Saturday, September 28, 2013


Whenever I think of the word "croissant" I think of Chris Kimball on America's Test Kitchen saying the word in a very affected French accent that we might or might not have made fun of. I say it the American way, pronouncing the "r" and the "t". It doesn't really matter how you pronounce it, as long as you're thinking of the buttery, flaky, amazing pastry that will change your life. When I had some time off between job in July, I decided to tackle these because the recipe takes a few days. I divided up the dough and made half in a normal crescent shape and the other half into chocolate croissants (pain au chocolate), which is clearly the better of the two. I took tons of pictures, so this will be a very visual blog.
Mixing by hand, with my hard plastic spatula that I got with my food processor. I've found it to be the best for dough.

Add a little flour to combat the humidity.
Slightly sticky, perfect dough.

Three beautiful sticks of butter. Is there anything better? 
The butter needed to be pounded out to an 8 inch square. I just use my tape measure from my tool box. It's covered in flour and at this point, probably has never measured anything related to hardware or repairs.

Adding the butter to the dough. The key here is to make sure we end up with flaky layers at the end.

A butter-dough envelope. I really could eat this without baking. 
Wrapped and ready for the fridge for a long overnight rest.

This is my workspace. I have a slightly bigger counter next to the sink, but I like this one better for some reason. (And that's a Whynot utensil holder!)

The rested, ready to go dough. Before it got to this point, I would take it out of the fridge, roll it out, and fold it back up like an envelope to create layers of butter and dough. Can you see those chunks of butter? That means flaky pastry!

The dough cut up for shaping. The left will be chocolate and the right will be regular.

Shaped and ready for rising in the fridge!

Dark chocolate and dough. I love dough. It's the best.

Chocolate croissants, ready to rise. (Sorry this picture is a tad blurry.)

Two sides of the same coin, ready to rest and rise. After this, they went into the fridge overnight. Just like the song says, the waiting is the hardest part. I kept checking in, anxious for them to rise. 

And when they were done rising, I brushed them with egg wash and popped them in the oven. And they came out like this!

Golden, beautiful, soft....

And oh-so-flaky. Mmmmmmmm.
I will definitely make these again. They were worth the waiting and the work. Should the government shutdown, this might be a project to keep me busy in this coming week. My only complaint was that these weren't as good the second day, so I really needed to eat them all the first day. Sometimes life is hard.

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