I had some friends over for French food to celebrate our first anniversary of the Paris trip, so what is a French meal sans croissants?
I used the recipe from Better Homes & Gardens - I hadn't made any breads lately, and I knew it was time for something challenging. And these were pretty challenging. I was a little worried that they wouldn't turn out as flaky and beautiful as croissants I've bought before, but that was all for naught - they turned out just lovely.
First, you take three sticks of butter and roll them out between two sheets of wax paper.
I used my awesome Dutch butter from the farmers' market. You chill the butter, then sandwich it between the dough. (The dough is a simple, soft yeast dough.) You seal the edges, then roll it out and fold it up into thirds. You're supposed to do this three times total, and then you end up with a dough that's stretched into many layers, with butter separating each layer.
This is basically a puff pastry dough. You're supposed to chill it between each rolling, but I didn't do that and the butter started trying to seep out the side. Mental note: next time, chill between each rolling. You chill this finished stack overnight, then roll it out one more time and divide it into four pieces. At this point you roll it out thinly and divide into twelve wedges, like a clock. Then each wedge gets rolled up into a croissant shape, like so:
Then you let these rise a bit, then brush them with egg wash and bake. And you end up with a pile of 48 little croissants.
They really turned out cute, and very flaky and delicious. It was interesting making the puff pastry dough; now I know how to do it in the future for turnovers and such things. I could also spread it with a little Nutella or melted chocolate and make chocolate croissants in the future! Butter, butter, butter!