Sydney and I bake croissants quite often, so when I saw the Daring Baker’s September Challenge was croissants: The Daring Bakers go retro this month, I was extremely excited! 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!
If you have not heard of The Daring Kitchen, it is a wonderful group consisting of cooks and bakers, some are blogger others enthusiastic foodies. Each month a challenge is chosen by a member, they may adopt a famous recipe or a recipe of their own. The objective is to meet other people whom love to bake or cook, write about the challenge, and hopefully learn a new skill.
I thought it might be helpful to give tips that seem to work for Sydney and I, croissants consists of a laminated dough of layers of flour and butter. Unlike pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) yeast is an added ingredient. Croissants and danishes are composed quite similar, but every once in a while croissants are ornery, for us. There days I have croissant dough rolled and shaped look smooth, and then there are the times they seem to be rough looking.
Sydney and I diagnosed what could have been different from the week prior, the answer was climate. It so happens it was close to 38 degrees C/100 degrees F. I realized the dough was proofing as I was rolling it out. For optimum smooth rolled croissants, we should have listened to the dough. I know that must sound as if I should make an appointment at “Bellevue Hospital,” but the dough will tell you if it needs to relax or cool down. On extremely warm or hot days you may need to allow the dough to return to the refrigerator in between rolling. The instructions are a guide, remember the ingredients are sensitive to climate, conditions of your work area, and even the tempature of all the ingredients. I use a thermometer to check the temperature, it should be around 17 degrees C/ 60 to 65 degreesF.
Croissants take practice to achieve that wonderful stretch triangle crescent shape, but once you have mastered the dough the possibilities of use are endless!
Pain au Chocolat, diamond shaped.
I want to thank Sarah of the Daring Bakers for choosing Simone Beck’s/Julia Chid’s Croissant recipe. Croissants are a staple in our household; it was a brilliant surprise to have it be a Daring Baker Challenge.