Well, hopefully my last post left you in total suspense and dying to know how the croissants came out. Let’s continue where we left off.
I left the folded-up dough in the fridge overnight. The cookbook said to put a 5-lb weight on top of it to keep it from rising again. Coincidentally, there was that 5-lb bag of bleached flour that I had just purchased but will never use, so it seemed like a great weight at the time. I put it in a small roasting pan and put that on top of the dough. It turned out not to be the best system, for two reasons. One: part of the dough still managed to bulge out from the side, and literally tore through the plastic wrap (That is some serious dough! Luckily, I caught it before it got too out of hand.). Two: I guess the setup was sort of precarious, because when Michael went downstairs for a drink in the middle of the night and opened the fridge, the pan toppled over and the bag fell onto the floor and split open (oops). So, I’ll need to think of a better weight next time.
The next morning, I took the dough out of the fridge and rolled it out into a long rectangle. Then, I cut it and refrigerated one half so it would be easier to work with later.
I took one half, rolled it out some more, and cut it into three sections. Each of those sections got rolled into a square and then cut into two triangles. Rolling the squares out to the correct size (5.5″) was actually the most challenging part. After all of that rolling, the dough was starting to get pretty thin and the butter started seeping through to the surface, making the dough sticky and hard to work with. The dough was also very springy, so every time I rolled it, it would spring back to its original size. As a result of these troubles, some of my “squares” turned out to be more rectangular and, consequently, didn’t make for very good triangles.
Once I got them down to shapes that sort of resembled triangles, I rolled them up into the traditional croissant shapes. This step went relatively smoothly. Some of my dough triangles were bigger than others, so some looked pretty nice while others looked a little puny and/or misshapen. The recipe yields 12 total. If I made these again, I would probably double the recipe so the croissants would be bigger and easier to work with.
After letting them sit for an hour, I brushed them with an egg wash and put them in the oven. They baked for 12 minutes at 475 degrees. Much to my delight, they came out beautifully! They were golden brown, flaky, and greasy to the touch (but in a good way). I was worried that the center of the croissants would be dense, but they actually had some nice layers.
After they cooled, I put them in a freezer bag and stored them in the freezer until that evening, so they’d stay fresh. I defrosted them in the toaster oven and then Michael and I used a few of the bigger ones to make ham and Swiss sandwiches for dinner. They were pretty delicate and difficult to cut in half, but they still made delicious sandwiches. All in all, it proved to be a great baking experience!