Sunday, February 24, 2013

Classic Croissants- A buttery flaky delight..

This time Aparna gave us the detailed recipe to bake buttery croissants. They are cute buttery delights when done. But baking them meant a lot of patience, effort, and calculation, all divided into 3 days. I have had them many times from here and have thought of baking them too but never imagined that it was going to be a 3 day process and some work. Thanks to the group "We Knead to bake" which inspired to make this and for the detailed information given by Aparna.. The original recipe is by Jeffrey Hamelman. This video will help you too...Here is my bake...




For dough:
All purpose flour-4 cups
Cold water-1/2 cup nd 2 tbsp
Cold milk-1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp
Granulated sugar-1/4 cup
Unsalted Butter-40gms(soft)
Instant Yeast-1 tbsp plus scant 1/2 tsp
Salt-2 tsp

For butter layer:
Cold unsalted butter-250gms
Cold milk-1/2 cup
or egg for egg wash-1 no

Method of preparation:


Day1:

Make dough:
 1. Combine all ingredients for dough in a bowl of dough stand mixer fitted with a hook. I used my hand to do this.
2. Mix everything together and knead for 3 minutes to form a ball of dough.(If using mixer, mix everything on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl once if necessary. Then mix further on medium speed for 3 minutes)
3. Lightly flour a 10" pie pan/dinner plate and place the dough ball on it.
4. Gently flatten the dough slightly, lightly dust the top with flour and wrap well with a clear film/plastic so that it doesn't dry before storing it in fridge. Refrigerate overnight.

I am too bad at clicking pics while making food, so here is an effort to represent it pictorially..Hope it helps..:)




 Day 2:

Make butter layer:
1. Next day cut two 10" square pieces of parchment/wax paper.
2. Cut the cold butter to 1/2" thick slabs. Place these pieces on one parchment paper so they form a 5 to 6 " square. Cut the butter as required to fit the square. Place the other paper on top.
3. Using a rolling pin, pound the butter with light even strokes. When it starts to stick use more force.
4. Pound the butter till it flattens out evenly to form approxi.  a 7 and 1/2" square. Trim the edges to form a neat square. Add the trims on top of square and pound them again to form a smooth slab of the above measurement.Refrigerate when you roll the dough.

Laminate the dough:
1. Unwrap the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to 10-1/2" square and brush off the excess flour.
2. Take butter from fridge which should be cold but pliable. If it isn't refrigerate till then. This so that when you roll out the dough with butter in it, neither should it be soft enough to melt, or hard enough to break.
3. Unwrap the butter and place it in the center to form a diamond shape on the dough.
4. Fold one flap of dough over the butter towards you and stretch slightly so that the point slightly touches the center/middle of butter square.
5. Bring the opposite flap to the middle and stretch slightly to overlap the previous one. Similarly work with other two flaps which will result in a dough forming an envelope around the butter.
6. Lightly press the edges together to seal the butter inside the dough so that butter doesnt escape when we roll it later.
7. Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough with a rolling pin, firmly press along the dough uniformy to elongate it slightly.Now begin rolling instead of pressing to lengthen the dough instead of widening.Keep the edges straight.
8. Roll the dough into 8"X 24" rectangle. If ends lose their shape gently reshape corners with your hands.
Brush off the excess flour.
9. Lightly mark the dough into three equal pieces along the long side.Now using this as guideline pick up one short end of the dough and fold 1/3rd of it back ver the dough,  so that 1/3rd of the other end is exposed.
10. Now fold the 1/3rd exposed dough over the folded side. Basically the dough is folded in form of a three fold letter.
11. Put the folded dough on a floured baking sheet, cover with a plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
12. Repeat the rolling and folding, this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends(from the shorter sides to lengthen the longer sides) until the dough is about 8" X 24".
13. Once again fold the dough in thirds,  brushing off excesss flour and turning any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover once again with a plastic wrap and freeze for another 15 to 20 minutes.
14. Roll and fold the dough exactly in same way for third time and put it in baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic under all sides and refrigerate it.


Day 3:

Divide the dough:
1. Next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of dough and then cut the dough along the longer side into halves. Cover and refrigerate one half while working with the other one.
2. Wake the dough up by pressing firmly along its length using a rolling pin. Just lengthen the dough do not widen it by this method.
3. Then roll the dough to a 8"X 22" long narrow strip. If dough sticks use flour.
4. Once dough is about 1/2 to 2/3rd of its length, it may resist to roling and may even shrink back. In that case fold the dough in thirds, cover and refrigerate for 10 mins.Then unfold dough and finish rolling.
5. Lift dough an inch off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink back which will keep it from shrinking when cut. See that there’s excess dough on either end so that when you trim the edges to straighten them, you have a strip of dough that is 20" long. Now trim the edges so they’re straight.
6. Lay a measuring rule and measure lengthwise along the top length of the dough. With a knife, mark the top of the dough at 5-inch intervals along the length (there will be 3 marks in all).
7. Now place the rule or tape measure along the bottom length of the dough. Make a mark 2-1/2 inches in from the end of the dough.
8. Make marks at 5-inch intervals from this point all along the bottom of the dough. You’ll have 4 marks that fall halfway between the marks at the top.
9. Make diagonal cuts by positioning the measuring scale at the top corner and the first bottom mark. Use a pizza wheel or a bench scraper and cut the dough along this line which connects each top mark to the next bottom mark and then back to the next top mark and so on.
10. This way you will have 7 triangles and a scrap of dough at each end.( If you’re good at “eyeballing” and cutting the dough into triangles, then forget the measuring rule, marking and cutting instructions)


Shape the croissants:
1. Work with one piece of triangular dough at a time. Using your rolling pin, very lightly roll (do not make it thin but only stretch it slightly) the triangle to stretch it a little, until it is about 10" long. This will give your croissants height and layers. You can stretch it by hand too, but if you don’t have the practice  your stretching could be uneven.
2. Using a sharp small knife, make a 1/2- to 3/4-inch-long notch in the center of the short side of each triangle. The notch helps the rolled croissant curl into a crescent.
3. Place the triangle on the work surface with the notched side closest to you. With one hand on each side of the notch, begin to roll the dough away from you, towards the pointed end.
4. Flare your hands outward as you roll so that the notched “legs” become longer. Roll the triangle tight enough but not too tight to compress it, until you reach the “pointy” end which should be under the croissant.
5. Now bend the two legs towards you to form a tight crescent shape and gently press the tips of the legs together (they’ll come apart while proofing but keep their crescent shape).
6. Shape all the triangles like this into croissants and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet leaving as much space between them as they will rise quite a bit.





Proof the croissants:
1. Brush the croissants with milk (or a mix of milk and cream) or egg wash.
 If using an egg wash make by whisking one egg with 1 tsp water in a small bowl until very smooth. Lightly brush this on each croissant.
2. Refrigerate the remaining milk/ milk+cream or egg wash for brushing the croissants again later.
3. Place the croissants in a cool and draft-free place (the butter should not melt) for proofing/ rising for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  They might need longer than 2 hours to proof, maybe as much as 3 hours, so make sure to let croissants take the time to proof.
4. The croissants will be distinctly larger but not doubled in size. They’re ready if you can see the layers of dough from the side, and if you lightly shake the sheets, the croissants will wiggle.

Bake the croissants:
1. Just before the croissants are fully proofed, pre-heat your oven to 400F in a convection oven.
2. Brush the croissants with milk/ milk+cream (or egg wash) a second time.
3. Place your baking sheets on the top and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes till they’re done and golden brown on top and just beginning to brown at the sides.
4. If they  seem to be darkening too quickly during baking, lower the oven temperature by 25F. Cool the croissants on the baking sheets on racks.
5. Serve warm. This recipe makes 15 croissants.

Notes:
1. Do not over knead the dough. My dough was a bit dry so had to add 2 tbsp of extra water.
2. The butter and dough should be cold while working.
3. Seal the butter completely. While rolling the butter should not leak.
4. If there are leaks in 2 to 3 places use flour to seal it. Dust little.

Done by "We Knead To Bake" group:

44 comments:

  1. Wow! very nice Reshmi. The clicks are superb and very nice presentation

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  2. Beautiful Buttery croissants, I love it. My favorite.

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  3. perfect and lovely awesome croissants.

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  4. OH WOW.. Love the diagrams Reshmi! great idea!

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  5. Oh gosh.. totally love your dedication in depicting the steps... and the final clicks are all out of the world.. well, the croissant too.. has come out perfectly...

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  6. Super delicious buttery n flakyyyy..need one right now

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  7. I don't have the patience to do this! ;) ...nice to see lot of home made croissants! Looks delicious Reshmi!

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  8. Reshmi...a wonderful post with lot of details...Love how your croissants have turned out...they look perfect...unfortunately i was not able to make them this month:(

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  9. Wow perfectly baked!...wonderful explanation pic..n awesome pi..

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  10. Great Effort Reshmi, liked ur pictorial presentation...croissants looks flaky n delicious...beautiful clicks as always!

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  11. Buttery flaky croissants dear,looks beautiful esp the first click..Yummy bake,way to go dear :)

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  12. Wow! That involves a lot of work. Great effort Reshmi! Your croissants look so flaky and yumy.

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  13. wow... the pictorials are amazing... perfect looking croissants... delicious..

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  14. So flaky and buttery, loved ur pictorial presentation, well explained...

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  15. wow. Amazing clicks and explanations. You have lots of patience. hats off to you...

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  16. These are gorgeuos, perfect & buttery croissants!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  17. Thats a lot of effort..nice croissants.

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  18. Looks great Reshmi... good pics. The step-wise pics are good too, these are very helpful :)

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  19. Reshmi I like that you did it all like an engineer's plan! Your croissants look beautiful!

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  20. Wow Reshmi...what a effort....wonderful work...this really needs lots n lots of patience.


    I really appreciate you...:-)

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  21. I love the illustrations! You are so very talented and you made it so easy for everyone to understand how to go about shaping the croissants.

    * Respect*

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  22. wonderful clicks, lovely presentation...

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  23. Wow! so nicely done .. Perfectly baked

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  24. Wow!!!croissants look so tempting and flaky,perfectly made..nice clicks as always...

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  26. Lovely croissants...Love the way you've explained with all the sketches

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  27. Thats one awesome bake. loving the flakiness. Nice clicks

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  28. wooo looks so tempting :)

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  29. beautifully made croissant and love the new method of step by step picture.

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  30. Looks very nice and luved the presentation.

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  31. Excellent clicks.. Looks inviting..

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  32. Wowwwwwww... You are just amazing Reshmi.. Looks absolutely perfect and tempting.. lovely shots too.. Great :D

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  33. Beautiful croissants! I love your step-by-step illustrations! I am not very good at documenting the process with photos as it seems to take so much time that I don't have.

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  34. Nicely done! I never thought this was a 3 day process.

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  35. i just get intimidated by the croissants and puff pastry preparation process. beautiful clicks.

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  36. Croissants have come out perfect, Reshmi.. You have explained it clearly with diagrams.. As usual Pictures are amazing.. Great effort dear!!

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  37. So impressed with ur croissant...it came out so well..so this was the successful outcome of The discussion I aw in FB :)

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  38. I adore your pictures and presentation skills. Love the backboard and your unique way of explaining the details with diagrams. Love it Reshmi!

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  39. Loved your pictorial definitely useful for many of us, super flaky croissants.

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  40. Okay, I am awed at those step by step pics! How did you do them?! :D The final croissants look amazing, obviously!! But I loved those drawings!!

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