Croissants

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First attempt at croissants = success.
They are not difficult, however they are extremely Time Consuming due to extensive rolling requirements and needing to regularly refrigerate the dough in 20 min intervals in order to keep it cold.

Pain.

Good news is that before the final rolling, the dough apparently freezes remarkably well, so perhaps making tons of it and then freezing for easier, less painless use in the future would be worth one day of misery.

But ohhhhhh, you forget the misery when you eat them, so maybe I shouldn’t worry too much…

My only other complaint with this recipe is that you end up not using the “ends” of the dough after the cutting. I made two more croissants out of the extra bits, just by sorta shoving them together and pressing them into each other. They weren’t uniform, but after all the work I put into the dough, no way was I going to waste any!

On that note, it seems to me that there should be an easier way to the whole measuring-triangles thing. Next time I might say “to the swamps with conformity” and just eyeball it and forget the ruler. Who cares if they don’t all come out the same size? The people eating them tonight ate them too fast to notice how many they were eating let alone the size of them. 😛

And speaking of size, these made a very nice dinner-roll type size. Good to eat on the side, but not suitable for sandwiches. Unless you wanted tea sandwiches. Which would be really cool, now that I think about it. Three of these would about equal one Costco-sized, I’m thinking.

I will have to experiment more (ha!), but I just noticed something…I think this recipe leaves a slight buttery/ greasy layer aftertaste sort of deal in one’s mouth. It’s not bad, but I’d rather it not be there.

Croissants
(Makes 18)

1 1/2 cu (3 sticks) cold butter
2 T butter, softened
2 3/4 cu all-purpose flour plus 3 T, divided
1 cu warm whole milk (105-110 degrees)
1 (.25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 egg, lightly beaten (opt)

1) sprinkle cold butter with a little flour and beat with a rolling pin; work butter into a malleable mass, scraping work surface and rolling pin as needed
2) knead 3 T of flour into butter, working quickly to keep butter cold
3) place butter on plastic wrap and form 9×6″ rectangle; wrap and refrigerate
4) in small bowl whisk milk, yeast, and sugar; let stand 5 min
5) in large bowl mix together 2 3/4 cu flour, salt, and 2 T softened butter; make a well in the middle and pour in milk mixture
6) use a fork or hands to make a soft dough; transfer to floured surface and knead lightly, until smooth; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes
7) sprinkle dough with flour and roll into 15.5×8″ rectangle, sprinkling with flour as needed to keep from sticking
8) position dough with short side nearest you; place rectangle of butter on upper two thirds of dough, leaving 1″ dough border on top and sides
9) fold bottom third of dough up over butter, then top third (with butter) down, as if folding a letter; press all edges together to seal butter in dough; rotate so that the fold is on the left and seal on the right
10) give the dough two single turns*
11) wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes
12) give the dough two single turns
13) roll into a 24×12″ rectangle, about 1/4″ thick; let stand 5 min
14) cut dough lengthwise into two 24×6″ rectangles; refrigerate one strip on a baking sheet
15) with a long side nearest you, start from the left and mark along the bottom edge every 4.5″; mark top edge first at 2.25″, then every 4.5″
16) cut out triangles by cutting from lower left corner to first mark at the top, and continuing in zig-zag fashion down the dough; 9 triangles total
17) make a 1/4″ cut in the center of the short edge of each triangle
18) to roll croissants, gently stretch corners of short edge while rolling towards the point; curve ends to form crescent shape; repeat with all triangles, placing them on un-greased baking sheet 2″ apart
19) repeat steps 15-18 with second strip of dough
20) cover and let rise at room temp 1-1.5 hours
21) pre-heat oven to 375
22) brush croissants with egg; bake in bottom third of the oven 20-25 min, until golden brown
23) transfer to wire rack and cool completely

* ONE SINGLE TURN: with short side nearest you, roll dough into 18×8″ rectangle; fold bottom third up, top third down, and rotate dough so the folded edge is on the left

If at any point during the single turns the butter becomes soft, refrigerate dough for 10-15 min.

If you want to freeze the dough, doso after completing step 12, wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, then place in a sealed plastic bag. Thaw overnight in fridge before continuing.

If you want to freeze baked croissants, doso in sealed plastic bag for up to 1 mo. To reheat, bake 5 in in preheated 300 degree oven.

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