The dough has now been resting in my refrigerator for 24 hours, just chillin’. We, on the other hand, had a lovely day. We took my daughter and her kids to see Cirque du Soleil’s production of Varekai; it was our Mother’s Day present from John. Afterwards, we had an enjoyable dinner at the Blind Angler in Summerland, shared some wine and discussion, then slept until 9:00 this morning. A busy but fun day, all in all.
Now, however, it’s time to concentrate on the croissants. This part of the process will take about an hour. Again, it isn’t difficult. It isn’t really even all that time consuming because the dough will, again, be doing a lot of chilling.
The first thing we need to do is to roll out the dough into a square, about 11″. Mine’s a little bigger than that but you don’t want to go too much larger.
Then comes the butter… everything’s better with butter! Basically, what’s happening here is that the butter will be completely encased in the dough, so the seams need to be sealed well. We don’t want any of it to escape.
Now, we roll. We don’t want the dough to get wider, just longer, so it will only be rolled lengthwise. Once it’s about 24″, it’s time to stop.
The next step is to simply fold it up and put it to bed. Honestly, that’s what we’ll be doing. Just pick up the bottom edge of the dough, bring it up about one third of the way, then pick up the top edge and fold it down over the two layers.
Take that dough, lay it on a sheet pan, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in your freezer for about 20 minutes. I managed to get a few bubbles in the dough but, with the next rolling, I’ll make sure they’re no longer there.
After 20 minutes (or so) take it out and repeat the rolling process. Keep the open edges toward you (as in the second picture just above) and, again, focus on rolling the dough out to about 24″. Repeat the folding; place the dough back on the sheet pan, covered with plastic wrap, and freeze it again, for another 20 minutes.
Repeat the last step once more. At this point, place the dough back on the sheet pan and cover it with plastic wrap, tucking the edges under the dough to prevent moisture loss. Leave it to rest in the refrigerator overnight. That wasn’t difficult, was it?
Basically, what we’re doing is laminating the dough, creating layers of dough and butter. Each time we fold the dough over itself, we’re creating more layers of dough and butter. When we bake the croissants tomorrow, the butter that is now layered between layers of dough will melt and the releasing steam will expand to create those lovely, crispy layers we all love about croissants. Incidentally, this layering/laminating is also how puff pastry is made. The only real difference between the two is that croissants have yeast in them, while puff pastry doesn’t. Now, doesn’t that make you want to try making your own puff pastry next?
We’re done for today. Tomorrow, we bake!