Croissant Day

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Maybe you celebrated yesterday as New Year’s Day? Around my house it has become known as Croissant Day.

The second annual croissant day, in fact!

In 2012, myself along with three fun friends took a trip to New York City in the fall. Among all the food, sights, more food, broadway shows, and even more food that we took in on that trip, we also enjoyed Dean and Deluca coffee and their chocolate croissants.

When we came back to reality – I mean home – we missed those croissants. Terribly.

In a desperate plea to relive our New York experience, we decided we would recreate the croissants.

I’ll admit I was a little skeptical to begin with. I have feared the croissant a little bit knowing that what makes a good croissant is it’s flakey pastry.

Then I came across this book at my local McNally Robinson’s.

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This book instantly caught my attention. Not only does Peter tackle the dreaded croissant recipe, but I love his artisan approach to bread making. It addressed something I have always not enjoyed about bread – being that too much yeast causes an overly yeasty after taste in many “rushed” breads. By using an artisan approach, which involves just enough yeast, simple ingredients, and allowing the yeast to rest – generally for over 24 hours – you allow the glutens to relax and the yeast enough time to do what it needs to do.

With book in hand, my very good friend and I set out to make our own croissants last New Year’s Day! It was such a success, we had to bring back Croissant Day this year and make it an annual event!

These croissants certainly take some patience!

I prepared the dough the day before so it had time to rest.

Then you begin the “laminating process” which involves rolling a butter block into the dough.

Letting it rest.

Rolling out and folding again.

More rest.

More rolling and folding.

Further resting.

And then even more rolling and folding.

In the end there are over 81 layers of dough and butter in the final dough.

Homemade Croissants - www.willcookforshoes.ca

I know this maybe sounds like a lot of work, but the ingredients are so basic – unbleached flour, lots and lots of butter, a little sugar, yeast, salt and milk – and the end result is so worth it.

They come out of the oven looking like this…

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And then you have to wait a further 45-60 minutes to let the butter set up.

It’s hard to wait that long but oh my…

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Look at all those beautiful layers.

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And of course, the divine chocolate surprise in the centre!

Have you ever tried making croissants? What recipe do you like to make to relive a travel memory?

Bon appetite!

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