I was asked by Gillian, of gillianyoung.com, if we could make croissants together. I liked the idea. Croissants are a weakness of mine. In fact, when we first moved to Paris, I romantically thought I'd be eating croissants everyday. But in reality, I only eat them from time to time actually (they are very rich!). When I do indulge, however, I completely enjoy each and every mouthful. Usually, my croissant indulgence is on a Sunday morning which tends to be fairly typical for french people, or so I've been told.
Eating croissants is one thing. Making them is another! They're a bit of work. I hadn't made them in years. After all, in France, a great croissant is just a street corner away! However, Gillian's reason for wanting to learn how to make croissants got me thinking. She's leaving Paris shortly....and she wanted to take this back home with her as a souvenir that could be enjoyed anytime she wanted!
And then I realized, I, too, should be making croissants more often. Not only will we leave some day, some unknown day, but I should be practicing the technique because it takes a little practice to get it just right. And finally, there's perhaps nothing better than to taste deliciously warm, freshly made croissants straight from the oven.
Last Sunday was the day we set aside for making croissants and we made lots of minis. Despite our love for croissants, we could not possibly eat all of the ones we made. So, we hit the streets of the 1st arrondissement to say bonne année (Happy New Year) and to share the little, warm flaky treats. We met some friendly people along the way. Turned out to be a fun little adventure!
Here's a brief video demonstrating the general technique behind making a croissant, edited by Gillian herself (one of her many talents). I hope you enjoy seeing people's reactions as much as we did. Additionally, I've provided a recipe that I am using and have interpreted, thanks to my time at Ecole Ferrandi. Happy Croissant making & sharing, to everyone!
RecipeFor 20 - 25 croissants:
500 g flour
12 g salt
50 g sugar
16 g fresh baker's yeast
25 g powdered milk
- Make the détrempe: flour in bowl, mix in powdered milk; make fountain & add in the center of it the yeast, sugar and salt. Add water and mix. Gradually turn onto table and work only until smooth. Takes just a few minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap & let rise in a proofing oven or on the counter, until doubled in size.
- Punch down the détrempe; re-wrap with film & let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the détrempe and add the big block of butter in the middle. Fold over the flaps to enclose the butter inside. Let dough rest in fridge 20-30 minutes. Proceed to next step.
- Do a "double turn", called "un tour double" in french. Roll out dough the length of a long rolling pin. Fold the 2 ends in, and then fold the whole thing in half.
- Do a "single turn", or "tour simple" in french. Roll out dough the length of long rolling pin. Fold it into thirds. Let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll dough out to a thickness of around 2mm (very thin). Cut rolled dough into large rectangles & then cut each rectangle into triangles. Roll into a croissant shape, starting from base of triangle, rolling toward the tip. Let rise at room temp (or proofing oven) until puffy (around 20-30 minutes).
- Brush with egg wash.
- Bake approximately 15 minutes at 205C.
It makes more than the quantity indicated, if you them mini-sized like we did!