The Croissant Circle of Life
The various life stages of a
Based on a Mastodon thread I made.
Dedicated to cblgh, who strongly hinted that I should put this on my wiki. And how could I let them down?
And so it begins. The initial croissant dough. A mix of flour, water (at just the right temperature), yeast, salt, sugar, and butter (of course).
Now it needs to rise and grow up.
In a warm nurturing environment, our larval being has grown, and maybe learned some things along the way!
The dough now gets de-gassed and will rest overnight in the fridge. This helps develop the gluten in the dough.
The butter slab was made a few days before I started this. It is now taken out of the fridge to warm up a bit. It needs to be become more malleable and plastic to match the dough. It is nearly "fertile" here.
The dough gets rolled out and cut into two rectangles that occupy the same area as the butter slab. Here the slab is placed on top of one of them.
A butter-dough sandwich! It's important to make sure there's equal coverage.
The sandwich is rolled out approximately 60cm and then folded. This is the first fold. Then it is placed in the fridge to chill out. This firms up the butter and further develops the gluten.
Rotate 90 degrees, roll out ~60cm, then fold back up again. This is the second fold. Back in the fridge it goes.
Same process as before. This is the third and final fold. Back into the fridge for about an hour.
The dough is rolled out and cut into triangles to be rolled into croissants. My croissants are teeny weeny, which is why I cut my dough sheet in half.
The freshly rolled croissants are placed on a baking sheet to be flash frozen in a freezer. They are only kept in for half an hour or so just to firm them up for more long-term storage.
The croissants are packed in for their long-term slumber. Freezing pre-baked croissants works out really well, and can mean fresh morning croissants for days/weeks!
For these three croissants, their moment has come. The night before, croissants are taken out of the fridge and placed on a cooking sheet. These little fellas are going to "wake up" and rise, doubling in size.
Once placed on a cooking sheet, the frozen croissants are ready to be proofed. The sheet is placed on the middle rack of a cold oven. Underneath, boiling water is placed on a sheet. This is left overnight.
In the morning, the proof croissants are lightly brushed with milk right before going in. This gives them a nice brown finish.
14 minutes later, and the croissants are done! These will cool slightly, and then be consumed. Yum.
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