|Pain au Chocolate|
I've made croissants before. Successfully. How hard could this be? The last time I made croissants I had hunks of butter popping out everywhere and they still turned out. I can do this.
|Dough & butter|
I cannot tell you how "done" I was with this process. Making these croissants has been a three day adventure (ordeal). I'm sure it was fun for the other member of my household to watch me standing on a chair just to get leverage with my rolling pin. The palms of my hands are sore from rolling out this laminated dough over and over and over.
|Laminated dough before final roll out|
And this dough did not easily roll out for me as it did for Esther McManus in this video of her demonstrating it with Julia Child. Every time I turned a 20 by 24 inch piece of dough, it shrunk back up to to about a 10 by 12 inches (slight exaggeration).
Even though I had a lot of time and labor invested in this project, when the time came for the final roll out and shaping of the croissants, I was DONE. Three hour rise? Forget it. One hour will have to be enough. I need to go to bed. I don't really have to do this. It's a flipping hobby, not my JOB. I can skip this.
End of rant.
|Jumbo pain au chocolate|
I haphazardly rolled up half of the dough into 12 semi-crescent shapes and the other half of the dough into four huge pain au chocolate shapes (when it's supposed to be ten to twelve), let them rise for an hour, threw them in the oven, set the timer, and used one of my least favorite expressions.. "whatever."
When the croissants were done baking, I decided to try the teeniest one. Oh. My. Goodness. Alrighty then. It was all I could do not to stuff the rest of the croissants into my mouth right then. Right there.
This recipe is from Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers edited by Dorie Greenspan (of Tuesdays with Dorie fame). Awesome book. To see the recipe and step-by-step photos, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie host Amanda's blog, Girl + Food = Love. To see how each baker did with this recipe, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie website and click on everyone's links.
What did I do differently from the original recipe?
- I let my croissants rise for just one hour at room temperature (about 65 degrees F) instead of the three hours in the warm environment that the book called for. Oven spring took over from there.
- To save time, I baked some of the croissants in the toaster oven (it worked!).
- I shaped the second half of the dough into four large pain au chocolate instead of 10-12 rolls.
- I started the four large pain au chocolate at 450 degrees F to give them a boost and immediately lowered the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F.
- I used instant yeast instead of the fresh yeast called for in the recipe at a 40 percent ratio by weight.
These can be wrapped individually and frozen. Thaw, wrapped, at room temperature. Unwrap and re-crisp in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.
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