I’m not really sure where the love for these came from or the fascination of creating them. I mean I fancy some things fancy…like most….but these. These are kind of the most exquisite start to my morning. This and a nice espresso. And my husband. And my puppy.
The first time I really remember falling in love with these, like most things delicious, was on a Disney cruise ship at the coffee bar. They have croissants that come to your room for breakfast and croissants on the buffet at Cabanas but there is no croissant like the big fluffy, flakey croissants from the coffee bar. You walk in smelling the salty sea and it immediately turns over into coffee and café sway music and is just 100% delightful. The sun is barely up yet, the husband is groggily waking up to my excited pleas of breakfast and soaking up every minute of our vacation. It’s beautiful.
So, the other place I MUST mention for awesome croissants was at Palo brunch on the Disney cruise ship. Our waiter was so kind in mentioning, “if you’re interested the best thing you can do is go get a chocolate truffle or two off the dessert bar and a warm croissant from the buffet and insert the truffle into the croissant.” To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure if he was kidding or not…I mean this was a fancy brunch that started with a nice glass of champagne….the kind that you don’t even consider putting your elbows on the table and you always have to keep track of your napkin….but I didn’t care. I was so on this and it was every bit as good as it sounds. I’ve tried to replicate…but it just can’t be replicated until we go back ☺ and then it’s totally first thing.
Back to these croissants. These are an achievement. And a frustration. And never perfect and take a ton of time to make.
Fortunately for me, time is what I had this weekend. I had a beautiful and needed weekend home with my husband and my dog, ‘Quila. I even had my husband help me make them perfectly…dimensions….and cutting…and rise time and all.
And they failed. Because they are croissants.
We followed the recipe perfectly, from a very well-known source. It was not the recipe itself, it was not not following directions, it was the part of the recipe that’s never written. It was the fact that it was not quite warm enough in our house to rise as quickly as the recipe said. I had a glimpse of a thought to let them rise longer but went with “if that’s what the recipe said, so shall it be done.” Nope. They didn’t cook through. (Hindsight I should have kept them and made them into a bread pudding but got so mad they all went in the trash).
I was so upset…all that time. But what a lesson. Life’s not perfect but I still got to spend all that time home with my husband and ‘Quila and it was perfect.
To finish the story, I was urged to start them again in that moment and not even look back. I said no feeling too much time had been “wasted”. It only took a few hours for me to sleep on it until realizing I was being more difficult than the twisted recipe for croissants and woke at 3 am to start again. There was plenty of wonderful moments in this whole process and this weekend. I feel so lucky to have my husband and pup by my side.
So here’s the recipe. Good luck. They are completely worth it and you can definitely do it but it might take a few tries!
Without further ado…..
500 grams all purpose flour
36 grams sugar
10 grams instant yeast
16 grams plus 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
300 grams plus 1 tbl whole or 2% milk, room temperature and divided
70 grams Irish butter, unsalted, melted and cooled
One recipe Butter Block (follows)
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, yeast, and 16 grams salt. Add 300 grams milk and melted butter stirring until flour is absorbed. Turn out mixture onto an unfloured surface and knead 4 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap in ball shape and let rest in room temperature about 45 minutes.
- Place dough in well buttered bowl and turn to coat with butter and cover with lid. Refrigerate overnight.
- Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle. Roll dough into a 15 3/4 x 9 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 10 minutes.
- For the first turn, place dough on lightly floured surface with short side facing you. Unfold chilled butter block from envelope and place in center. Fold top and bottom sides of dough over butter block so seems meet in the middle. Pinch seam closed and pinch closed right and left sides of envelope.
- Turn dough 90 degrees so sealed center is perpendicular to you. Roll dough into a 15 3/4 x 9 1/2 in rectangle.
- Fold top third of dough down over center and fold bottom third of dough up over top to make a 9 1/2 x 6 in rectangle. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Then freeze 20 minutes.
- For the second turn, repeat steps 5 and 6.
- For the final turn, place dough on work surface with one short side facing you and roll into a 15 3/4 x 9 1/2 in rectangle. Fold top and bottom sides of dough until almost to center leaving 3/4 in gap. Fold bottom up over top as if closing a book and you should have a 9 1/2 x 4 in rectangle. Return dough to baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour and freeze 20 minutes.
- Place dough on work surface with long side facing you. Roll into a 20 1/2 x 9 3/4 in rectangle and trim to a neat 20 x 9 1/2 in rectangle.
- Using a knife, mark top edge every 5 inches. Starting 2 1/2 inches from the left, mark bottom edge every 5 inches. Connect the dots and cut dough. Place two smaller pieces on outside together and pinch both sides. You should have 8 triangles. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze 15 minutes.
- Place a triangle on work surface and roll until it is 12 1/2 inches long. Fold in bottom corners about an inch up, towards each other and begin to roll up from bottom. Stretch final 1 1/2 inch of dough and place on outside of roll. Let rise at room temperature AT LEAST 3 hours (or in proofing over) until 1 1/2 times their volume. Freeze 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange croissants on a parchment lined baking sheet (only four at a time) and place remaining in the refrigerator.
- In a small bowl, whisk an egg, 1 tbl milk, and 1/8 tsp salt and apply to croissants with a pastry brush.
- Bake croissants 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!
340 grams Irish butter, unsalted and cold
31 grams all purpose flour
- Cut a 20 inch long piece of parchment paper and fold the long way in half (so the two short ends meet up). Then fold over the three open sides to create an 8 inch square envelope.
- In a stand mixer beat the butter and flour at medium speed about 1 minute.
- Scrape mixture onto center of parchment and keep a 1/2 in border on all edges. Roll mixture in parchment envelope about 1/4 in thick. Freeze 20 minutes.
Whew. Made it.