Friday, September 10, 2010

Speedy croissants

Remember this entry where I decided to make croissants? To be honest, after that initial foray intro French baking with yeast, I attempted to make baguettes but they failed spectacularly and I got disheartened about modifying a recipe I knew worked. If it ain't broke, don't fix it and all that.

Well. I'm on a diet of sorts right now and decided to make croissants last night. Hehehehe. And I also decided to use my scientific knowledge to get the experiment down to a reasonable procedure time! After all, incubating your immuno in the fridge is just to decrease background - you could leave it on the bench for one hour at room temperature! (Christ, I'm such a nerd.)

So here it is! Incubation modifications are all approximate based on what I did in the intervening time. The Pom says TV scheduling is not a good enough key to time, you can decide for yourselves.

Ingredients (same as before)

  • 260ml milk + 2 tablespoons for brushing over pastry
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 250g plain flour + 3 tablespoons (kept separate)
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180g unsalted butter (I used salted butter this time because I had the right amount in the fridge and was too lazy to get more. Whether you want to make this substitution is up to you as there wasn't an overly discernible alteration in flavour. Wikipedia says salt inhibits yeast activity but again, it seemed pretty much the same.)
  1. Heat 65ml of milk to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in milk, stir in 6tbs of flour from the 250g, and whisk until lump-free. Cover with clingwrap and and let stand at room temp on top of a bowl of hot water until doubled in volume (about 20mins).
  2. Mix sugar and salt into remaining flour.
  3. Heat remaining 195ml of milk to lukewarm. Transfer raised dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hooks. Add milk, and with mixer at high speed, add sugar, salt & flour mixture, a little at a time. Lower the speed to slow-medium until dough is sticky-soft.
  4. Cover with clingwrap, and place bowl on top of another bowl filled with hot tap water for 1-1.25 hours (incubation time started at the end of The Simpsons...I stopped it during Bondi Vet).
  5. Bring butter to room temp (I had the heater on so it was around 19C) and incorporate the 3 tbs of flour until smooth.
  6. Flour the working surface, shape the cold dough into a 38 x 15cm rectangle (portrait, not landscape), and spread butter on the upper 2/3 of the rectangle. Leave a 1cm border between the sides and the butter.
  7. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter, folding the bottom (butterless) third first. Turn the dough anticlockwise, roll out into a 38 x 15cm rectangle, and fold again. Repeat multiple times (I think I did it about 4 or 5 times).
  8. Transfer the dough into a baking pan, cover with clingwrap, and keep at room temperature for 1.25 hours (I kept it by a heater outlet, went for a short swim and shower).
  9. Roll and fold the dough multiple times again, wrap and keep at room temp for 45 min-1 hour (did my post-swim laundry and watched the second half of Rush/start of Burn Notice at this point).
  10. Flour working surface, roll dough into a 40cm diameter circle. Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into three triangles.
  11. Roll the base of the triangle towards the remaining point. Do not curl the pastry into a croissant shape. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with 2 tbs of milk. Let stand at room temp for about 30 mins.
  12. Preheat oven to 200C. Brush croissants with glaze (egg yolk + 1 tbs milk), and bake for 15-20mins. If they brown too fast, cover loosely with foil.
  13. Cool before serving. I got a bit impatient so I can't tell you how long I left them for but I ate a test one during the late news.
I divided the dough in half, one half of which is in the freezer (I'll let you know how defrosted croissant dough works), packed 4 in the fridge overnight, and test baked 2 that night. Here's how they came out.

Didn't get a pic of the inside before I ate it but it was pretty fluffy.

The overnight ones were taken to work - approximate time out of the fridge would be 1.5 hours? - before baking. This is how those ones came out!

Puffy and fluffy!

I think the extra standing time meant the second batch puffed up a bit more than the rushed ones but they were both fluffy which is more than I can say for my baguettes. So yes. From three days to about 4-5 hours - now it's much less ridiculous to bake your own croissants!


  1. Nice! I've been meaning to try making croissants but looking at the recipes make me really nervous! Yours looks much more achievable, so I might give this a go instead.

  2. Great stuff! I keep learning new things every time I come back to your blog.


Related Posts with Thumbnails