Croissants and pain au chocolat! Pic heavy

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by AngieChick, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Yesterday DH and I went to the local French Bakery and shelled out 2.50 each for some delicious croissants. When we got home I hunted out a recipe at my favorite food site http://www.epicurious.com/ and found a recipe that yielded the best croissants I have ever eaten. Not bad for a first attempt at croissant baking. So, here goes. I did make a few changes in the directions from the original.

    You will need to set aside the day to make these, most of the time is spent with the dough chilling in the fridge, but it does need attention for a few minutes here and there.

    Side note: Buster, if you make these you will get Big Dividends from your DW, and possibly be propelled from House Husband to House Cooking Diety [​IMG]

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (105-110deg)
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 TBS plus 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
    3 3/4 - 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    1 TBS salt (or 1/2 tsp. if using salted butter)
    3 sticks cold butter (totalling 1 1/2 cups) - 3 sticks of pure artery clogging yumminess.


    Make dough:

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    Stir together warm milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl and let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes). Add 3 3/4 cups flour & salt and mix either by hand or in a stand mixer on a low speed with a dough hook. I used Bruno, my KitchenAid. If mixing by hand, once the dough is a sticky mass, take it out and knead it by hand on a floured surface until it is a smooth dough. If mixing by machine, once the dough is smooth knead it by hand for a couple of minutes to finish it off, adding as much flour as needed to make a soft, sticky dough (I didn't have to add any, in fact my kneading surface was only very lightly floured). Form dough into a rectangle about an inch and a half thick, wrap it in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. I learned the hard way that layers of plastic wrap isn't enough, when I pulled my dough out of the refridgerator part of it was puffing out of broken plastic wrap.

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    After the dough has chilled for an hour, Roll it out to a rectangle 10" x 16", leave it in there and start shaping the butter. Line the sticks up horizontally so that the ends touch on a floured surface, lightly flour the tops and pound it with a rolling pin until it softens to where you can roll it. Make sure you have enough flour on the board so that it won't stick and roll it out to a 8 x 5" rectangle, I fudged it a bit and rolled out the butter to about 2/3 the size of the dough.

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    Brush the extra flour off the butter and place it on the dough, in the middle or the top 2/3, depending on how big you rolled it out. Fold the dough into 3rds, like a letter.
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    Turn the dough, pound it down a bit (so that you don't crack the butter) with a rolling pin and roll it out again to a 10x16" rectangle. Fold it into thirds again and repeat once more. After it is folded the final time, wrap it back up in the plastic wrap and chill for an hour. Do the pound, roll, fold, chill cycle 3 more times.

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    For the final chill leave it in the refridgerator overnight. I actually cheated here and only left it in the fridge for 3 hours, and they still turned out fine. After the final chill, pull out the dough and cut into 4ths. Put 3 of the sections back into the fridge while working on each in turn.

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    For croissants: Roll out the dough until nice and thin, cut into 3 sections using a pizza cutter and then cut each section in half diagonally.

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    Shape each triangle by tugging at the corners, and cut a notch in the bottom. Roll up the croissants, leaving a little tail in the front.

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    For Penee Chocolat: Roll out dough thin, cut into rectangles about 1 x 3" and put little chunks of chocolate in the middle of each rectangle. Fold up sides.

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    Put on a baking sheet with parchment paper on the bottom for the final rise. Put the full baking sheet into a new trash bag, with inverted glasses propping up the plastic inside so that it won't touch the dough. Let rise another hour or so.

    Preheat oven to 400degrees. Brush croissants with an egg & milk glaze. Arrange oven racks so that they are in thirds. Place one sheet of croissants on the top rack, one on the lower rack and bake for 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, switch the baking sheets places and lower heat to 375. Bake another 10 minutes. Pull out and enjoy.

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    [​IMG]
     
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    16,153
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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    I want to make some of those. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    oh good gravy! i need croissants! [​IMG]
     
  5. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Quote:Oh yes, you do! But maybe not with gravy, that sounds kinda gross [​IMG]

    They look a lot more complicated to make then they really were. Pounding the dough with the rolling pin was especially fun.

    The kids counted out exactly how many each family member gets, heaven forbid they get shortchanged a croissant [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  6. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    Quote:that sounds familiar! [​IMG]

    make it easy. tell them the croissants are only for you. [​IMG]
     
  7. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I tried that, the little monsters didn't even acknowledge that I said it! They were obviously raised all wrong, what can I say (DH included, he gobbled up 2 last night as soon as they came out). Iggy piggies all.
     
  8. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    well, in that case, you need to hide some! [​IMG]

    put them in Bran Flakes boxes. no one will ever suspect or even want to look!
     
  9. wishin4chicken

    wishin4chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    119
    Jun 20, 2008
    Hayden Lake, Idaho
    Those are beautiful! I'll definitely try your recipe next week. Lucky me! A friend just gave me a pound bar of Trader Joe's bittersweet chocolate.

    I hear croissants calling my name!! [​IMG]

    Michele.
     
  10. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    Those are gorgeous! [​IMG] I usually leave croissants to the professionals.

    I'm guessing I know where you went. Have you tried St. Honore in Portland?

    I nearly cried...their baking is perfect.
     

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