This series is about the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and the tucks and folds I make baking my first croissant. Along the way, there’ll be helpful insights and humor as things get messy. Hey, behind every great recipe there’s a great mess. There’ll also be one awesome croissant. Most recipes make 18-22 croissants, odds are one’ll be edible.
How Not To Make Croissants
Step 1: Don’t Even Try
Follow this step and you’re already a winner. If you have great bakeries nearby willing to do the work, save yourself the trouble. I thought croissants from scratch would be a cheap, easy birthday gift — they aren’t. Baking croissants is hard and time consuming, approximately 10 hours.
Sure, fresh home-baked croissants may taste sweeter. After all, there’s no substitute for hard work. But then, there’s always strawberry jam.
I stopped in Easy Tiger, over the weekend, to see what a good croissant should look and taste like. Call it research, tasty research. It’s the kind of work you want to bring home, about a half dozen or so.
Take a minute or two and enjoy the images of their flakey, wonderfully crusty croissants. If you start to drool, well that’s what sleeves are for.
Done? Good, me too. I asked the staff at Easy Tiger for tips, advice about the dough ahead and head baker, David Norman, shared his insights:
- Butter and dough should be [the] same consistency so that they move together when rolling them out. Soften the butter by beating with a rolling pin, but keep it cold.
- Between [the] first and second turns, don’t wait [too] long, 20–30 minutes, or the butter will get [too] hard and will crack instead of moving with the dough.
- Be as precise as possible in your folds, line up the edges into even rectangles — sloppy edges get exaggerated later in the folding and rolling out.
- Use good quality butter. If you are going to the work of making them, it is worth spending a little more on Plugra or another European cultured butter…. The higher butterfat in these butters makes for a flakey croissant.
Well it’s back to more research for me. Talk about hard work.
Look for Step 2, in the next two weeks. I’ll discuss recipes and explain how you can join me for Step 3. If you want a little more, here’s what’s coming soon.
Easy Tiger was the first bakery I contacted for this post because I love the phrase, “easy tiger.” It means, “relax,” “slow down,” “take it easy.” In my head they’re slogan’s — Easy Tiger, you’ll love our bread.
They’re also the only bakery I contacted since they said, “Yes.” Yvonne Sharik, general manager, David Norman, head baker, and Sarah Morrison, lead barista, made writing this post a great deal of fun.
All pictures, except the one immediately above, were taken at Easy Tiger. It means a lot more to me now, so it’s my pleasure to share what Easy Tiger means to those that work there:
[We] truly want to give people on 6th St. a place to slow down, stay a while and enjoy what we have to offer.
Everything we do from our house baked breads, cured meats and 33 drafts are a labor of love and a product of true craftsmanship. [We] feel so fortunate that we can share our passions with so many!
— Yvonne Sharik, General Manager
images by I.M.
© Chic Prune 2015
Types of croissants and other details are listed in the captions, so don’t miss them.
Like what you read, leave a comment below or contact me privately. Cheers. — I.M.