What else to do on a long bank holiday weekend other than baking?! Baking.
I had this crazy idea of making croissant from scratch long time ago, and now I have found the perfect chance to execute it!
Was it successful though? Keep on reading 😉
I followed the recipe on WeekendBakery website as it has the most comprehensive instructions etc and very nice step-by-step, close up pictures. If you’re a first timer interested in baking croissants, that website is definitely worth a look!
The whole process stretched over a span of 3 days, however it didn’t feel long as I only needed to spend very little time every day.
Day 1 – Preparation of dough and butter block
250g All purpose flour
70g whole milk (take it straight from the fridge)
20g butter (I used salted), softened
7g instant yeast
Just mix them all together, wet into dry, then knead until it comes into a smooth ball and stop! Very important not to over-knead as you don’t want too much gluten at this stage. Wrap it with cling film, proof in fridge overnight.
140g butter (straight from fridge)
Most of the recipes ask to use baking paper for this, but I didn’t have it, so I used a foil and a cling film. They worked fine. Cut the butter into small chunks of ~1cm thick, then arrange them to form a 14cm x 14cm square. No need to be too exact. Wrap it up with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2 – Laminating!
This is the day that determines if your croissants come out as croissants or enriched bread… I will skip the instructions as they are all on the Weekend Bakery website. Just look at the pictures!
So all together there are three turns, forming 27 layers. The following is the picture of my dough after the first, second and final turn.
Look similar, I know…
Day 3 – Shaping, final proofing and baking
This was the day I realised my croissants won’t be turning out as croissants. 😥
Anyway, shaping. Very easy, just cut and roll them up.
I brushed a layer of egg wash immediately after shaping, and then let them proof for 50 minutes until they were all puffed up and wobbly when I shake the baking sheet. Right before going into the oven, another layer of egg wash.
Then bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes,
Didn’t look bad at all!
That’s how the cross-section of my croissants looked like. 😥
The flavour was divine and texture was great for an enriched bread : crispy crust, inside light and soft. BUT they were not croissants!
This was my problem:
The reason this happened, which I found out later, was that the butter block was too hard and the dough too soft during the very first fold. They both should have the same pliability at that point. Also, during the second and third folds, the butter should be just soft enough to be rolled and to not melt but not rock hard.
Taking this on board, I will make another attempt and see how it goes!
Can’t wait! 😉