Christmas morning at my house traditionally starts with one ooooey gooey treat: Cinnamon Rolls.
So why am I writing about croissants today? Well, it appears that there is a bit of a mutiny happening under our roof. Dad is on Team Cinnamon Roll, along with Rex. They are guys who are not big fans of change. These guys like to wake up Christmas morning, have their treat, and start opening presents — stockings first. Fox is holding strong for Team Croissant. He is my adventurous spirit, always willing to try something new and exciting.
In the eyes of Mr. Fox, changing a Christmas morning treat seems like the right thing to do. Me? Well would it really matter which one eventually wins ? Not really because we all know that I will make both treats come Christmas morning for fear of disappointing anyone.
I just hope that next year Rex does not discover the wonders of the sticky bun. You can find my cinnamon roll recipe HERE.
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cup cold milk.
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup bread flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
12 ounces butter–needs to be cold but soft
1 egg for glazing
Makes about 30 small croissants
Dissolve yeast in water. Add the cold milk and stir. Add flours, sugar, and salt, mix together with your fingers, using a light touch. Form a ball of dough. DO NOT KNEAD THIS DOUGH.
Transfer the ball of dough to a buttered bowl, and cover with a damp dish towel. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 6 hours to overnight.
The next day, flour the butter and pound lightly with a rolling pin into a flat square. It should be cold but still pliable. If the butter gets soft and mushy, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle about a half an inch thick. Divide the butter in two. Place half the butter in the middle third of the dough. Pull one third over from the side to cover. Seal the edges to encase the butter. Place the other butter on top and fold over the remaining third of dough. Pinch edges to seal. Flour the rolling pin, table, and lightly flour the dough. Roll out into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 20-ish inches long. Fold the rectangle into thirds, cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 20 minutes. Give the dough two more turns, one at a time making sure to chill for 20 minutes between each turn. Now you are ready to roll out and shape the croissants.
To shape a croissant, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the rectangle into triangles of desired size (using a pizza wheel makes this an easier task). For small size cut 3-by-6-inch triangles, for medium cut 4-by-8, and for large cut 5-by-10- inch triangles. Pick up one of the triangles, pull the points to elongate them. Fold the base of the triangle over, and tightly roll the base up toward the point with one hand. Set the croissants on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving them straight or curve into crescent shape. Brush lightly with egg glaze, let rise until doubled in bulk. This takes about 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pop the croissants in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn down the oven to 375 degrees. Continue baking until golden brown and beautiful, about 15-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Croissants are best enjoyed the day you bake them. If you like you may fill the croissants with chocolate, almond paste, ham and cheese, or jam as you are rolling the croissants. Remember, less is more when it comes to croissant fillings.
Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 11 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.
Copyright 2009 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at bakerslove.typepad.com