Strolling through Paris nibbling on buttery, flaky croissants while taking in breathtaking scenery and chic Paris street style just might not be scribbled into your bullet journal “to do”list today, but killer perfect croissants can and should be a part of this week’s menu plan.
Too many people scoff at the idea of making homemade croissants, thinking they’re too much work, hassle, or beyond their own culinary abilities. Take it from me, anyone can make perfect butter croissants. My homemade croissants post is still a top 10 hit on Jellibean Journals…for good reason. They’re that darn delish. And honestly don’t require a huge commitment on your part.
Now, this post is not about how to bake croissants, the turning techniques, or baking time. If you want that info, check out my oldie but goodie croissant recipe here.
Still with me? Alrighty. This article is all about how to really rock your croissants- take them from Betty Crocker to Pierre Hermé, that is, if he makes croissants. (All I know in my humble home a sea’s distance from the Eiffel Tower is that his macarons are top-notch). I digress… If you want to perfect your croissants, here are my tried and true tips.
Warm up the croissant dough.
Croissant dough typically refrigerates a few hours or overnight before the thin square of butter (block) is wrapped into it. Firm, cold dough doesn’t roll out well and resists “accepting” the butter. Take your dough out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before rolling it out and introducing the butter block.
Sprinkle the butter block with flour.
Generally, to shape the butter, I place room temperature butter sticks into a quart Ziplock bag and roll them out with a rolling pin to fit the rectangular shape of the bag. Adding 2-3 tablespoons of flour to the bag with the butter helps the butter to merge better into the dough once you get to wrapping it in dough. Just snip the sides of the bag and pop the perfectly shapen butter right onto your rolled dough.
More turns early on
While the room temperature butter and slightly warmer dough and being wrapped and rolled out for the first set of turns, their consistencies are very similar- in fact, the more the textures of both are similar, the better time you’ll have rolling and turning the dough. In my experience, this is the prime time to do a few extra book turns to the dough, as the butter is nice and soft and less likely to “cut” into the dough.
Please excuse the coffee dribbles. I’m still working on the action shots.
Let it rest
The hardest part of baking croissants is the waiting game. Be patient. The dough needs to relax between turns and to warm up a bit (~15 min.) before you complete a turn. Be sure to follow instructions and allow dough to rest as indicated to create the most lovely flaky textured butter croissants. It’s worth it!
Bake to golden
Nothing ruins a potentially perfect croissant more than under-baking. Be sure that your buttery beauties are golden, not pale yellow, when you remove them from the oven. When in doubt, bake a few minutes longer. Think more 80’s sun-kissed summer glow and less porcelain doll skin tone.
Be like the Little Engine that Could
If something goes wrong and your croissants don’t turn out quite like you’d hoped, give it another try! Plenty of mishaps, misshapen croissants, butter oozing croissants, flat croissants and similar experiences have led me to croissant success today. Like my husband always says fail forward!