I have spent the last week worrying about whether I was going to get my long-term visa for France or not, or rushing back and fro from the French embassy, and finally, after a month and a half of waiting, I have gotten it! It was such a relief that we already started preparing things I need to bring, even though I'm not leaving for another two weeks. We've bought so much stuff over the last week -- towels, bedsheets, a mini kettle, a mini iron, etc -- I think if I suddenly had to leave tomorrow, I'd probably be ready to. When I finally do go though, I must remember to smuggle out my measuring cups and spoons, because I am adamant to find some way to continue baking while I'm there.
This blog has been alive for nearly two weeks now, and I reckoned it was about time I tried to make its namesake. I've tried making croissants before, maybe a year or so ago, and the results were horrendous. They somehow turned into a greasy, grey mess and were practically inedible -- needless to say, that experience scarred me and I never wanted to attempt making croissants again. Perhaps one day I'll take a real pastry class and learn properly, but otherwise I'm wary about making real croissants at home. This is probably the wrong country to make proper pastry in though, as the heat makes it impossible to keep the butter and the dough ice-cold at all times.
I then found a recipe for Simple Croissants on Snippets and it seemed less daunting so I decided to give it a go. They were surprisingly good: a little bready and not as flaky as you'd want a perfect croissant to be, but good enough to satiate a croissant craving. I misread the recipe and accidentally tossed in two eggs instead of one, and also forgot to knead the dough after taking it out of the fridge, but they still seemed to turn out all right. Not as pretty as the ones on Snippets, of course, but I obviously still need lots and lots of practice. However, it is lovely that you can make the dough the night before and then bake them in the morning and have fresh croissants for breakfast.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 32 rolls
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups cold butter, divided
5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tbsp water
Proof yeast in warm water for 5-10 min. Melt 1/4 cup butter and add to yeast mixture along with 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, milk and 1 egg. Stir until smooth.
Put remaining 4 cups flour in a large bowl and cut in 1 cup of cold butter until you get coarse crumbs. Add to yeast mixture and combine until well incorporated making sure not to over mix or knead. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 8 hours (or overnight).
Punch dough down and score into four sections. Take one section out and knead on a lightly floured surface 6 times. Roll out into a 16 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges. Roll wedges up starting at the wide end. Place point side down on an ungreased baking sheet and curve to form a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise for one hour.
Beat the remaining egg with 1 tbsp of water and brush over rolls. Bake for 20-25 min at 325°F, until lightly brown.
Terribly lighted photo (one day I must really buy a DSLR, my point-and-shoot is way past its glory days), but this is just an attempt to show the innards of the croissant, it is quite light and fluffy.