I finally tried making croissants. I have a memory of being about 16 and having the day off from school and hanging out at my Grandma’s house watching Martha Stewart with her one morning. We would often watch Martha together, if I had time at 11am on a weekday. On this day, Martha showed us how to make the French delicacy, croissants. That day as my Grandma and I ohhh and ahhhed over the pastry and just how much butter goes into them, I knew I one day would try and bake them. Flash forward 10 years and I am happy to say I have learned about the process first hand. As you can tell from the photos, they are not the prettiest things you have ever seen (I might have even burnt a few). Yet, I feel successful in this process as I come bearing tips for any first time croissant maker.
-First, decide why you are making them and how much time you have. The best scenario I can think of as to why you would make croissants; is if you have weekend guest coming Sunday morning or late Saturday night. You then have all day Saturday to make the croissants and then when your guest wake up Sunday morning you can pretend you whipped them up yesterday afternoon. The truth is you really do need all day Saturday, not because the work is time consuming, but there are a lot of steps that require about 15 minutes of work and then 2 hours of refrigeration and then repeat. Or, you can do as I did and work on them for three nights in a row. Yep, there are two steps where you can refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
-Second, decide which recipe to use. I chose Martha Stewart’s recipe for obvious reasons. While I liked this recipe, I think a first time baker needs to have visuals. I found Cook Show’s video helpful.
-While croissants are time consuming they are also forgiving in the baking process. Don’t be afraid about making them because you worry about how much time you are putting in verses the likely hood they will be worth eating. While they will take up your time, they will also be gobbled up when you finish them.
-If you are worried about the risk of them not turning out, add chocolate to the middle. Some of my croissants were in the oven a little too long and chocolate seriously made it all better.