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.