The Distracted Cooks Makes Croissants!

There you have it! A tray of croissants. I never thought the day would come that The Distracted Cook would even attempt such a thing, much less actually do it. Well….

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!

We were encouraged to use the original recipe, and Sarah even included a link to a video showing Julia Child making them also. I wish I could say mine turned out as lovely as I am sure Julia’s were. Not even close, but they are good.

One of the fun parts of the recipe was slamming the dough down on the board about 10 times before putting it in a large bowl to rest for a while, well, actually it was three hours!

Here is the dough right before the plastic bag was placed over the bowl until the dough had tripled in size.

After taking the dough out of the bowl and pressing it into a rectangle, I folded the dough like a letter. Top third down and the bottom third up and on top. And the, back into the bowl for another rest. This resting is good – you can clean the kitchen and dream of hot flaky croissants for breakfast – or dessert if you put a square of chocolate in them.

After the dough has rested, place it in the refrigerator on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Take a stick of well chilled butter and flatten it out on the counter. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and unroll it and spread it into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Place the large rectangle of butter that you flattened onto the dough. Fold it into thirds as before, and then turn it 90 degrees. After you have it turned, roll it out again to the full 14 x 8 inches and folded it again, wrap it in plastic and back into the refrigerator it goes for another two hours.

After another two hours in the refrigerator, it is time to cut and shape the croissants. Cut the dough into two rectangles, placing one back in the refrigerator. Roll the remaining dough out until it is 15 x 5 inches. Cut it into thirds, which will give you three 5×5 inch squares. Place two of these squares in the refrigerator to keep cool. Cut the remaining square into two triangles. Roll one up from the long end to the point. There you have it! It’s beginning to look like a croissant!
Roll, cut, and shape the rest of the dough and place on a buttered cooking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour. In the meantime heat your over to 475 degrees . Mix an egg with one teaspoon water, and lightly brush the tops of the croissants. Put them into the preheated oven and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes. And then — NO, let them cool on a rack! Then you get to eat them!
If you would like to try this recipe or join in the fun with the Daring Bakers, just visit The Daring Kitchen. Here you will find the recipe and pictures of some of our efforts. And you can sign up right there and join us in the Daring Kitchen for the next challenge. See you there!