Croissants, Creation #6

Croissants are pretty amazing when done well, I love a very flaky croissant, that just melts in my mouth. I have attempted making croissants at home twice, unsuccessfully. The first time, they were not flaky at all, just tasted like dinner rolls, it was depressing!

I decided to try the Tartine recipe, and it blew me away; it was easy, time-consuming, but easy enough. This croissant recipe really should be broken into a four schedule. I hope y’all give this recipe a try; it really is worth the effort.

I would recommend reading the recipe thoroughly before starting and make sure you have all equipment.

Recipe is courtesy of Tartine.

Day 1

Preferment:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup non fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. In saucepan, warm the milk to 80 to 90 degrees.

  2. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon, and then add the flour, mixing with the spoon until a smooth batter forms.

  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or place in a covered container and place in refrigerator overnight.

Day 2:

Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter,melted

Directions:

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and have them ready.
  2. Transfer the preferment and then the yeast to bowl with stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  3. Mix on low speed until the yeast is incorporated into the preferment batter, which will take a minute or two. Stop the mixer as needed and use a spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the bowl, folding the loosened part into the mixture to incorporate fully.
  4. When the mixture has come together into an even mass, increase the speed to medium, and mix for a couple of minutes. Gradually add half of the milk and continue to mix until the milk is fully incorporated.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, sugar, salt,melted butter, and the rest of the milk, and mix until the mixture comes together in a loose dough, about 3 minutes.
  6. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the mixer again on low speed and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, a maximum of 4 minutes, do not over mix, if dough is too tough and milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  8.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a cool place until the volume increases by half, about 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and press into a rectangle 2 inches thick.
  10. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, or place in a plastic bag and seal closed. Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 3:

Roll-in Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 cups unsalted butter, cold, but flexible

Directions:

  1. About 1 hour before you start laminating, place the butter that you will be rolling in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pliable but not warm or soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove the butter from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill but not resolidify.

Laminating Process:

  1. First, lightly dust a cool work surface, and then remove the chilled dough and the butter from the refrigerator.
  2. Unwrap the dough and place it onthe floured surface.
  3. Rollout the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. With a long side of the rectangle facing you, and starting from the left side, spread and spot the butter over two-thirds of the length of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered third over the butter and then fold the left-hand third over the center, as if folding a business letter. The resulting rectangle is known as a plaque. With your fingers, push down along the seams on the top and the bottom to seal the butter in the plaque .
  4. Give the plaque a quarter turn so that the seams are to your right and left, rather than at the top and bottom.
  5. Again roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches, and fold again in the same manner.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 1 -1/2 to hours to relax the gluten in the dough before you make the third fold, or “turn.”
  7. Clean the work surface, dust again with flour, and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap, place on the floured surface, and again rollout into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. Fold into thirds in the· same manner. You should have a plaque of doughmeasurir.g about 9 by 12 inches, about the size of a quarter sheet pan, and 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick.
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into the plastic bag, place on a sheet pan, and immediately place in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. If you intend to make the croissants the next morning, leave the dough in the freezer until the evening and then transfer it to the refrigerator before bed. The next morning, the dough will be ready to roll out and form into croissants, proof, and bake, or you can leave the dough in the freezer· for up to 1 week, just transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.

Day 4:

Egg Wash:

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch salt

Continued croissant process:

  1. When you are ready to rollout the dough, dust the work surface again. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 32 by 12 inches and 3/8 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or pastry wheel , cut the dough into long triangles that measure 10 to 12 inches on each side and about 3-4 inches along the base.
  2. Line a half sheet pan (about 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper. To shape each croissant, position a triangle with the base facing you. Cut small slit in center of base about 1 inch.
  3. Positioning your palms on the two outer points of the base, carefully roll the base toward the point.
  4. To finish, grab the point with one hand, stretching it slightly, and continue to roll, tucking the point underneath the rolled dough so that the croissant will stand tall when you place it on the sheet pan. If you have properly shaped the croissant, it will have 6 or 7 ridges.
  5. As you form the croissants, place them, well spaced, on the prepared half sheet pan. When all the croissants are on the pan, set the pan in a draft free area with relatively high humidity and let the pastries rise for 2 t0 3 hours. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees.  A bit cooler or warmer is all right, as long as the temperature is not warm enough to melt the layers of butter in the dough, which would yield greasy pastries. Cooler is preferable, and will increase the rising time and with it the flavor development. For example, the home oven (turned off).
  6. During this final rising, the croissants should at least double in size and look noticeably puffy. If when you press a croissant lightly with a fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly, the croissants are almost ready to bake. At this point, the croissants should still be slightly “firm” and holding their shape and neither spongy nor starting to slouch. If you have put the croissants into the oven to proof, remove them now.
  7. Set the oven to 425°F to pre-heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. About 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the croissants, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and salt until you have a pale yellow mixture. Using a pastry brush, lightly and carefully brush the yolk mixture on the pastries.
  9. Let the wash dry slightly, about 10 minutes, before baking.
  10. Place the croissants into the oven, immediately turn down the oven temperature to 400°F, and leave the door shut.for the first 10 minutes. Then, working quickly, open the oven door, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and close the door. This rotation will help the pastries to bake evenly. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes longer, rotating the pan again during this time if the croissants do not appear to be baking evenly. The croissants should be done in 15 to 20 minutes total. They are ready when they are deep golden brown on the·top and bottom, crisp on the outside, and feel light when they are picked up, indicating that the interior is baked through.
  11. Remove the croissants from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. As they cool, their moist interiors will set up. They are best if eaten while they are still slightly warm. At room temperature, they are fine as well, or you can rewarm them in a 375°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes to recrisp them before serving. You can also store leftover croissants in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, and then afterward in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have stored them, recrisp them in the oven before serving.

Enjoy the croissants!

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3 thoughts on “Croissants, Creation #6

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