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Croissants et cafe!

The Daring Bakers go retro this month!  Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

message from Lafitte the cat

YUSSS!  I’ve been wanting to make croissants for a long time but needed something to get me motivated to do so.  This is a perfect example of procrastination paying off: “make puff pastry” has been on my list of things to do before turning 30, but that hadn’t even been enough to make me do it yet. Croissant dough is technically puff pastry with yeast and sugar, by the way, so this totally counts.

proofing!

Since we were using Julia Child’s recipe, Sarah gave us the link to this video:

One of the things I found interesting is that Julia Child shows how to make croissants starting with homemade dough and frozen bread dough.  I didn’t realize using frozen was possible, and may try it for further practice runs.

shaggy dough
first rise

The process begins with a shaggy mass of dough which then rises for a couple hours. You can skip the rest of the directions and make plain rolls with this.

But that’s not what we’re here for!

first turn

A lot of rolling and folding goes down when you’re being Frenchy.

This is not a burrito...or a business letter.

Perhaps the most fun was the beating of the butter. I got some fancy European-style butter for this, then let it know who’s boss.

Beat it!

But then things got kind of messy when I had to add the butter to the dough. I don’t think it was melting, just had a tendency to smoosh itself out at the ends.

butter on dough action

Either way, I stopped taking so many pictures at this point because I got worried. The next day I finally got to dividing the dough and shaping the croissants.

halfsies

Since it was already the afternoon, I went ahead and froze the unbaked croissants in a covered container, then let them thaw and rise the following morning before baking for breakfast!

rolly pollies
et voila!

So the process wasn’t too difficult, just extremely drawn out.  Hello, 57 steps!  I made some frumpy-looking croissants with you.  They sure were tasty, though.

flaky, buttery layers

If anything, they were a little more dense inside than croissants I’ve had in bakeries, so I’ll just need to keep practicing (darn…).  A couple of friends want to try baking croissants with me, so that will serve as more motivation!

Le petit déjeuner!

Thanks so much to Sarah for picking croissants for the challenge!  Her very thorough directions with step-by-step photos can be found here.  There is also a slideshow of croissants made by the other DBs and they all look way nicer than mine!

And just because I can’t not share this…meet the song that’s been in my head this whole challenge (surprise, surprise):

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