Croissants and curiosity
Crickets. I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write. Trying to figure out what possible reason I could give you that might convince you to give homemade croissants a try. After several days of thinking and throwing out bad ideas, I have come up with no possible scenario either hygge or apocalyptic in nature that is a real actual excuss to justify any need to make croissants at home.
A few almost tangible ideas were; they are cheaper to make than to buy. True. But do we really NEED croissants? No. The whole idea of buttery flaky rolled dough as bread is so extra that it belongs on the same economical list as owning a French villa and a red Ferrari. Another possibility was; they taste better! And that can be true. A fresh homemade croissant is going to taste better than a day old croissant from almost any bakery. And even moderately textured semi-poor fresh home croissants will beat out a two-day croissant from even the best bakeries. Although, the best bakeries are never going to have a two-day-old croissant. So.. I don’t care who you are or where you live, there are plenty of places to get a baked-this-morning-fresh one in the 3+ hours it takes to make one if that’s what you’re really looking for. Then there is the (insert whatever other possible reason you can think of here) angle. None of these really justify the hassle of actually learning how to make great homemade croissants. So I’m back to crickets.
Get curious. Observe. Repete.
The only real reason to justify this process is plain old bucket list curiosity. What exactly am I capable of? Can I get the dough and butter to cooperate? Can I make something light and airy and elegant and just know that I did it? The answer is yes. Yes, you can. But I warn you, once you realize how passive making croissants is, and how extraordinary they are ten minutes from the oven, you might not need a real reason to make them from home over and over again anyway. You might just need to slow down. Get curious. Observe. Repete.
Buttery, flaky, light and puffy croissants
- 8 oz milk (1 cup)
- 1.5 oz butter ( 3 Tbls.)
- .5 oz sugar (1 Tbls.)
- .30 oz active dry yeast (2 tsp.)
- .25 oz salt (2 tsp.)
- 14 oz bread flour (2½ cups)
- 6 oz butter (12 Tbls.)
In a small saucepan, scald milk and 1.5 oz butter. Cool to lukewarm.
Mix in the sugar and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
In a medium bowl, mix salt and flour then add milk mixture and mix until dough combines into a nice ball.
Cover tightly with cling wrap and let sit in a warm place (80°) for one hour or until doubled in size.
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 16"x20". Cut the rectangle into quarters. (8"x10")
Cut each quarter in half (4"x5") and cut each of the halves diagonally to make 4 triangles. You should have 16 triangles.
Roll each triangle from the wide end down to the point keeping the point in the center of the roll.
Bend the roll into a crescent shape and try to tuck the point under the roll so it doesn't pop up during baking.
Layout the rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2" apart. Loosely cover with cling wrap and let proof or rise for about an hour in a warm humid place (80°) for about an hour or until at least doubled in size.
Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Best served immediately but can be kept in an airtight container for several days.