One-Step Croissants {ModBak}

I have been looking forward to the next recipe in the Yeast-Risen Specialties section of The Modern Baker for some time. I love croissants and have made them the traditional way a number of times. All the folding, rolling, refrigerating, and turning. And time. Lots of time.

I have to say I was somewhat skeptical about a croissant recipe that didn’t include all those steps. But having successfully made Nick’s Instant Puff Pastry, which is also a simplified version of what is usually a complex process, I was encouraged to try the croissants.

The dough is quite simple to mix in the food processor. I put flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of the food pro and pulsed it to mix everything together. I added four tablespoons of cold butter and pulsed the mixer until the butter was cut in. I then added the rest of the butter (two sticks!) and pulsed the food processor twice. Finally, I added cold milk and pulsed the mixer three times.

The dough didn’t come together in the food processor, but the recipe said it wouldn’t, so I knew it was OK.

I pressed the dough into a ball, rolled it out into a rectangle, then folded it in thirds. Then, as in the puffed pastry recipe, I rolled the dough into a cylinder.

I flattened the dough into a square, put it in a plastic bag, and allowed it to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Then I flattened the dough by smacking it with the flat of my hand, and put the bag in the refrigerator.

After the dough had chilled for about six hours, I got it out of the refrigerator to roll out the croissants. I had a bit of trouble rolling the dough, but the longer it was out of the fridge, the easier it became to roll. I rolled the dough into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle, which I cut in half lengthwise. I then cut each strip of dough into six triangles.

I rolled the triangles from the wide end, pulling the tip slightly as I rolled up the croissants. I made six regular croissants, and decided to make almond croissants with the other half of the dough. I had some leftover almond paste in the fridge, which I shaped into logs and then rolled into the croissants.

I put the croissants on a baking sheet and set them aside to rise for about an hour and a haf, until they had almost doubled.

I brushed the croissants with egg wash and sprinkled the almond ones with slivered almonds. I baked them in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes. I was surprised by how dark the croissants got, but they looked a lot like the ones Andrea made, so I figured that’s how they were supposed to come out.

I let the croissants cool, then cut into them. The plain one had a nice crumb, like you would expect to see in a croissant.

I have to say, the flavor was a disappointment. The texture was not at all typical of a croissant. The outside was dry and too crisp. And despite its appearance, the crumb was not light and flaky, but rather dense and greasy. I tried it plain and with jam, but either way, one was enough.

The almond ones were better and reminded me just slightly of the almond croissants I used to get at a chain bakery.

In the end, I only ate two of them, and I’m pretty sure I won’t make them again. But they did make me think I would like to make almond croissants from one of my other recipes. So although these croissants weren’t a big success, they did give me an idea for a future baking project.

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12 Comments

  1. nana said,

    March 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    wow I was just about to try this recipe and to hear about the disappointment al have to think about. it sound to good to be true.because as far as I know it takes alot of time and alot of butter to make the best pastry dough.

  2. girlichef said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Oh gosh…I was so excited for a moment, until I read that they weren’t that great…because Almond Croissants are HANDS DOWN my favorite thing. Ever. They look wonderful…and let the craving begin!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      If you want to make them, I would definitely do them as almond croissants. Had I made only the almond ones, I think I would have liked the recipe better.

  3. Gina said,

    November 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

    They appear yummy, but there is no substitute for a pound of butter and lots of elbow grease that real crossaints require.

  4. Kayte said,

    November 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Well, they certainly look tasty…am eager to see how this goes for me when I get around to it…geesh I need to get moving or I will be making this whole section the last week again. Hopefully NOT. Love the process photos, and sounds like a great use for the almond paste.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 24, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      I love almond croissants, and I think these could be a good base for them. Might be worth trying again.

  5. Sheila Durrant said,

    November 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Oh, I am so sad. But if it were this easy to make great ones, I guess it would have been discovered before now.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

      I was so hopeful, as Nick’s easy puff pastry recipe, which is made much the same way as this dough, works like a dream. The more I think about it, the more I suspect I may have done something wrong.

  6. ap269 said,

    November 24, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Oh, what a disappointment. So sorry to hear you didn’t like them. They do look so much neater than mine, though!!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

      I think I might have let the dough chill too long, and I probably overhandled it. I might try them again just to see if I can get better results.

  7. Renee said,

    November 24, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Bummer! I was excited about these too. I’m going to give them a try in Dec. I’ve been a little skeptical simply because there seems to a bit of art to good croissants and thus how can I assume to make great ones my first attempt with a recipe titled one-step. Then again, I’m biased. I’ve never has a good a croissant as I had in France.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 24, 2010 at 12:47 am

      I’m anxious to hear about your experience. I love croissants, and I’ve made some good ones. This recipe just didn’t do it for me.


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