Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Bonjour. Je m'appelle Ashley. Ok, that might be the extent of my French, even after a full year of introductory French in college (time well spent). Ever since seeing "Beauty and the Beast" when I was a little girl, I've loved French culture. And, yes, I know that I shouldn't base French culture off that movie, I'm just saying that's where my interest started. 

I'll admit, on my "12 before I'm 28 list", the three French dishes, croissants, macarons, and Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, are the most intimidating to me. The Beef Bourguignon being the scariest. I read the recipe and there are techniques on there that I've never even heard of. I'm going to have to study for that one...
Out of the three, I figured croissants was the one I could try with the highest likelihood of success. Baby steps.
The day I made them, I was going to go for a walk with a friend later that afternoon and figured I could bring her over some of my croissants. It wasn't until I read the recipe over again that I realized they would not be finished by then. The recipe I found takes about 8 hours all together. Not 8 active hours (don't freak out), but it is an all day event. Luckily, I was able to time it where during one of the 2 hour increments that the dough was supposed to sit, I would be able to go out and take my walk. 
Despite the time commitment, I'm very glad I made them. They were delicious, and eaten up very quickly by Joe and I. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't have time to bring them over to my friends place. More for me and Joe :) Not to be selfish or anything...

From All Recipes
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. warm water
3 tsp. white sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 egg
1 Tbs. water

Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 tsp. of the sugar. Let stand until frothy.

Dissolve 2 tsp. sugar and salt in the warm water. In a separate bowl, mix this with the flour, along with the yeast and the vegetable oil. Knead until smooth, then cover and let rise until triple in volume. Deflate, and then let rise again until double in volume. Deflate again, and then chill for 20 minutes.
Soften the butter. Take the dough and form into a rectangle. Smear butter over the top two thirds, fold, turn 90 degrees, and form into another rectangle. While the original recipe didn't call for this, I buttered the top two thirds again. Fold again. Sprinkle with flower, and place in plastic bag or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Unwrap, deflate, and sprinkle with flour. Fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and fold again. Wrap, and chill for another 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Shape the croissants by forming the dough into a rectangle. Cut into squares, and then cut those squares in half crosswise. 
Roll into croissant form. If you want to make chocolate croissants (which I highly recommend), place some chocolate chips on the triangles before you roll them.
Place the shaped croissants on a baking sheet, and let rise until puffy. Beat the egg together with 1 Tbs. of water, and glaze the croissants with the egg wash.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. 
Next time, I'm either going to make all of these chocolate croissants, or make some with cheese and prosciutto. I saw a prosciutto and gruyere croissant recipe on pinterest that looks amazing. I might share that one at a future date :)


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