Buttery, flaky, moist. Croissants are definitely one of my guilty pleasures and I can have them almost everyday if I have the choice. I remember going to Paris and getting a warm toasted croissant every morning from the local bakery and it was divine. How can such a thing taste so good all the time!
I use to think that they are quite intimidating to make, due to the amount of time you needed to proof the dough, laminate with butter, repeat the process and then shape it. Also because I come from the sunny tropical part of the world and humidity level is high all year round, laminating the butter into the dough was a big hassle for me. I had to rely on my air conditioning a lot and requires back and forth tweaking of the temperature to find the right proofing environment for the dough.
I’ve made them about four times now, but none as good as this batch. I guess because this time i spent more time studying the process a little more and reading up on the methods and tips and tricks from masters such as David Leibovitz and Weekend Bakery to make sure I don’t make any common (and previous) mistakes again. I was determined not to fail on my croissants this time round. You can try either of the recipe (I followed the recipe from Weekend Bakery), but here are some of my ‘observations’ to take note of:
- This is highly important: BE VERY PATIENT. Making croissants requires quite a good amount of time. You got to let the yeast do its job and let the dough rest overnight before laminating it. After each lamination, you need to let the rest as well and they are essential to make it work. A lot of waiting time and you might grow impatient but trust me, it will all be worth it. You don’t want to waste 2 days of effort just because of impatience.
- Don’t overwork the dough in the initial stage. I did this the previous time and my croissant came out rock hard. You will overwork the gluten and the dough will become really elastic and difficult to work with. Knead it until it becomes a rough ball and that’s it. Don’t worry if it still looks slightly sticky.
- Make sure your butter is in the right consistency before lamination. I have a lot of problems with butter in Singapore. Leave it out of the fridge for an hour and it’s too soft. It’s about finding the right balance. If you’re living in a tropical place like me, put on the air conditioning. Or else always be in close proximity to your fridge. Once the dough gets sticky because of the melting butter, pop it back into the fridge for about 20 minutes before you start rolling again.