Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Honey, do these Croissants make me look Flat?

I cannot believe that I'm making croissants!  I am both excited and intimidated!! 
And now upon looking at the recipe, what the heck was I thinking when I thought making these would be a great idea!!!!!!  Ack!!!
"You done it now, Jordy Verrill.  You nunkhead!" (name that quote/movie)  Maybe I could just skip the croissant making and go watch this movie again.  It would definitely take a lot less time than making these croissants!!

I cannot find compressed yeast.  I might have to use active dry yeast instead.  But I will try a few more places before I totally give up on the compressed yeast.

I feel like I have procrastinated long enough.  I couldn't find compressed yeast.....granted I didn't look all that hard for it.  No doubt the day after I make these croissants, I'll see it in a store.  (yep, sounds about right)

I have been putting off starting this recipe all week.  I want to say it was because of the yeast issue, but really I'm just plain old anxious about these croissants.  I have been reading and re-reading the recipe and instructions and feel overwhelmed by the process.  And I'm not even sure why.  Perhaps because the process seems so long and drawn out.  But to be fair, most of the process involves little activity on my part.  The dough has to sit in the fridge for 8 hours in the beginning and then there are three more stints in the fridge (2 hours for each turn).

I don't enjoy the waiting to make a recipe.....I just want to get right into it and get it done!  Impatient?  No, that sounds too negative.  I'd say I'm eager!  Yes, eager to get these croissants into the oven!!! (at this point I am half an hour into the recipe)  Say, is that paint drying over there.........sigh.

So like a thief in the night, I made the dough for the croissants last night.  Yes, I do imagine that any thief that breaks into my place will make me croissants??!!!  Really?  Really?? 
What?  It could happen.  No, I know that's silly....the time commitment is way too much....a quick bread maybe....or biscuits...but not the time consuming croissants.  Did I mention I have a migraine?  Day two and the crazy is setting in.  But I didn't let it stop me from starting this recipe! That's how crazy dedicated I am. 

I decided against taking any photos of my dough making process.  Hey, we've all seen the flour/yeast thing.  And besides, it was dark and the lighting is unfantastic (hee hee...unfantastic...liking that word...in fact, I think that will be my super hero team name....The Unfantastics).  Another reason to not take pictures:  I made the butter part of this recipe as well.  And hey, nothing goes better with picture taking than buttery fingers!  The truth?  My dough was being a diva and didn't want to be photographed in poor lighting.

The dough and butter have been chilling in the fridge overnight.  And in the light of day, the dough feels much more at ease in front of the camera.  It rose a lot in the fridge and even broke free from the plastic wrap.  Luckily, we had to put the wrapped dough into a bag as well.

Once out of wraps, it is dusted with a bit of flour.

At this point, I really should have watched the video for making croissants.   But alas, I did not.
With wild abandon I went to work rolling out the dough into a square oval (oval was the goal).  Well at least I got the 10X17 requirements. 

Butter gets centered onto the dough.  Hmm...I think I should have turned the butter the other way.

Do I turn it the other way?  Of course I don't!  Why?  Because I'm still not getting how the butter works into this dough.  (again, I sure do wish I would have watched the video first) 

Clearly, I have too much dough on the sides.  (why, why didn't I watch the video first???)  At this point, I am ready to beat my butter (gently of course).

Now that I see how the butter is moving out to the edges of the dough, I can see even better how I did the folding of the dough over the butter incorrectly.  But I've passed the stage of being able to correct it, so onward I go.

At this point, I just need to roll it out and put back into the fridge to chill.  Okay, I may have rolled it out a bit too much. 

Now that it is in the fridge, I am going to watch the how to video.  Yep, I really wish I'd have watched this earlier.  Now that I see how the dough was folded over the butter, I understand what I did wrong.  If only I had a do over button.  Sigh.

Up next, my first turn.  But first, I have to roll it out.  That is a whole lotta dough.

Okay, now to fold it brochure style.  Seems to be working out okay.

Though I feel like I rolled it out too big, as I have to fold it to get it onto the baking sheet.  I'll worry about that while it chills in the fridge for two hours.  (built in worry time....how perfect)

Just like before; roll, fold, chill.

And two hours later; the third and final turn. (and there was much rejoicing) 

This was the wallet fold. (four layers)  Now to cover it up and chill for another two hours.  (and so on, and so on, and so on)  Yes, it feels like this is never going to end.  But these are truly the last two hours I have to chill this dough.  But not the last time I have to let the dough rest.  OH COME ON!!!  I think the Berlin Wall came down faster than these croissants are taking to make.  (Exaggeration is my middle name!  Who told you?)

And here we go, the moment of truth.  Or more precisely the moment I see if I can cut croissant shapes.  I cut a piece of parchment paper to help guide me.  I cut the dough in half and put the other piece back in the fridge. (haven't decided whether to make more tomorrow or just freeze it)

Well that wasn't so hard to cut.

Regular Croissants

Chocolate Croissants

I started with the regular croissants first.  The dough needs to be stretched before they can be shaped.  This part is a bit tricky, as the dough is very easy to pull apart. (easily torn)

This is then rolled into a crescent.  The rolling was pretty darn easy.  And I am starting to forget about all the time it took to get to this part of the process.

"HeeHee...we could have been done hours ago if you would have just tapped my tube."
No, Pillsbury Doughboy! 

Both pans of croissants have been brushed with egg wash and are going into the oven to proof for three hours.  Argh!!! 


I don't know what happened or why it all went so wrong......
The croissants were getting all nice and puffy when I put them in the oven to proof.  The first hour of proofing and they were looking good.  After the second hour they went flat.....totally flat.  WTF.

Flat as pancakes!  Nothing like the previous pictures.  And I had such high hopes for these.

But I still went ahead with baking them off.  Seemed a waste to not at least try.  Unfortunately, the time in the oven didn't help them at all.  Still flatty, flat, flats.  Failure is an option, even when you think you've done everything right.

So I went to The Google and googled my problem.  Seems like I am not alone.  Some people said to not even bother with the last proofing, as this sometimes happens. 
Luckily, I still had the other half of the dough in the fridge!  This time I only made the chocolate croissants.  And I didn't let them proof...just right into the oven.  They kept their shape so much better.   

This is the way I think they should look.  Nice and puffy.

Would I make these again?  I think I might, but I would try the compressed yeast. (if I could ever find it)  I would also try the steam proofing again, but would pay attention to them and take them out before they deflated.  I'm disappointed that they didn't all turn out....especially with all the time that I invested in these!!!  But at least I learned from that fail and was able to produce some good looking and good tasting chocolate croissants.

Check out how everyone else did here.  And to see the recipe and our host, hop over to Amanda's site.

March 13, 2013

Made these again.  But this time I was able to get compressed yeast.  My favourite Bread shop, True Loaf sold me 8 ounces of compressed yeast.  So I just had to try this recipe again since I wasn't so thrilled with my first batch.
So this time, as mentioned, I used fresh compressed yeast.  Another thing, I didn't put a big bowl of steaming water in the oven when proofing the croissants.  They rose up wonderfully.  And they baked up beautifully.  I am beyond pleased with the outcome of these chocolate croissants.  So glad I tried them again.




  1. I found I was pretty impatient (read "eager") for this recipe to get going too. Congrats on making it to the finish line with some yummy looking chocolate croissants!

  2. As J Child said "learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from
    your mistakes, be fearless, and have fun!!!"
    Don't worry your chocolate croissants are yummy!!!!
    I'm sure the next time they'll be as you wish.

  3. The batch I did in the oven did not proof as nicely as the batch that I left to rise on the counter top. They also kind of flattened out a bit...and made me freak out because after all that work rolling out the dough I was certain that this was going to be one major fail! Luckily, looks like both you and I got some edible pastries out of the whole ordeal!

  4. Bummer! But so glad you had a spare set in the fridge! Glad those turned out and you ended on a high note. The look great!

  5. Yup...I feel like a 1/2 failure on this challenge. Couldn't find the right yeast...melted my rising croissants in too warm an oven, etc. But they were OK...not great...just OK. Fun to eat, tasted good, but not like a good bakery quality croissant. I think we are in the same boat on this one.

  6. Oh no! Sorry that the first batch did not turn out. I had issues with the dough...
    A good effort though. :)

  7. Despite the oven flop, your post is so funny! That idea of proofing in the oven was the worst ever. But at least they tasted good! Just proof them in a normally warm place next time.

  8. Aww, man. What a disappointment after all the effort and time! However, I'm sure they were scrumptious. :) Looks aren't everything!

  9. I left some of mine croissants on the stove when pre-heating the oven and of course I experienced the butter leakage :) Lovely post! The choco croissants look great!

  10. You did such a marvelous job documenting all your work that I feel really bad that the croissants decided to have a mind of their own for the last step...but they still look delicious and I am always amazed at all the work that the members of the TwD are willing to invest in the baking projects - respect! Really enjoyed your post and, personally, I was inspired by this recipe but I think I might try another recipe for croissants next time.
    Have a great Wednesday!

  11. Whew - that made me tired. I for one, wish someone would steal into my house and make me croissants - just sayin'
    I am impresed by each and every one of us who took up the gauntlet this week. Bravo!

  12. You're right. As soon as you taste one of these, you forget the pain of hard work! Nice job.

  13. Sorry to hear that the first batch didn't turn out the way you hoped, I'm sure they still tasted delicious though.

  14. Unbelievable! So sorry that happened after all your hard work. It makes me a bit nervous to get started on this recipe. I'll keep a close eye on them. Thanks for posting your results!

  15. Your dough looked so fantastic and the shaping looked perfect. I really think that 3 hour proof in a warm oven is misguided, even if she is a pastry chef. I loved reading your post. I can feel your frustration. Very will written TWD sista.

  16. Thanks for the tip on possibly using compressed yeast and skipping the last proof. Kudos for making these!

  17. Your croissants were perfectly shaped! It sounds like the steam/oven proofing step tripped a few TWD bakers up. I was using the oven at the time so proofed croissants in tupperware containers (!), and they were fine. Good luck for next time, I'm sure they'll be great!

  18. Thanks for all the comments and support! Guess what??!! A week after making these, I found compressed yeast! Yep!! I was in my favourite bread shop and I just asked if they used it and they sold me 8oz for $1.50. How nice was that?! And they gave me a shop name that also sells it. Now I don't know if I should try this recipe again or find another recipe that uses it. Hmmm.

  19. Hmm. I used regular instant yeast and did not have any trouble. Maybe it was the steamy proofing thing because I totally skipped that step and everything was alright. I admire your persistence and so glad they turned out better for you the second time.