The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!
I have made croissants before and I know they take a long time, not in actual work, but in between folds to chill the dough. The great thing about croissants though is that they can be frozen after shaping, so you can go ahead and double the recipe and freeze extra ones.
This recipe was straight forward and worked great, the steps are described very well. I would like to add that by starting with a well shaped rectangle both of dough and of butter helps keep the final dough more neat and easy to cut and shape. Chilling the dough in between turns is essential for that, so don't rush those steps.
Chocolate almond-frangipane croissant
I made two different doughs, one following the given recipe, the other, chocolate croissants, inspired by the amazingly fast and helpful Audax. In his version Audax substituted four tablespoons of flour with and equal amount of cocoa powder. I used Valrhona cocoa powder and it gave a beautiful hue to the croissants but it was so hard to tell when they were done as they were pretty dark to start with.
Poppy seeds walnuts croissant
Here are my notes...I let the dough do the second proofing in the fridge overnight for convenience. I found the recipe easy to follow, however at the end I got frustrated when rolling the dough to its final size. It was impossible to keep the dough to a width of 5 inches, so I ended up having a much thinner dough to reach the 20" in length. Next time I will double the dough and roll to a different size rectangle so I would be able to cut nice symmetrical triangles. Having rectangles that weren't symmetrical caused the croissants to be lopsided. I also would have liked to know the final thickness of the dough to avoid rolling too thing and compacting the layers. I used regular all-purpose flour so I had to add a little bit more than the 1 3/4 cups the recipe calls for, but that wasn't a problem. Last but not least, I baked the croissants at 420F after almost burning the first batch, that was very especially important with the croissants with the filling.
I got the 7 steps!
I made two fillings for the regular dough, an almond frangipane, and a walnut poppy seed filling, both delicious. The plain croissants were nice, flaky, with a great crumb.
Plain croissant showing a nice crumb
To see other amazing creations and download the recipe go to the Daring Bakers' site. Thank you Sarah for choosing this recipe and to Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, the creators of the Daring Bakers' challenge.
On a light note, we have four new little ones at home, they came from Trader Joe's fertilized eggs, incubated by our broody hen. Aren't they cute?
See what happens if you don't enjoy by the expiration date...
I wish I knew what type of chicken they will become