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CROISSANTS (PLAIN AND SOME SPRINKLED WITH ZATAR) - DARING CHALLENGE FOR SEPTEMBER 2011

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!




A croissant is a buttery flaky bread named for its distinctive crescent shape. It is also sometimes called a Crescent. Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry. The yeast dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, a technique called laminating.




The most difficult part of making croissants is that they take a veeeeery long time. About 12 hours total, with resting and rising periods. I made few plain croissants and other sprinkled with Za'atar(Zatar) middle eastern spice...yummm... here you go for virtual treat.





PLAIN BUTTERY CROISSANTS & WITH ZATAR

Recipe source : Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Julia Child and Simone Beck
Ingredients :

¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar
1 3/4 cups (225 gm/½ lb) of strong plain flour (I used  Bread flour)
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk
2 tablespoons (30 ml) tasteless oil ( vegetable oil)
½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash



Directions:

1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients.
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar.
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. The best way is as Julia Child does it in the video (see below). It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag.
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size. 



11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up).
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter.
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.



21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle.
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.



31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little.
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes.
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before.
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising).
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants.
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready.
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter.
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).



41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm)).
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold.
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm)).
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge.
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square.
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet.
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water.
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely.
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Renata  – (September 27, 2011 at 8:37 AM)  

Your Croissants are gorgeous! And your photography is pro! Love the idea of zatar, fabulous job!

Chitra  – (September 27, 2011 at 8:45 AM)  

looks so tempting....lovee ur clicks ...

divya  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:17 AM)  

looks awesome and tempting...wonderful clicks...

Priya  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:17 AM)  

Omg, those flaky and super inviting croissants looks damn divine..

julie  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:18 AM)  

Crispy crust n soft inside.. Lovely croissants..
Happy to follow you :-))
Do drop in my space too
Erivum Puliyum

Krithi's Kitchen  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:25 AM)  

Wow Wow Wow... so beautifully done in a perfect professional way!

Rekha shoban  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:45 AM)  

perfect croissants!! lovely click pavi!

Reva  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:54 AM)  

Croissants looks absolutely delicious ... Zatar sprinkling gives a wonderful twist.. Loved it..:)
Awesome clicks..:)
Well done Pavithra..
Reva

Alpana  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:56 AM)  

Lovely croissants Pavithra.......You nailed it with the pics girl......awesome awesome.

Do visit me at smart-snacks.blogspot.com

suma  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM)  

The thought of baking croissants is truly daunting, yours look fabulous Pavithra! Loved the pictures!

Neetz  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM)  

definitely bookmarked..awesome!!!! ddrrrroooooolllllllllllll!!!

Reshmi Mahesh  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM)  

Superb...They look so delicious and awesome clicks...

Madhavi  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM)  

Super croissants..looks divine, yummooo!!!

http://vegetarianmedley.blogspot.com/

Paaka Shaale  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM)  

The croissants look perfect Pavithra. Loved the layers within the croissants. I guess I don't need to tell you that the photographs are just stunning ;)

Rajani  – (September 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM)  

Lovely clicks and loved the rooster tin :). It looks great!

Anonymous –   – (September 27, 2011 at 1:05 PM)  

Croissants loo yum!!!
Y do u place same pictures twice in the post. I think most of the post do have this!

Pavithra  – (September 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM)  

@ Anonymous is it bothering you ???

Neha  – (September 27, 2011 at 1:39 PM)  

Wow...These looks so nice and flaky...

Spandana  – (September 27, 2011 at 1:41 PM)  

Looks so perfect!!! Lovely clicks.. look so inviting!!

Nitha  – (September 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM)  

Lovely clicks... And the croissant looks great too..

Anonymous –   – (September 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM)  

Yes it does bother!!! Feels like u r making users 2 see your pics and fall for!!! No one cares if u place picture or not, most IMP is the recipe how it tastes for....

Pavithra  – (September 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM)  

@ Anonymous I know what I do and the people and friends know what I do. You don't need to poke into my business. If you are really concerned about what I am doing then you should not disguise yourself as anonymous and reveal who you are. Try to appreciate what people do and the effort they take to produce each and every post. For people like who don't realize all these don't need to comment. This is my personal space, I can post pictures the way I like.

Dzoli  – (September 27, 2011 at 5:08 PM)  

To start my day with croisant liek this..everything will be ok:) It looks amazing.I know it requiers patience and time to get the pastry right and it looks like you mastered it!

Latha  – (September 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM)  

Just loved all your pictures! Hugs!

Croissants look marvelous! Keep clicking.....

Jo  – (September 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM)  

Beautiful pictures and the croissants with zatar sound fabulous, great job!

Vidhya  – (September 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM)  

It was indeed a wonderful visual treat.Croissants look perfect.

Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy  – (September 27, 2011 at 7:30 PM)  

Zaatar sprinkle is such a unique & new idea..so savory & flavorful...wish I would be able to recreate your recipe some day...loving all the pictures..have a great week ahead!

shelley c.  – (September 27, 2011 at 8:22 PM)  

Seriously gorgeous croissants. Amazing job.

The Betz Family  – (September 27, 2011 at 10:51 PM)  

Stunning, stunning, stunning! Nice job on the challenge!

Rinku Naveen  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM)  

Wow! Wow! Wow! Pavi I am just drooling over these croissants. Looks so so perfect! Amazing clicks! You should seriously think of doing a write up on photography on your blog. :)

Balakrishna Saraswathy  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:32 PM)  

Hi Pavi how r u doing? It's being long since we both have a chat...btw that really looks very delicious!Do drop by my blog when u r free..missing ur encouragement da:)

Valarmathi Sanjeev  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:42 PM)  

Great job...croissants looks perfect and yummy....as usual stunning photographs.

Aruna Manikandan  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM)  

wow.....
croissants look beautiful dear....
gorgeous clicks as usual :)

Audax  – (September 28, 2011 at 12:38 AM)  

Those beauties are stunning the colour is perfect. A marvellous result. Bravo to you. I love the herb croissants. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Sharmilee! :)  – (September 28, 2011 at 12:39 AM)  

Wow I havent tasted croissants yet..looks so tempting and beautiful clicks Pavi

Rituparna  – (September 28, 2011 at 3:58 AM)  

Those croissants look delicious & those pictures are making me hungry ...

Priti  – (September 28, 2011 at 5:19 AM)  

Looks so fab ...I l ove both the version ...just so perfect ..drooling over these Pavi ...fab clicks

Prathibha  – (September 28, 2011 at 5:34 AM)  

They look so delicious n yumm....seeing the number of bullets in d recipe part I m bit scared to attempt it in near future...but if u pass them I would happily take n enjoy eating them...

Jenni  – (September 28, 2011 at 8:01 AM)  

Great job on your croissants! They look wonderful!

Premalatha Aravindhan  – (September 28, 2011 at 8:25 AM)  

wow wonderful and perfect croissants,have to give a try...lovely clicks...

San  – (September 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM)  

Appealing and pleasing croissant to enjoy pavi. Simply delicious.

pinksrecipediary  – (September 28, 2011 at 9:33 AM)  

lovely and awesome pics...........love ur blog for it.

Poornima Nair  – (September 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM)  

Uve done an amazing job, the croissants look amazing!!

Ali  – (September 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM)  

Appealing croissants!!! craving for some... salivating here :) lovely clicks!! really love the photos, such a nice blog.

RAKS KITCHEN  – (September 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM)  

I love croissants very much,yours looks absolutely yummy! loved the props you have used too.

Korena  – (September 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM)  

Wow, what beautiful croissants! So tall and flaky, great job. I bet they were delicious :)

MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!.  – (September 28, 2011 at 10:24 PM)  

Wow,Yummy and flaky Butter croissants.Luv to much at any time.Yummmmmy.Following U

notyet100  – (September 29, 2011 at 2:14 AM)  

Feel like picking one an dealing right now,..:)

The Backyard Baker  – (September 29, 2011 at 5:44 AM)  

Flakky, Fluffy , Fresh, Fantastic !!!
I specially love the first picture on the post !!
You have a lovely space here.

rasha –   – (September 29, 2011 at 6:55 AM)  

These sound really good!
A small tip from a Lebanese: Zaatar is commonly used in Lebanon for breakfast dishes. We usually put the Zaatar inside the croissant rather than outside. It keeps the zaatar from falling out, and from burning in the over.
We do the same trick with Cheese Croissant and Chocolate Croissants.
Thanks for the recipe, I will try it soon.

Pavithra  – (September 29, 2011 at 7:29 AM)  

@ Rasha Thanks for your sweet comment and tip. It was my last minute plan to sprinkle zaatar so i missed to put inside. I will surely follow your tip next time when i make this. Thanks again.

Niriekshana  – (September 29, 2011 at 8:12 AM)  

it seems to be a very difficult preparation.....
but it luks yunny!!!!!

Umm Mymoonah  – (September 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM)  

Both your version looks very yummy! Stunning pictures.

The Capitol Baker  – (September 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM)  

What a great idea to include Zatar! Wonderful job on the challenge!

Taste Junction  – (September 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM)  

Oh wow I can imagine how delicious this would make the buttery crosissants..I love it!!

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