Authentic All Butter Croissants

Build up those arm muscles for these authentic all butter croissants. They are well worth the effort, and patience, to make your own flaky pastry right at home! Add in your favorite fillings for a fun variation on this French classic. 
Authentic All Butter Croissants

There was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to go ALL BUTTER on these beauties. I mean, why would you ever consider anything different? If you’re going to make authentic croissants, make them the right way. But as a lesson in croissant making, my favorite baking coworker educated me on the LAWS of croissant making – including that the shape of them means EVERYTHING.

Authentic all butter croissants don’t actually have the moon shape to them in France. They are more conical. If you make them with a mixture of butter and other fats, that’s when they are BY LAW required to be curved. Mind. Blown. Also, isn’t that so typically French to make laws about bread shapes. All these years I thought I was English through and through, but these French people’s strict adherence to bread laws make me strongly reconsider what my true roots should be.

People of Bread – these are my people.
Authentic All Butter Croissants

To celebrate 18 weeks of Chip’s uterine existence, it was necessary to make these croissants the real way, all butter, two days time, and lots of arm muscle. It’s probably the best work out I’ve had in six weeks… which also means I probably shouldn’t have eaten four of them in one sitting. I apologize for NOTHING.

My mom and mother in law were thrilled when we told them he was the size of these tasty pastries. And this week, he’s the size of a Crepe Suzette, so now you know what you will see on the blog for Week 19! Can I also just say – how am I almost half way through this thing? Wow.

What else has been happening in me and Chip’s daily goings on? Well, he likes to poke me with some appendage when I least suspect it, and it makes me jump. Its like little pinches whenever it happens. I’ve felt what I can only describe as one roll that felt like a water balloon in my stomach shifted around. And his love of salty food has totally changed my entire palate. This sweets lover is all over salty things right now. Do not leave me along with a bag of kettle chips, you might find me in the corner licking the bag when I am done.

But the most alarming thing that has happened so far – is that my dreams are becoming way to vivid. I’ve always been able to remember my dreams, but they have never been more terrifying than this one. My subconscious was on high alert when I dreamed we were in the delivery room and he came out not breathing. As this happened to one of my dearest friends, I can only imagine this is what she felt like when it happened to her and her daughter. My screams and terror woke me up, as the last things I remembered were doctors and nurses whisking away my kiddo, who I hadn’t even touched yet, to send him out of the room and I didn’t know where. His name was on my lips and I was in sheet panic for not being able to move.

The only redeeming thing is that one possible name came to me – and I really like it. Maybe my subconscious and Chip was telling me something? So I’m going to take this name for a test drive and see what we think of it.

Never having wanted to do something too trendy with names I will tell you it’s a last name for a first name… what are your thoughts on that?

Authentic All Butter Croissants

Anywho, in lieu of providing you with the actual recipe – I’m sending you to two other blogs that I relied on as I baked my croissants. I used America’s Test Kitchens’ Croissant recipe and steps to make these – and if you don’t have an account with ATK, go visit Home Cooking In Montana’s site where she took their recipe and provides you with step-by-step photos of this process! It’s so helpful.

Also, check out my dear friend Rebecca’s blog Foodie with Family for her way of doing it. I upped the time I baked my croissants to reflect Rebecca’s process, to get them extra golden brown on the outside. It paid off!! I found the ATK versions baking time a little too short, and they seemed underdone and pale. No bueno.

So enjoy!!

And don’t forget to take a peek at previous week’s progress recipes!!

Week 17 – Double Chocolate Creme Brulee 

Double Chocolate Creme Brulee

Week 16 – Vanilla and Almond Poached Pears

Vanilla Bean and Almond Poached Pears

Week 15 – Strawberry Cheesecake Eclairs

Strawberry Cheesecake Eclairs

Yield: 22 Croissants

Authentic All Butter Croissants

Ingredients:

  • unsalted butter,
  • ¼ cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Directions:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and immediately stir in milk (temperature should be lower than 90 degrees). Whisk in yeast; transfer milk mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Add flour, sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt. Using dough hook, knead on low speed until cohesive dough forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for 1 minute. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature 30 minutes.

Transfer dough to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet and shape into 10 by 7-inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
BUTTER BLOCK: While dough chills, fold 24-inch length of parchment in half to create 12-inch rectangle. Fold over 3 open sides of rectangle to form 8-inch square with enclosed sides. Crease folds firmly. Place 24 tablespoons cold butter directly on counter and beat with rolling pin for about 60 seconds until butter is just pliable but not warm, then fold butter in on itself using bench scraper. Beat into rough 6-inch square. Unfold parchment envelope. Using bench scraper, transfer butter to center of parchment, refolding at creases to enclose. Turn packet over so that flaps are underneath and gently roll until butter fills parchment square, taking care to achieve even thickness. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes.
LAMINATE: Transfer dough to freezer. After 30 minutes, transfer to lightly floured counter and roll into 17 by 8-inch rectangle with long side parallel to edge of counter. Unwrap butter and place in center of dough. Fold sides of dough over butter so they meet in center. Press seam together with fingertips. With rolling pin, press firmly on each open end of packet. Roll out lengthwise into 24 by 8-inch rectangle. Starting at bottom of dough, fold into thirds like business letter into 8-inch square. Turn dough 90 degrees counterclockwise. Roll out lengthwise again into 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Place dough on sheet, wrap tightly with plastic, and return to freezer for 30 minutes.
Transfer dough to lightly floured counter so that top flap opens on right. Roll out dough lengthwise into 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Place dough on sheet, wrap tightly with plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
SHAPE: Transfer dough to freezer. After 30 minutes, transfer to lightly floured counter and roll into 18 by 16-inch rectangle with long side of rectangle parallel to edge of counter. Fold upper half of dough over lower half. Using ruler, mark dough at 3-inch intervals along bottom edge with bench scraper (you should have 5 marks). Move ruler to top edge of dough, measure in 1½ inches from left, then use this mark to measure out 3-inch intervals (you should have 6 marks). Starting at lower left corner, use sharp pizza wheel or knife to cut dough from mark to mark. You will have 12 triangles and 5 diamonds; discard scraps. Unfold diamonds and cut into 10 triangles (making 22 equal-size triangles in total).
Position 1 triangle on counter. (Keep remaining triangles covered with plastic.) Cut 1/2-inch slit in center of short side of triangle. Grasp triangle by 2 corners on either side of slit and stretch gently, then stretch bottom point. Place triangle on counter so point is facing you. Fold down both sides of slit. Roll top of triangle partway toward point. Gently grasp point with 1 hand and stretch again. Resume rolling, tucking point underneath. Curve ends gently toward each other to create crescent. Repeat with remaining triangles.
Place 12 croissants on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets at least 21/2 inches apart. Lightly wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 21/2 to 3 hours. (Shaped croissants can be refrigerated for up to 18 hours. Remove from refrigerator to rise and add at least 30 minutes to rising time.)
After croissants have been rising for 2 hours, adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, whisk together egg, water, and pinch salt. Brush croissants with egg wash. Place croissants in oven and reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then switch and rotate baking sheets. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack and cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
TO MAKE AHEAD: After shaping, place 10 croissants 1 inch apart on parchment-lined sheet. Wrap with plastic and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake frozen croissants as directed from step 8, increasing rising time by 1 to 2 hours.

America’s Test Kitchen Croissants