The other day I really really wanted some homemade chocolate croissants. It was a hankering that I just couldn’t shake. Truth is that I had never made them before so when I googled a recipe I was shocked to find that it would take about 14 hours to make them. I don’t have 14 hours to wait, I would be attacking the raw dough in the fridge at 2am.
So today I set out to find a method to make them faster and you know what? It worked! They were a little flatter than the ones that take forever and a day but in a pinch, when you have a craving or need them for a baby shower, they’re there.
This tutorial is just for the technique, not the recipe. Please remember that I am not a professional pastry chef. If you are one, please do not die laughing. Please.
I used this recipe from Epicurious. While the dough was mixing in my stand mixer I started rolling out the butter. Take three rectangles of wax paper and fold each one in half. Cut butter into pats and lay out on the open rectangle. Fold one side of the was paper over and gently roll over the butter to smash it and spread it out. If you roll quick and rough you’ll tear the wax paper.
Make a solid sheet of butter pressed between the wax paper and then put it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the dough. Do this three times.
Now let’s start working with the dough. Take your dough from your mixer and knead by hand for a few more minutes. Flatten the dough in to a thin disc and place it wrapped into the freezer for ten minutes. After 10 minutes pull it out and cut it into thirds. Keep one piece out, rewrap two pieces and put them back into the freezer.
Roll out the piece of dough into a rectangle. Yes.. I know mine is not really a rectangle. Look up at the top at the name of the blog and then you’ll understand a little bit more about my ability to make shapes.
Take one of the sheets of butter out of the fridge and place it, butter against the dough, onto the middle of your rectangle. Roll the wax paper to press it gently into the dough and then gently peel the wax paper away leaving the butter and dough there.
Now let’s start to fold. Take the bottom edge and fold it up over the butter.
Now take the top edge and fold it back over the butter and dough like an envelope.
Now roll out the dough horizontally and then vertically until you have another large rectangle.
Then fold it in the same way, like an envelope, once again. This is your first complete fold. If you were to do this the proper croissant style you would refridgerate this for a few hours and keeping folding this for several times. But we’re going to do it a different way.
Wrap this completed fold in saran wrap or freezer paper and place back in the freezer while you do the other two pieces of dough in the exact same way. Once done with each fold, place it back in the freezer for at least ten minutes.
When all three are done, you’re on the home stretch. Now we’re going to combine the three folds and make our croissants.
Stack all three folds of dough on top of each other.
Use the rolling pin to slightly indent several waves into the dough. This will keep it from slipping and sliding when you really start rolling it out.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle, cut it in half and work with a half at a time. Cut that dough into half again and then cut into 12 triangles, or more if you can’t count. Don’t count the ones above, it’ll be better that way.
Now you’re ready to roll them up starting at the big end of the triangle and rolling up to the small side. Place these on baking sheets and let them rise for at least an hour in a warm humid place. I put them in the oven with a cup of water in it that was warmed for only a few minutes.
When you just can’t wait any longer, preheat the oven to 375 and let back for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown.
Pull them out of the over, inhale the beautiful buttery aroma… and then devour them whole and warm.
The good thing is that rather than 14 hours, it took 4 including refrigerator time and rise time.
Bake and enjoy!