Croissants

[I’d just like to say: I wrote this entry a little bit ago, but finished up this morning/early afternoon, as I was watching the World Cup USA-Ghana match. It was tough… my throat is hoarse from yelling. I’m completely brokenhearted that we’ve been knocked out.]

I am always asking my family members what they’d like me to bake for them. My sister asks for Amanda’s Fantasgreat Cookies, but my brother, Ben, asked for croissants. I never got around to making them in the past, they just seemed so complicated… but late Wednesday night I made a go at it.

Now, here’s the deal: I am an amateur chef/baker. I do this for fun, and it’s a learning experience for me a lot of the time. And I’m not afraid to do a little, well, cheating.

Hello Bread Machine. This (not-so)-little gadget ended up in my parents’ kitchen as a Chanukah gift for my mom.  For years, my dad would ask me to find out what she wanted, and I would relay my mom’s request: a bread machine. He never believed me.  It was years before she actually got one.

I think these days I use it more than she does. It came with a number of recipes, including one for croissants, so I decided to give it a try this way. Make my first attempt at croissants a little easier. So I put everything in as directed, set it and watched a few episodes of Doctor Who (good sci-fi fun- you can see it to the left of the bread machine, I was streaming Netflix on the iPad).

At this point I’d just like to add: one of my favorite things about making bread is yeast. I love yeast. I think yeast is amazing. Little magic fungi! Make my bread rise!

The bread machine did its thing, then I got to work on the next step: layering butter into the dough. You roll out the dough, smear it with butter, fold it up, and repeat. The recipe I have called for doing this three times, putting a total of ONE CUP of butter into the dough.

Here is a tip for you guys: if you’re someone who, when a glob of the food you’re cooking gets on your finger, will lick your finger automatically, DO NOT do it when you’re making croissants. Getting a mouthful of butter is really not fun.

This is all the butter that went into the croissants- 2 sticks (1 cup) folded in, and that little bit on top into the dough.

By the time I was done with the roll-butter-fold-repeat process, and the dough was sitting in the fridge overnight, I felt kind of sick to my stomach. There was just so much butter.

The dough sat overnight and while I was at work. When I got home I rolled it out again and cut it into triangular pieces, then rolled those up and curled them into the crescent shape. They sat and rose for a bit, then I brushed them with an egg glaze, then into the oven.

Before baking

That's me, egg-glazing the croissants

Fresh out of the oven

They’re not so flaky as croissants should be, but they’re yummy. The tasters (my family) approve, and Ben seemed to like them (which is really what I care about). He also requested a few chocolate ones, so I rolled them up with chocolate chips inside.  I think mini chocolate bars would have been better, but all I had on hand were the chocolate chips.

I didn’t roll all of these quite right. A few of them have unrolled a bit in the baking process (you might see in the back of the fresh-from-the-oven photo). The tips need to be at the bottom when they’re rising and baking and I guess I was in a bit of a hurry so they didn’t quite end up in the right place. But while they don’t look right, they taste just the same as the rest of them!

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