I love croissants. I’ve never thought about making any before now, I thought it looked too fiddly, time consuming and honestly, how much nicer could they be than ones from a nice bakery? I couldn’t have been more wrong! There’s something about making your own croissants.. they taste different, good different. I attempted some of the chocolate variety (you’re already eating a ton of butter, why not add more unhealthiness to the mix?!) … here’s how it went..
I decided to follow the recipe in the Great British Bake Off: How to Bake as it included step-by-step photographs of how to fold and shape the dough.
Making croissants is time-consuming, but it’s worth the time. You have to make the dough the day before you plan on baking it, so that it’s got time to chill, for the gluten in the dough to relax. The one thing I’ve learnt about making croissants – everything needs to be kept as chilled as possible! There’s a great recipe for making pain au chocolat here, which is very similar to the one I used. I shaped mine slightly differently but the technique up to that point is the same.
After the first ‘turn’, I found that the butter started appearing in the top layer where I would be using my rolling pin. Even though it was chilled, it still stuck to it and made it a bit of a faff trying to roll out the rest of the dough. Looking back, it probably would have worked better if I made sure the butter was well wrapped within the dough and chilled it a little longer between turns.
The recipe said that I would make 24 croissants.. unfortunately, due to the unfortunate butter-sticking, there was only so much dough I could roll out properly and I ended up with 12 (quite large) croissants instead!
The shaping of the croissant is pretty simple. I went with the ‘traditional’ croissant shape, which is created by cutting out triangles (approx. 12cm base, 20cm length) and rolling them up.
I placed a square of chocolate at the base end, rolled the dough over itself. Then, as you’re rolling the dough, with your other hand, carefully stretch the pointy end until you can’t roll anymore.
Tuck this carefully into the croissant – this should now become the base when you place it on a baking tray, to prevent it from unravelling as it bakes. I picked up a good tip after I made mine – try and use as little flour as possible, as it can make the croissant tough to eat. I definitely noticed mine were tougher than ones I’ve tried in the past.
As long as this took, it was the best feeling to see the croissants actually taking on the expected croissant look once they baked. Felt like a great achievement after all that work!
Have you tried making croissants before?