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Croissants – part two

March 30, 2012

CroissantsSo, in the last installment, we left our heroes teetering on the brink of being plunged into a hot oven.  Would they emerge golden and flakey, crumbling at the touch of a buttery knife?  Or would they be stodgy with not a paper-thin layer of baked dough in sight?  Would I have finally conquered my fear of croissant making?

Well pretty they ain’t.  Or weren’t….this is the second lot I baked as the first eight were devoured by hungry teens and yours truly.  I barely had time to whip the next lot outside for their culinary mug-shot, before they went the same way as the first.

Croissants

Time-consuming and a bit fiddly but I would urge everyone to have a go at making these.  If you have the house to yourself and don’t need to rush anywhere, get in the kitchen, put some music on and get stuck in.  The satisfaction of making these  superior pastries is not to be underestimated and your friends or family will love you for it, especially at breakfast-time.

I’m still to perfect the art of croissant-making but the step by step instructions from this month’s Fresh From the Oven Challenge set by Lavender and Lovage are excellent and have put me on the right track. I’m now croissant-making-phobia  free.

Croissants and plate

Top tips along the way

  • You can use a free-standing mixer with a dough hook for the kneading
  • Liberally flour your work surface
  • Dust off the residual flour as you fold the dough
  • Cover the dough in cling film when you put it in the fridge to rest to stop it drying out
  • Brush egg wash from middle to outside to make sure the layers can rise
  • Best eaten warm from the oven (and they are divine)

Croissants

So are you ready to make croissants?

56 Comments
  1. March 30, 2012 10:54 pm

    Oh, they look so good!
    So crispy and golden :)
    I had a fear of making them, but this recipe is truly great :)

    • March 31, 2012 8:05 am

      Yes it worked for me too Tina – yours looked beautiful.

  2. March 30, 2012 11:09 pm

    They look so professionally done. Don’t look home made at all.

    Fantastic effort Sally. I am seriously motivated now.

    • March 31, 2012 8:06 am

      Not sure about that! Don’t look too closely…I think there is a lot of work to be done on the presentation…but still – they tasted great. Go on – have a go.

  3. March 30, 2012 11:14 pm

    I’ve baked croissant a few times now and it’s definitely worth the time and effort. They are my go to treat for high days and holidays so looking forward to Easter as much for the croissants as the chocolate. I froze a batch of mine after first rise and although they weren’t quite as good defrosted but still better than supermarket bought. I’m afraid all this baking has made me a croissant snob so it’s home made or french bakery or not at all these days.

    • March 31, 2012 8:07 am

      Me too – a croissant snob that is. Most shop-bought ones have margarine (or another gruesome fat) rather than butter.

  4. March 31, 2012 12:24 am

    They look great, Sally! And buttery delicious!

  5. March 31, 2012 12:49 am

    Oh I can almost smell them-divine indeed!

    • March 31, 2012 8:08 am

      Thanks – they do fill the house with a lovely warm, buttery baking smell.

  6. glamglutton permalink
    March 31, 2012 1:17 am

    Your croissants look fantastic and having made some myself I know they are a massive challenge. Congratulations on wonderful looking pastries and for having amazing patience if you can face making more! Perhaps I should have another go. GG

    • March 31, 2012 8:08 am

      Yes do – go on, have a go!

  7. March 31, 2012 1:48 am

    Your croissants are perfect and your photos are divine……I am so pleased that this recipe seemed to work for you and I have to say that yours look absolutely amazing!

    • March 31, 2012 8:09 am

      Still rather rough round the edges but thanks Karen – your instructions were absolutely superb.

  8. March 31, 2012 1:55 am

    Wonderfully crispy! Your croissants are gorgeous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • March 31, 2012 8:10 am

      Praise indeed coming from an expert baker like you Rosa.

  9. March 31, 2012 8:17 am

    You’re too hard on yourself! These look gorgeous and impeccably professional. Dipped in some homemade (machine made ;) ) cappuccino, they’d rock my morning for sure. If you have any doubts about your flaky-seeming croissants, walk down to the nearest Lals or pick-your-tiny-grocery-store and buy one of those soft buns posing as croissants. You’ll probably be outraged at what they’ve just sold you…but then happy that you’ve got a homemade version that’s a 100 times more awesome.

    • March 31, 2012 8:25 am

      Thanks my dear – I’m only satisfied with a Baker & Spice one these days and the price is commensurate with the amount of time they take to make properly with good ingredients. If I can make my own version of their exquisite almond croissants, I’ll be very happy.

  10. March 31, 2012 9:53 am

    Sally, I think they look fantastic! I’ve never tried making croissants, and I’ve never had much luck with brioche – I’m just not particularly patient with multiple step processes. :) You really are a star fitting this in with how busy you’ve been in March!

    My culinary bugbear is torrone and nougat – we’ve almost had it right a few times, but just not perfect. We’re having a few years off before we try it again.. ;-)

    • March 31, 2012 10:46 am

      Aaah yes my OTHER bete noir – you mentioned the B word! Ha ha – I know what you mean about needing to steel yourself before another try.

  11. March 31, 2012 10:46 am

    These look so good – off to find part 1! Not sure if I am up to the challenge but you’ve gotta try right?!

    • March 31, 2012 10:50 am

      Most definitely – send me a pic if you do.

    • March 31, 2012 11:16 am

      Part one is here http://mycustardpie.com/2012/03/28/homemade-croissants/
      and yes it’s only through tackling some previously daunting baking challenges over the last two years with Fresh From the Oven that I’ve become more confident and daring with my baking. At times frustrating but usually so rewarding.

  12. March 31, 2012 11:45 am

    This is a reall art. Hats off to you for such a wonderful accomplishment.

    • March 31, 2012 12:03 pm

      Well I think I may have to make them quite a few more times to perfect them but thanks Faiza – I really enjoyed it.

  13. March 31, 2012 12:49 pm

    WOW, it looks excellent!! I will have to try this!

  14. March 31, 2012 5:57 pm

    They look wonderful.

  15. March 31, 2012 7:54 pm

    great results Sally! They do look very much the part :). I agree with you liking the Baker and Spice ones.. Have you tried the Bateel Cafe ones.. also amazing as they have a french baker as far as I know.
    HMMM so good

    • March 31, 2012 9:10 pm

      No I haven’t – it’s the B&S almond ones that have me seduced.

  16. March 31, 2012 8:37 pm

    They turned out great!! They look beautiful, Sally. No wonder they got devoured instantly.
    I can’t wait to make my own :)
    Thanks for all the useful tips Sally!

    • March 31, 2012 9:09 pm

      Well Karen from Lavender and Lovage deserves all the credit really – great instructions.

  17. March 31, 2012 9:36 pm

    They ARE pretty and I bet they were tasty. I jibbed out of this months FFTO as I can’t justify the intake of that much butter just at the moment, but I would love a croissant for breakfast. I’m glad you were more pleased with this batch.

    • March 31, 2012 10:10 pm

      I deliberately didn’t take another look at yours from the last time as I wouldn’t have posted mine! I don’t know how you have the patience to make them that neatly!! And yes…my croissant intake has been ridiculous this week…irrisistable.

  18. April 1, 2012 12:21 am

    These look so flaky and perfect! I love croissants, but was always too scared to make them. I must at least try!

  19. April 1, 2012 12:37 am

    These look lovely…I think there’s something about making your own croissants that makes them taste twice as nice!

  20. April 1, 2012 12:40 am

    These look great! I like the way you kept us in suspense, though I didn’t seriously doubt there would be a happy ending :-) All this talk of Baker and Spice is making me jealous. But on the other hand, we do have a Hobbs House shop in our town!

    • April 1, 2012 7:36 am

      Such kind words – I DID doubt so very glad they turned out well. You must be in Gloucestershire then? My home county.

      • April 1, 2012 2:46 pm

        Yes, we live just outside Cirencester, where Hobbs House have an outlet now. We used to buy from them quite a lot until my bread-making really took off (or got ouf of control, depending on your point of view)

  21. Dima Sharif permalink
    April 1, 2012 8:24 am

    They do look good Sally :) I can almost taste them!!

    • April 1, 2012 8:33 am

      Thanks Dima – not a single one left!

  22. April 1, 2012 2:15 pm

    Your croissants cannot be more perfect! Well done and congratulations!!!!

  23. April 1, 2012 10:02 pm

    I am full of admiration, Sally. Croissants have always frightened me too, although I’ve never tried making them. But, armed with your help, I’m going to give them a try.
    P.s. Do you remember those funny little cardboard tubes of triangular-shaped pieces of croissant dough, from the 1970s? I thought they were the height of sophistication!

  24. April 1, 2012 11:36 pm

    You are a bold woman Sally, they look great and every inch the part of flaky and crumbly and ‘French’. Well done

  25. April 2, 2012 8:22 am

    Sally – my Friday came a bit too late, hence the first thing that I did in the morning was to read all about your croissants. Was more interested in seeing them in colour. They look delicious and beautiful – I can almost smell them and taste the jam and feel the mess all around as it crumbles.

    What’s next?

  26. April 3, 2012 5:47 pm

    wow how beautiful – I admire anyone who can bake a perfect croissant! beautiful blog too and pics! S x

    • April 4, 2012 7:30 am

      Thanks Sumayya – It’s stretched my baking skills but given me a spring in my step.

  27. April 4, 2012 10:58 pm

    my dad used to make these! Such inspiration and beautiful photography too!

    Im afraid I just cant match the croissants, but I do make amazing called Filthy Brownies (cookie dough, rolos and brownie mix!) I’ve actually put the recipe online to share….

    Anyway thank you for inspiration to give croissant making a go!

    Laura x

    • April 5, 2012 12:53 pm

      Thanks Laura – really appreciate your comment…what a clever Dad to have. My Dad could only cook 2 things! People can click the link to your url to see your recipe.

  28. April 7, 2012 1:07 am

    They look divine! Have always wanted to perfect the art of croissant making too; and although I have come close mine have never looked this good! Will have to give it another go!

  29. April 7, 2012 6:13 pm

    Sounds like the proof of the pudding was in the eating if the rest got scoffed so fast! Fingers crossed I’m doing this month’s FFTO, got half the ingredients weighed out downstairs although I’m kicking myself I didn’t manage them before Good Friday.

  30. April 8, 2012 7:01 pm

    ooooo i am ever so scared to even get into the baking realm of things…. bravo for overcoming your phobia, I have yet to tackle mine…. perfect measurements scare me, but I do hope to overcome that phobia before this year ends…
    lovely pics Sally

  31. April 9, 2012 2:44 pm

    Amazing! Been catching up on posts, and this looks so good! Kudos to you for baking these gorgeous-looking creations.

  32. ginger and scotch permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:42 pm

    How did I miss this post? I’m reminded of my first (and only) croissant making experience while reading yours. Of course yours are much better looking :)

    • April 22, 2012 8:55 pm

      No way – I was inspired to try again by your amazing croissants and envious that you said they were so easy!

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