously not a croissant or id have realized the problem straight away.
So during the 2 hour rising time, I kept making sure the butter plugs were happy. And yep they were looking tastier already! The dough was surrounding and encasing the layers of butter, instead of kicking it out the sides.
Just before baking the croissants get a lovely brush of egg wash and go straight into the hot oven. 15 minutes later they were something altogether different from croissants of our past. What a moment it was! Shannen even came down to see them late in the evening!
Now we are baking croissants every day, with some variation. They take awhile to rise so they aren’t out right at the start but definitely before 11am! We would love feedback on these guys. They have a long overnight rise, which gives them an almost sourdough flavour, and a moist buttery interior.
Not your usual jet puffed variety you find in supervalu.
Croissants are delicious!