Let me start out by saying that this post will be the first in a short series. It will consist of three posts, one today, one tomorrow, and one Monday. Now, on with it…
This is a long weekend here in parts of Canada; Monday is Victoria Day. I’ve been waiting for a long weekend so I could make croissants. The recipe I use spreads the process over three days; today is Day One.
Croissants are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry (which I also want to make one day).*
I’ve made them once before and they are amazing! Everyone thinks they must be incredibly difficult to make but, honestly, they’re not. They do take some time, spread over a two to three day period, but they’re definitely not difficult. The recipe I’m using comes from Jeffrey Hammelman. You can find the full recipe and detailed instructions here. Please note that the recipe gives the ingredients in weight and cups; I chose to go with weight.
- 1 lb. 2 oz (4 cups) all purpose flour
- 5 oz. (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp) cold water
- 5 oz. (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp) cold milk (I used 2%)
- 2 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) soft butter (recipe calls for unsalted so I reduced the salt)
- 2 1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all these ingredients in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as required. Then mix at medium speed for another three minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pie plate and wrap well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
This is where I’m at right now. The dough is resting in the fridge and the butter has been pounded into shape and ready for Day 2.
*This paragraph was taken from the Wikipedia entry for Croissants (here).