Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homemade Puff Pastry & Croissants!

I have a long list of goals for this summer, since I'm not taking classes, & my work hours are pretty measly. Might as well take advantage of my free time, right?! One of them is to make puff pastry & croissants from scratch, since it is a time-consuming feat of baking & patience. Thanks to my sister & the Grand Central Baking Book, I've done it! I went ahead & made the largest 3-pound batch that's in the book, so I can give a roll each to my sister & my friend Coral.

Though there isn't a recipe in the book for croissants, I learned from King Arthur Flour that there are two ways to make them, one with a yeasted dough, & one with puff pastry, which is just made up of flour, butter, salt, sugar, & moisture (ice water & lemon juice, in this recipe). According to Coral, Grand Central likely makes their croissants with this same puff pastry dough, so I figured that's good enough for me.

I won't write the recipe on here, but I highly recommend this cookbook. It has a ton of pictures & the steps are clearly written. Here we go!

The ingredients:

The mound of flaky, buttery crumbs:

The same mound, after shaping & chilling:

The first roll:

Folding the dough:

This rolling, folding, & chilling is repeated a few times, then, depending on what you're doing with the puff pastry, you can roll it out & make tasty treats, or you can roll it in parchment & freeze it for later. I ended up rolling it into two large sheets for Smels & Coral, but used the scraps from the edges to make Ethan & I breakfast this morning...

Before baking:

And after:

The flavor was amazing---simple & buttery! I think they would have risen more, had I chilled them again before baking. The very centers were a tad doughy, but I learned a lot & hope to make them again very soon! Maybe chocolate croissants or cheese croissants...or jam-filled...so many tasty options.

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