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!
Download a pdf of the challenge.
Croissants are made from a laminated dough, which is made by wrapping dough around a layer of chilled butter and then rolling, folding, and chilling, and then repeating the process. Each roll and fold is called a “turn.” This creates the flaky texture found in pastries like Danish and puff pastry. The more times you turn your dough, the more layers you have. It’s not a difficult process, but the chilling between turns takes a lot of time.
The recipe provided for this month’s challenge is from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two” by Julia Child. Since I’ve made croissants before, I chose to mash this recipe up a bit with techniques I learned when I made croissants from Julia’s more recent book, “Baking with Julia.”
Just like for our candy making challenge last month, a marble slab comes in handy for keeping the butter and dough cold.
I strayed from Mastering the Art of French cooking in a couple of ways:
- I doubled the butter and mixed it with 1 Tbsp. of flour in a KitchenAid mixer. Then I formed it into a log and wrapped it in plastic wrap to chill, before rolling it out between two layers of waxed paper. Rolling the dough between the waxed paper makes it easier to move it back to the refrigerator for additional chilling, if necessary.
- When I rolled out the dough to cut and form the croissants, I trimmed off the uneven edges. I used these scraps to make small balls of dough. I placed one at the wide end of each croissant and then rolled the ball up inside the croissant. It gives the croissant a nice fat, fluffy belly.
Since making croissants is so time consuming, you need to plan accordingly if you want fresh croissants with a meal. I planned it right and made my favorite meal of breakfast at 8 pm: Scrambled eggs, sausage, and croissants with strawberry jam. Breakfast is always better at night.