I have to admit, no matter how much I would like to say that I keep up with every single thing on my to-do list, the Daring Bakers’ Challenges had taken a back seat for a while. September was flying by and I remembered to check to see what the challenge was. Boy, I was in for a sweet challenge! Croissant has been on my must-try list. So I did not hesitate to devote 12 hours to kneading, rolling out, folding, rolling out again and folding.
Blog-checking lines: 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!
The recipe source is Julie Child&Simone Beck’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume Two, page 96). I am attaching the recipe here with step by step pictures given to us by Sarah. If you have the book, enjoy the whole 8 pages of the recipe!
Just to give you an idea, here is the timeline of making croissants. Luckily, you can break it into two or three days by resting the dough in the fridge after two steps. I completed the recipe in one day, finally baking the croissants at 10pm. Next time, I will arrange it such that, the final rest happens in the fridge overnight, so that I can just take it out and bake it in the morning.
Making dough, 10 mins
First rise, 3 hours
Kneading and folding, 5 mins
Second rise, 1.5 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Rolling in the butter (turns one and two), 15 mins
First rest, 2 hours
Turns three and four, 10 mins
Second rest, 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Forming croissants, 30 mins
Final rise, 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
Baking, 15 mins
I also want to point out the culinary legend about the croissants. It is said that this pastry was invented by the Viennese to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman army after the Battle of Vienna. The crescent shape of the pastry refers to the crescents on the Ottoman flag. That siege did not only bring croissants but also coffeehouse to Vienna. Back then, the Ottoman sultans would travel with all the food items they needed for the army. When the Ottoman army was defeated, they left lots of bags of coffee behind. Using this coffee, Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki opened the first coffeehouse in Vienna and the third one in Europe.
Hope you try this recipe and enjoy the freshly baked flaky croissants. I appreciated the end result and will not say anymore “Seriously, it is just a croissant, do I have to pay 4 bucks for a piece of pastry?” when I get one from the French bakery in town. Better yet, I will not buy it again because I will be making this at home quite often.