Here’s something exciting for French Fridays: over the coming months, I’ve committed myself to learning how to make some French classics at home. Oh, sure, I’ve worked my way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table and I’m currently working through her Baking Chez Moi and David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen, but there are a few things I’ve had on my “to make” bucket list for a while. Things like, you know, croissants.
I’ve been in a few classes to learn how to make these (notably at Lenôtre) and swore that I would never make breakfast pastries at home. The “real” way to make croissants and pain au chocolat is with a laminated dough – whereby you fold butter into the dough through a series of “turns” (6 in all for proper croissants, creating over 700 layers of dough!), each requiring chilling time in the fridge (there’s a great laminated dough tutorial over on Joe Pastry), then more proving and resting once you’ve shaped the actual croissants or pastries. It’s not a complicated process, rather, it’s intimidating because of the time commitment. Not something your regular home baker might want to attempt (and certainly not something that’s easy to whip up for a weekend brunch).
A “quick” laminated dough doesn’t require you to fold the butter in a special way and it really is just a little bit of hands-on – you make the dough, chill it, fold and turn and leave it to sit in the fridge overnight… I was flicking through Pâtisserie Made Simple last week and came across the croissant recipe, marked “to make” and figured I had the time to give these a go last weekend. The dough came together really easily…
These baked up beautifully!
Not quite “all the layers” you’d get in a proper laminated dough but for taking the intimidation factor out of French food for home bakers, I reckon these are pretty darned fantastic! I will be making these again and tweaking them (I’ve been reading a lot about “quick croissants” – there are a lot of results if you Google that) slightly as well as working on my folding and shaping techniques. But hey, *I* made croissants. That’s pretty impressive in itself!
You can find Edd’s Quick Croissant Recipe here (EDIT: Looks like you have to be a subscriber to access this now s0….) better still, buy the book!
Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.
(Full disclosure: I have been following Edd’s blog for years now, even before he won The Great British Bake Off and wrote three books and I’ve met up with him a couple of times in Paris and London. Edd did not ask me to review or promote the book and I purchased it myself, this was not a review copy. I like to support friends doing amazing things, especially with pastry, and couldn’t recommend Edd’s work more highly. He’s “good people” and he knows his pastry!)