I want to compile my “Kitchen Bucket List” and share it with you (here it is!). I will let you know as I check things off. I will share my failures and successes. What are some of the foods on your Kitchen Bucket List? The list isn’t out yet, but croissants are one of the things on my list and I can now check them off!
I used the Cooks’ Illustrated recipe. They describe the process so well and include step-by-step photos. The instructions are very detailed and I could never explain the process better than they did. If you’re interested click the link above to check out the recipe.
Here are some things I learned and found helpful while making my croissants that I hope will help you out if you give these a go.
-I didn’t buy high-protein flour, I used 3 ¾ all-purpose flour plus ½ cup bread flour (Thanks Lindsay!)
-Get your ruler and take the time to roll your dough to the indicated dimensions.
-You’re going to do a lot of rolling.
-Take two days. Make your dough, make your butter block and laminate the dough on the first day. Save shaping and baking for the second day.
-I was under the impression that European-style butter was much more expensive. I found it for $3.30 for 8 ounces. (European-style butter contains less water than the traditional butter we usually buy in the grocery store which helps create the signature flakiness of croissants)
-I didn’t experience this but don’t try and make these if your kitchen is exceptionally warm or your croissants will melt.
It’s easy to freeze uncooked croissants to bake later. After shaping the croissants, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic and freeze. Once solid, transfer them to a ziploc. When you’re ready for fresh croissants (for me this is all the time), let them rise at room temperature and then bake.
Not to brag but my croissants turned out absolutely gorgeous! They were golden, flakey, light and buttery. Just like a croissant should be. I was so excited and so proud of myself.
The process is not complicated. If you’ve got the time, you can make croissants. Making the dough is like making any other sort of dough. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl or stand mixer, mix, then knead. Making a butter block means rolling butter into a flat square. And from there, you roll and fold your dough, reroll and refold and then do it a few more times. Cut the dough into triangles, roll them up, let them rise and bake.
Simple enough, right? Cooks’ Illustrated warns that the whole process will take about 10 hours (again, this can be spread over two days). Find a weekend and make these. You won’t be sorry. The smell of croissants baking is better than any loaf of bread and the satisfaction of pulling golden, flakey croissants out of the oven, knowing you made them, is awesome!
Don’t forget to tell me about items on your own “Kitchen Bucket List”
Recipe: Cooks’ Illustrated