Wednesday, January 13

Buttery Croissants Made Easy





Have you ever had an encounter with someone who's version of reality is so far from the truth... but nothing you do or say can make them see that? Basically, have you ever dealt with a  compulsive lier?

Remember this story   I told you all? Well, it came to my attention yesterday that the same lady was still spewing things about me. Which I find incredibly entertaining at this point, because I have honestly not given it any thought over the last month... because I have what some might call, "a life".  Anyways, she sent a message to someone close to me, talking about how I publicly called her the C-word on the Internet. (Along with a couple other accusations, that were so far from the truth it was laughable) 

You all know that I can have a potty mouth at times, I may occasionally drop the F-bomb, or the name asshat. But I never, would call someone the C-word, especially in a public forum. I may not be the classiest lady in the world, but I have more class than that. For whatever reason, I have it so deeply ingrained in me that is the mother of all words in the English language....and it is not to be used. 



This entire encounter got me thinking about my language, my upbringing and my kids. The funny thing is, I may swear from time to time. (What can I say, I am a passionate person!) I have set some strict ground rules for myself, and I almost ALWAYS follow my language rules. 

#1 No C-word
#2 No swearing at my kids (because that's so low low low) 
#3 Filter around children, in professional settings, or around people that you know would be uncomfortable by certain words (I have become a pro at filtering over the years, I know when and where I can say certain things) 

Now some of you may assume, that "She has a potty mouth, I bet her kids do to." Actually no they do not, and never have had potty mouths. When they are adults, they can decide what is appropriate for them to say but for now, I am actually incredibly strict with my kids language. Occasionally my 9 year old will have a slip up and say things like, "Dang it" or.... "Jesus". That is the worst of it so far, and when he does slip up, I call him out on it, and he knows those are terms that are completely inappropriate for him to say, and that Mama has zero tolerance for it. 



As for these croissants, these are so flipping easy! (Did you all catch that? I just filtered.) As if yeast baking isn't intimidating enough for most newbie bakers, croissants add in some extra steps that make so many run for the hills after reading some of the recipes out there. I think there are so many bakers and cooks out there that want to pump themselves up, and over complicated things. So when a beginner looks at the 32 steps in a recipe.... they are like HELL NO. And then go buy a tube of store bought crescent rolls instead. 

The truth is, croissants are easy BUT they  do take some extra time. If you can be laid back enough (chill out, put the measuring tape away and start eye balling things) , and use the right quality ingredients, they do not have to be a 48 hour (or more) process. You can make them in one morning, and have some amazing buttery, flaky, airy results.  



Buttery Croissants
Yields 16 medium croissants

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 tbs quick rising yeast (something like Red Star Platinum is preferred for quicker rise times)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tbs salt
About 4 cups of high quality bread flour (I only use King Arthur, the amount may very from 3.5-5.5 cups)

Butter block:
1 3/4 cups of cold unsalted butter cut into small slices (1/2 inch thick)

Egg Wash:
2 egg yolks + 1 tbs whole milk whisked together

Directions:

In a small bowl combine yeast and warm water. Stir together and set aside until it is foamy and has "proofed."

In a small sauce pan, add in  1/4 cup butter, granulated sugar, and whole milk. Heat just until the milk is warm and the butter starts to melt.

Place butter and milk mixture in a stand mixer's mixing bowl. Add in 1 cup of your flour and salt. Mix using the dough hook, scraping sides a couple times with a rubber spatula. Once it has mixed, add in  eggs and yeast mixture.

Set mixer to medium low speed, and add in remaining flour one 1/2 cup at a time. Depending on the flour brand and humidity in your home, this amount could vary. Mix in as much flour needed to bring the dough together just until it is barely sticky.

Turn mixer to medium/high speed for 60 seconds. Turn mixer off, sprinkle dough with a bit of flour (no more than a 1/4 cup) Give the dough a few kneads right in the bowl, flouring if needed. Place dough in a large buttered mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place aside to rise for about an hour, OR until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare your butter block, I use a shortcut in this. I arrange my butter slices in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag, It should work out to be a square. Eye ball it, don't stress. Just made sure they are arranged into a square. Take a rolling pin and gently pound the butter so it all forms together into one piece. Place in the refrigerator until the dough has finished rising.

Once dough has risen, roll out onto a floured surface until it is in a large rectangle. About a 1/2 inch thick. Remove butter block from bag, I cut the sides open and peel the bag off. Place butter block in the center, fold the sides of the dough over the butter block like an envelope sealing the butter in the dough.

Roll dough out so it is just about 1 cm thick. If the butter starts to break through the dough because it is too cold, allow dough to rest for a few minutes, and then roll again. If the butter is too warm and it starts to ooze out of the dough, place in the refrigerator and all to chill for a a bit. Once the dough is about an inch thick, fold it into thirds. I should be a long rectangle now, about 1-1.5 feet long.

Roll dough a second time, but in the opposite direction. (this is called a turn) So that your are rolling out the short side. Fold dough into thirds again, but in the opposite direction you folded the last time. Wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a half hour.

Return dough to your floured surface, and continue the same process doing two turns and, and then placing it in the fridge for another 1/2 hour. Repeat this process two more times. You should total 8 turns start to finish.

Once you have done all of your turns,  roll dough out on a floured surface until it is 1/4 of an inch thick.  If it is too hard to roll, allow to rest for a few minutes, and then try again. It does take some arm work.

Once it is rolled out, cut the dough into 8 rectangles,  and then cut each rectangle in half, into 2 triangles.



Take each triangle, and roll it into the croissant shape but starting at the short end, and rolling it up. If you have to pull and stretch dough to get the triangle in the right form, that is ok.



Place rolled croissants onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, brush with egg wash and allow to rise until they are very airy looking like water ballon. They should just about double in size. This could take over an hour. (remember dough likes to rise in warm spots. I crank my heat on bread baking days)

Once they have completed the final rise, bake at 375 for about 12  minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Best when eaten warm!












17 comments:

  1. I love your potty mouth. I am the same way. I need to cut back around Autumn as she is a parrot and will soon copy. Dang 2 year olds!

    I so want to try croissants one day. I love your clear instructions!

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    1. It's kind of amazing to me how my 3 NEVER repeated me... I think I have weird kids.

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  2. I think I just drooled on my keyboard. You can't keep me away from buttery carbs!

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  3. I need to fly you to Denver to show me your baking ways!! So beautiful, Carrie!

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  4. These look like the most buttery, carb filled, glorious treats on the FREAKiNG planet. Yum! Ps My hubby calls me a truck driver (nothing against them) but apparently they have potty mouths from time to time. I feel like if that's my only vice in life, well the. I'm doing okay. ;)

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  5. So jealous you made croissants! They look fantastic :)

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  6. I love these! And she sounds like she has serious anger issues. Ma'am, if you're reading this, I think you should consider looking into therapy. I used to struggle with anger as well. Work through that shit!

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  7. Blah…I hate dealing with people like that. Oh, and asshat…that's my new favorite word! ;)

    These babies are unbelievable! Completely impressive and they've got me craaaaaving croissant right now!

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  8. Sweet mother of God, Carrie. I am glad to see you back in business!

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  9. Oh I can totally relate. I just started my own business selling skincare which I love, and the products are fabulous. But every time I post something on facebook, like a before and after pic, there's a skeptic in the crowd who accuses the pictures of being "photoshopped". So silly. I use the products myself, so I've seen firsthand so incredibly they work.

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