filling the empty nest with food

Croissants Chez Moi

I’ve never really considered myself the scientific type in the kitchen. I don’t take notes when something doesn’t turn out right. I rarely make something twice unless it succeeded the first time. And I haven’t considered my cooking as experiments to tinker with and improve. But something just changed.

I took a croissant-making class a couple of weeks ago and I’ve become obsessed with making a croissant worthy of a French bakery. I’ve made two batches so far. The first was a big disaster (no photos allowed!) and the second batch (below) not too shabby. Disaster is a relative term in the croissant-baking business, as any dough that involves incorporating nearly a pound of butter will knock your socks off no matter how much you screw up the process. Trust me. You will want to eat your mistakes.

Making croissants requires precision and attention to detail. To make a long, two-day job into a short description: you make some bread dough (from a mathematical formula rather than a recipe), let it rise, then refrigerate, roll it out to a precise width and length, place a large square of butter (mixed, refrigerated, molded, refrigerated again, shaped), also a precise width and length to match the rectangle of dough, fold it, refrigerate, roll out again, fold it again, refrigerate, roll out, fold, refrigerate, and roll out one last time. Then you’re ready to cut and shape the croissants. Let them rise again, and bake.

At this point, some bakers will tell you how easy and doable it is to make croissants at home. Don’t let them snow you. These are not easy, not simple, and not for the faint of heart.

But, wow, are they crispy, buttery, flaky, rich, and downright heavenly when you get them right! I wouldn’t let my French friends try them yet, but some day soon . . .



11 comments on “Croissants Chez Moi

  1. ruthsmason
    February 11, 2014

    Wow, you really stayed the course! I would have given up, I think! They are beautiful. Remind me when you travel?? Time for coffee before you go?? R.

    • Catherine
      February 11, 2014

      Thanks. I’m on a roll. My second batch was much better than the first, but there are still improvements to make. More to come….and I need to share!

  2. Caroline
    February 11, 2014

    OMG! Those look delicious!! I’ll be right over…to help you with the final step, eating them.

    • Catherine
      February 16, 2014

      I’ll mail you some from my next batch. I do not need 20 croissants hanging around the house each time I try another batch! Do you know how many grams of fat are in a pound of butter? Wait, don’t look!

  3. Mary Finley
    February 11, 2014

    Oh my gosh…. Yum! You are fearless!

    • Catherine
      February 16, 2014

      Fearless or bullheaded. Not sure which.

  4. Sarah Stevenson
    February 12, 2014

    I am so impressed! Scones are a big challenge still for me, so don’t think I’d even try. You will have many dear friends just dying to be invited to share….whether they are beautiful or not.

    • Catherine
      February 16, 2014

      I’ll let you know when the next batch gets baked….. 🙂

  5. James
    February 19, 2014

    Those look delicious!

  6. Chez @ Chez Moi
    May 21, 2014

    Wow, making homemade croissants is impressive – what an amazing challenge to set for yourself!

    • Catherine
      May 22, 2014

      Thanks. It is certainly a pastry you have to make over and over to get it right.

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This entry was posted on February 10, 2014 by in Bread, Butter, Recipes and tagged , , .

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