Made | Croissants!

Ever since I fell in love with baking, I've wanted to learn how to make a croissant. There's always been a reason I couldn't learn yet: I didn't have a stand mixer (turns out you don't need one at all); I didn't have bread flour; I didn't have the time. But like anything else, I just had to dive in and hope for the best. I've been really inspired by Janee's return to school—baking school—so this past weekend, I stopped putting it off and made my first successful batch of croissants.

The entire process takes about 20 hours, though luckily not all of that is hands on. Mike and I had plans to go see a movie on Saturday, but I talked him into getting a couple from Redbox instead so I could babysit my croissant dough. Dreams take sacrifice, right?
I used Julia Child's recipe (who else), as explained by Barbara Bakes. I recommend reading through the steps several times to get familiar with it. For instance, she links to this video in step 44, which told me that I had been folding the dough wrong the whole time. It turned out OK anyway, but it was a great reminder to be thorough in my prep next time.

The dough comes together really easily and almost immediately starts its first rise. I started it around 4 PM on Saturday, which put me through step 32 by midnight. Mike and I fell asleep on the couch and I had to set an alarm so I'd get up and do the last step before putting the dough in the fridge for the night. If you're not crazy for croissants, then this recipe might not be for you. By noon on Sunday, I had hot croissants fresh out of the oven.

It was definitely worth it, and I finally crossed something off my list of baking goals (that's a thing, right?), so I'd say it was a rainy weekend well spent.
Don't get me wrong, I had my share of problems while making these. On Sunday, after they'd been in the oven for 10 minutes (I kept peeking in to make sure I wasn't burning them), our smoke detector went off. We have one of those newer smoke detectors that don't just let off an ear-aching beep, they also speak to you: "Warning, fire." I'm always afraid our landlords (who live upstairs) will think I'm burning the place down, so I press the button until it finally shuts off. I must've pressed it one too many times because next thing I knew, the fire detector lady was saying, "Warning, carbon monoxide." Cue panic.

I'm one of those people who's scared by the labels on a can of spray paint (I once returned a can of spray chalk paint because of the explosion warnings on the bottle), so I threw open all the windows, turned a fan on, turned the oven off (and pulled the croissants out), then proceeded to sit on the back porch in my pajamas while reading the back of the smoke/carbon monoxide detector. After a little research and panicked texts to Mike, I realized that I had put the thing in test mode, and the carbon monoxide warning was a false alarm.

Luckily there were croissants waiting inside to comfort me.
 Look at those layers!

What have you been baking lately?


Abbie said...

I have been wanting to make croissants for YEARS now. Some weekend I'm going to set aside time to try- those look delicious!

Melanie Yarbrough said...

Doooooo it!! I was so proud of myself. We had croissant-wiches for dinner last night, so really it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Kasia Górska said...

Oh my! These are so beautifully made! It looks like some kind of art. Food porn, obviously. I love croissants.

Melanie Yarbrough said...

Aren't they incredible? I was pleasantly surprised that this batch used only one stick of butter! So really, they're not that bad for you ;)