I made... chocolate croissants
This is my fourth and best attempt at making croissants. Attempts one and two turned out tasting good, but weren't as light and airy as a French croissant. They were more like a Pillsbury crescent roll. The butter cracked and seeped out while baking.
The third attempt turned out better, and they were much flakier and more buttery than the first two attempts. In this case, I used Claire Saffitz's Dessert Person recipe for spelt croissants, but substituted whole wheat flour for spelt flour. I also made sure to use European-style butter.
This fourth attempt turned out light and fluffy, with almost no butter seepage. They could have only used a bit more chocolate.
My croissant tips:
- Again, I used the spelt croissants recipe from Claire Saffitz's Dessert Person cookbook with a couple of changes.
- Instead of using spelt flour, I used an equal amount of bread flour.
- I also used only one stick of butter (8 oz.) instead of a stick and a half (12 oz.). I couldn't tell much of a difference in taste but it was easier to laminate the dough.
- I made sure to use Kerrygold butter. There's a definite difference in the pliability of regular store butter and the European-style butter.
- The dough was rolled out on a cold cookie sheet to try to keep the butter cold. Otherwise, my kitchen and countertop heat up the dough too quickly. I could also use the cookie sheet to easily transfer the dough to and from the fridge.
- To proof, I put the rolled croissants in my turned-off oven and boiled some water in my tea kettle. Then, I poured the boiling water into a tray at the bottom of the oven and shut the door. The croissants steamed in the oven for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours before baking.
- In the future, I need to keep the oven light off, because it unevenly heated the top tray of croissants.
- Parchment paper is better than silpat, which allows butter to pool. Parchment paper helps absorb any butter that might leak out.
I was inspired to give croissants another try after watching this Julia Child video, where she messes up the dough a couple of times and doesn't worry about measuring the lengths of the dough. It gave me confidence that I didn't need to be perfect to still get a good result.