I’ve been watching a show about Julia Child, and that made me seek out YouTube videos to watch her actual cooking show. (She’s delightful.) In one of them, she was making croissants, and I wanted to give them another go. I’ve made them once before and they were….ok. I don’t really like to eat them, I’m just fascinated by the process of making them. I looked at several recipes and cobbled them together. I only wanted a small batch, since you know – I don’t really like them. One recipe said, “Don’t halve this recipe.” You’re not the boss of me, recipe guy. I thirded it.
So, you make a dough, and after it’s rested for a bit, you roll it into a rectangle and chill it a long time. You also flatten some butter to be 1/2 the size of the dough. They both need to be cold and about the same texture when you do this. (If you want a recipe, you should look other than here.) Then you fold and seal the dough around the butter and let it chill again.
The next steps are called ‘turns’. This is where the recipes all got super-fussy about timings and such. “Half an hour in the fridge” or “this needs eight hours or overnight”. Good grief. I just wanted to see the laminated layers! I rolled and chilled as I though was appropriate.
When you ‘turn’ it three times, your dough-butter layers go from 1 to 3 to 9 to 27. I made two croissants and tried to make a Butter Braid – a pastry that we sell at the Center for a fundraiser. Oh, I should mention that I forgot to add salt to the recipe, dang it!! I tried to make up for it by putting some salt on the layers. That did not work well.
Well, it turns out that I don’t know how to make a butter braid correctly. That rectangle should have been a LOT wider and the strips would have been much longer and would have actually criss-crossed.
As it baked, the strips opened up and it looked like an alien had just burst from someone’s chest. I cackled when I saw it in the oven. So gross…..
Ha! It was terrifying to see and not very good due to the lack of salt, but check out the lamination on the croissant on the left. Beautiful! Maybe I’ll try again, maybe not.
It’s like you’re not cooking… you’re experimenting with materials that make food. The goal isn’t eating -- it’s science. You’re like Alton Brown 🙂
Also, that one picture with the butter -- that looks like a LOT of butter.