Croissant or Bust!

One morning I was sipping my coffee and for some unknown reason all I could think about was sitting on the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris having our coffees and almond croissants at Les Deux Magots. I kept thinking there is no reason I can’t make a croissant!! The only real concern was the butter. Not having REAL french butter does change things a bit.. But to my surprise, after a little digging on the net, I could replicate to a certain degree the high fat content needed to mimic the true european butter flavor. With that concern dealt with, I was off and running!! Running right into the WALL!

High fat percentage butter is a bit tricky to work with. It must stay COLD or it will start to melt and will not flake the dough out as it should. What to do?? I quickly realized I needed to place multiple ICE PACKS on the marble work surface and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour after each fold!! I also did not fully appreciate the time it took to get to the shaping.. I started at 7 am and by 1 pm I was ready to bake for the first bake. They rested overnight and had their 2nd bake with almond paste the next morning!

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High Butter Fat is Tricky

I used two ice packs

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First of Four folds

24 x 9 roll outs

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Cut & Roll

there’s a trick here!!!

S-T-R-E-T-C-H

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2 hour Proof

Had lunch!

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Oh yea Baby!!

I mean common!!!

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Buttery Folds

Yummmmm

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10hr

of fun

worth every second!!

In end, I relished each bite! It was very satisfying to get to this level of baking. I have such respect for those who do this on a daily basis! Yes, I know, they have the laminators and cutter rolls and all the toys to make these beauties at production level. but I do know that they are the artisans out there that produce all their croissants by hand.. it is them who I revere. It is them who I respects. In my own small and humble way, it is them I try to emulate. The satisfaction of nailing it is, in itself, the prize. Being isolated in the North Country, not having sourcing to simply go out and pick these beauties up each morning is depressing. However, over the summer I did find a good almond croissant alternative for myself. Nancy and Doug Garrand from Fresh & Fancy Bakery in Keeseville NY do a nice job. Their almond croissants are flaky, and their ( scratch ) almond paste is very good. Happy to have them in the area for a quick fix back to Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris!