Thursday, September 29, 2011


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!

Ingredients: for 12 croissants
  • 1¼ teaspoon dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
  • 3 tablespoons warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons (9 gm) sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon (9 gm) salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) full fat milk  
  • 1 3/4 cups (225 gm) bread flour 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil 
  • ½ cup chilled, unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, for egg wash (i skip this step :})

    Directions: to make the dough
    1. In a small bowl, mix together -- yeast + warm water + first 1 teaspoon of sugar -- Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
    2. Heat the -- milk -- until tepid (in the microwave) and dissolve in the -- salt + remaining 2 teaspoon sugar --
    3. In a large bowl, mix together -- flour + oil + yeast mixture + milk mixture -- using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated.
    4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute.
    5. Knead the dough by smacking the dough on the counter and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper .. eight to ten times only.
    6. Place the dough back in the bowl, covered with cling film. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.

    Have the dough ready ..
    1. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
    2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
    3. In three part, fold part of the dough on the left to the middle, then part of the dough on the right to the middle (over the dough from the left that you just fold over)

    1st proofing 3 hours .. and .. folding

    1. Place the dough (as it is) back in the bowl, covered with cling film. Leave the dough to rise for another 1 and a half hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.
    2. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
    3. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.
    4. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Let it rest for a minute or two. 
    5. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
    6. Remove the butter from the board, and spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
    7. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
    8. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right.
    9. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
    10. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.

    2nd proofing 1 and 1/2 hours .. and .. 2nd folding 2 times

    .. folding in butter ..
    1. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
    2. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured surface.
    3. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes.
    4. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
    5. Fold in three, as before.
    6. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
    7. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising).

    .. 3rd proofing 2 hours ..
      Directions: to shape the croissants
      1. Preheat the oven to 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
      2. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes on the lightly floured surface.
      3. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
      4. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm)). Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
      5. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
      6. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
      7. Place two of the squares in the fridge.
      8. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
      9. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles. 
      10. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
      11. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet.
      12. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
      13. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour.
      14. (optional) Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
      15. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely.
      16. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
      .. Dip in Hot chocolate .. sooooooo good ^_^

      Now, it's your turn to make some and ENJOY ^_^

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