Did you know that homemade croissants take three days of work? Me neither!
A week ago, while experiencing a craving that I can only imagine rivals a pregnant woman’s craving for ice cream and sardines, I had a hankering for croissants. I selected the first google hit that popped up and was pleasantly surprised to see that Fine Cooking described making “classic croissants” as “not difficult.” Bullshit, I say.
I (J) am not a baker, per se. I don’t typically like to measure ingredients, which is incredibly ironic given my type A personality. I like to cook by feel and sight. Freud would’ve likely opined that I acquired this trait while I watched my mother and grandmother cook. Cooking with my grandma would go something likes this: Little J would ask, “How much bread crumbs should I use, Grandma?” And she would reply, “Use enough to mix them in with the meat.” Me, “WTF.” Alright, I didn’t say WTF to G-ma, but I’m sure the 5 year-old equivalent of WTF went through my large, child-sized head. Suffice it to say, I found the precision required for baking croissants pretty darned challenging.
Below is my memory of the recipe or you can read the real recipe here.
Day 1 of making croissants is easy. Throw all the ingredients into a mixer equipped with a dough hook, turn on the mixer, and wait.
Day 2 gets a bit more challenging. Make a 6 x 6 square of cold butter and roll it out so it’s a 7.5 x 7.5 square. Yep, here I am with a tape measure, measuring butter. Roll out the dough and fold your healthy butter square inside the dough. Refrigerate dough, take dough out, roll dough until it’s 8 x 24 inches, measure some more. Refrigerate, take out, roll out, measure two more times. Make gigantic mess of your kitchen counter by throwing flour everywhere.
Day 3 requires you to find your inner architect. Roll out the dough until it’s 8 x 44 inches. Reflect on how happy you are that your kitchen island is the length of a football field. Cut dough into perfect triangles, start rolling, and make sure they look pretty. Bake. Break out butter (because there’s probably not enough already inside) and jam. Chow down at 1 am and try to remember why you wanted croissants in the first place.