Baking with Julia – Croissants

IMG_0181This was a three day labor of love and I could not be more excited about it! I made croissants! And they were de-fucking-licious! Yeah, I know it’s kind of ballsy to bust out the f-word in the first line of the post. I usually sneak it in towards the end if I’m going to use it at all but I can’t help it. I have to. I can’t contain it. Sometimes the f-word comes from a place of joy and excitement and not a place of annoyance and hate and this is one of those times!

I was really looking forward to this recipe since it features two of my favorite things in the world:  butter & yeast. If you’ve seen me from behind, it’s clear that butter and me are old pals and yeast? Me and yeast go way back! I know some people are scared of it because it’s all “I’M ALIVE!” but I love it. It’s so weird and science-y! Practically the only science-y thing I like really. So I know this has probably been mentioned by a zillion other people but when this recipe was picked, all I could think about was this:

Obviously Meryl is working in a commercial kitchen with a dough roller-outer thingy and I’m working with this:

IMG_0167And some good ol’ elbow grease of course! I pushed all the crap that usually hangs out under the window aside so that I would have ample rolling room and we were off! On Monday night I mixed up the dough in my stand mixer. Again, Candy struggled with this one. Like, really struggled. The dough kept coming up over the top of the hook attachment and I would have to stop the machine and push it down. After it came together I put it to bed in the fridge overnight and in the morning it looked like this:

IMG_0168I was a little worried because it hadn’t really risen or anything and because I used skim milk (yipes!!) in the dough instead of whole. I’m not opposed to whole or anything, I was just out. I love the shot of all the butter that’s about to get whipped into submission. I can’t resist.

IMG_0166The dough and the butter made friends on Tuesday morning and then had to chill out for the day in the fridge because there was a snowstorm here and I ended up having to work. When you only live 6 blocks away it never really works to cite “inclement weather” as an excuse to not show up.

IMG_0170I know it looks like a lot but if you think about it spread out over like 24 croissants, chances are you’re only eating about 1-2 tablespoons and is that really so bad? If you’re saying “Yes! That’s terrible!” we can’t be friends. Leave now, you will not like anything I’ve made in the past or will make in the future. Fact.

IMG_0172I know it was a lot of work, but I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed every step of this process. I don’t want to make them every day or anything but I would definitely make them again and I think the investment of time is worth it if you like what you’re doing. I found the dough really easy to work with and I gotta say, I would make a dozen batches of croissants before I made rugelach again. Cream cheese dough = finicky while I found croissant dough to be pretty dreamy.

This morning I got up, got the dough out and made my little rolls. I know they are all the traditional crescent moon shape but some of them do have bittersweet chocolate inside. I got carried away with the pizza cutter and had cut the whole batch into triangles before I even thought of it. Plus, Meryl’s chocolate croissants are crescent shaped so I don’t feel too bad.

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I hauled these babies to work with me and baked them there so I could torment all the shoppers with the buttery delicious smell and then only share them with our wine rep and my friends. Yeah, sometimes I’m mean like that.

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This week’s host is Amanda over at Girl + Food = Love and she’ll have the recipe for any of you that want to brave 4 1/2 sticks of butter and a big chunk of time. I think it’s worth it.

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14 thoughts on “Baking with Julia – Croissants

  1. That stinking storm totally screwed up my flying yesterday. (Was flying home from Houston via Chicago – what a mess!)
    You totally rocked the croissants and totally deserve every moment of excitement you can eke out of the experience.

  2. They look sooo D-fucking-licious, I would gladly eat a few a them. I don’t think I have your energy and patience to make them, though.

  3. Good job Maggie, always fun to read your posts. I am out in Idaho, flying home this afternoon. Want a new mixer? I saw one in the skymall mag., hand painted like a leopard for only $1,900. Dad

  4. Awesome. Just awesome! I love your enthusiasm about this, and it makes me want to try them. Maybe I will the next time we get a make-up Tuesday. Seriously, these are great, and they look expletive-worthy delicious! Fantastic work!

  5. Making croissants always makes me feel super accomplished! Great job! They are beautiful. Mine are in the fridge now, waiting for their final rolling and shaping. I can almost taste them already.

  6. Your picture of the butter made me laugh..it really is so much butter but I rationalized like you did! 🙂 They were a lot of work but delicious in the end. Yours turned out great!

  7. Fabulous post; I must try these- been traveling & somehow I do not see myself attempting these in the travel trailer!

  8. Great post, and simply beautiful croissants! So glad these worked out well for you. I will be posting mine later this week! We were traveling and I missed both my FF and my TWD recipes! Have a great week!

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