Joined: 14 Oct 2005 Posts: 827 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:41 pm Post subject:
BG, As soon as I read the topic of your post, I was eager to sign in and share my experience! And I would have recommended Julia Child!
But then I saw that that's the recipe you used....
I have made croissants several times with that recipe and always had good luck. But it probably IS critical not to be making them on a warm day. And Rainey's suggestion to pound the dough & butter with your rolling pin is a good one for keeping the butter cold.
So, don't lose heart! Try again on a cool fall day. And let us know if you get what you're trying for!
Also, remember that you will probably never equal the croissants you had in the Dordogne - if for no other reason than they exist in the rather idealized state of your memory! _________________ L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
Reviving the thread. =D I tried making croissants twice over the weekend. The first ended up in a ragged mess when the butter burst through the layers of the dough while I was turning it. The second ended up more bread than croissant. Does anyone have any ideas how to deal with the problem of butter bursting out of the layers as you fold and roll? I tried refrigerating it but it still happened. The second problem is probably as BG said, the butter ended up mixing in with the dough.
Last edited by climbeyalex on Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 11 Nov 2007 Posts: 236 Location: Madison, WI
Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:26 am Post subject:
I took a croissant-making class at Whole Foods, given by a young, muscular looking French baker who worked there for a few months before giving up in desperation, and going back to France. He demonstrated folding the cold dough with cold butter, and in the process turned BRIGHT red and started sweating, and then pointed out that he normally uses a machine to do the process, as it takes a lot of energy to do it by hand. I ended the class with the feeling that is was something too hard to do at home. It is too bad. The croissants were good at Whole Foods as long as he was there, and now are ok but not really excellent. They are better than what used to pass for croissants in my town-- i.e. a choice between soft and mushy or hard and crunchy. Yuck! seriously, I wonder if croissants are a good home baking project. I think they have been made in bakeries for generations. I will try complex cooking projects but this one does have me scared.
Joined: 24 Sep 2004 Posts: 443 Location: Paris, France
Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:11 pm Post subject:
I always thought it was too complicated to do at home, too, but I was emboldened by my good fortune with bread baking, and I made croissants for the first time a few months ago -- I forgot to take step by step pictures, so won't post about it on the blog before I do.
I must say I was really pleasantly surprised by how doable it really was: you do need to have some time ahead of you -- not for that much active work, but because you need to be there to do the different folds -- but the technical aspect of things is really not complex at all.
I had read a fair amount about the process beforehand (in books and on websites), so I felt prepared and it went very smoothly. I wouldn't do it every weekend, but it's the kind of baking project that's super gratifying: to me, it feels like magic to create something that looks like a good bakery-bought version. I really encourage you to give it a try -- especially if you live in a place where store-bought croissants aren't great.
I've found that the key to making light, flaky croissants is to perform the folding and rolling of the dough as quickly as possible, while the butter is still pliable but before it has become so soft that it starts to become absorbed by the dough. Refrigeration of the dough for 30-60 minutes between each turn also helps to maintain the distinct butter/dough layers:
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