Last Friday evening Casper and I attended a Croissant Workshop through Cabrillo College Extension. Where we learned how to "Lock the butter" and "Proof Croissants". And left with freshly baked croissants and dough to make more. #winning. Thanks for registering us Tatyanna! 👏
We made it to class 15 minutes late after a mad rush from the Google bus stop, past home to pick up Casper and fighting traffic to an empty parking lot.
Luckily we didn't miss any of the hands-on portions of the workshop. It was time to make croissants almost as soon as we sat down.
In the interest of time, we made croissants from previously made dough. This way there was time for the croissants to "proof" for 1½ hours. Proofing is the act of giving the rolled croissants time to rise, nearly doubling in size, before they go into the oven.
We all got a 12" x 4" chunk of folded dough. The folding layered dough and butter which creates the flakiness of a croissant. Upon instruction, we rolled our chunks out to 24" x 8" slabs of ~1/8" thick from which we cut 6 4" wide strips. Cutting these strips diagonally created 12 skinny triangles.
Each triangle yields a croissant. With chocolate, cheese, ham and sesame seeds at hand, we could vary our croissants however we liked. Chocolate dominated Casper's croissants. Including a daring combination of chocolate and cheese. Mine were "classic" plain and "light" chocolate with a single cheese croissant because I couldn't control my wild side. 😜
Together our 24 croissants filled a baking sheet. Where they remained for the next 1½ hour to proof while we learned how to make the dough.
Mixing flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, and milk together we created the dough. Which also needed some proofing before we "Locked in the butter".
More butter was mixed with sugar and a little flour to the consistency of ripe avocado. After 20 minutes of proofing, we rolled out the dough to 24" x 12", roughly ½" think. To "Lock in the butter" we spread the soft butter onto ⅓ of the rolled out dough. Folded the buttered ⅓ over towards the center and the remaining ⅓ flap on top, then pressed down the edges, thus "Locking in the butter.
With the butter locked in we rolled out the 12" x 8" piece into 24" x XX". Which we subsequently "book" folded by folding the short edges ¼ of the length towards the center then closing the "book". This created a 12" x 8" "log". Cutting it in 4 4" x 8" pieces brought us full circle as that was we made our croissants from. Only we couldn't have used these pieces as they still needed to rest overnight for 12 hours.
Meanwhile, our croissants had been baked for ~15 minutes in a convection oven. They smelled and looked great! Casper could hardly keep his hands off them while they cooled off in the cool night air.
Best of all, they tasted great too! We returned home with 24 of our very own croissants plus 2 "logs" to make 24 more with.
Sunday morning we made our first batch in our own oven. This time all chocolate croissants as our family loves me some chocolate. Our 1930's oven, though not a convection oven, did great too!
We did make the mistake of putting our croissants on baking sheets with 2 flat sides. Soon the excess butter dripped down those sides onto the bottom of the oven causing a lot of smoke. I had to quickly move the half-baked croissants onto different sheets and remove the smoking bottom. Despite this disruption, the croissants came out well. You'd never know if you hadn't been there.
Below is a PDF copy of the recipe we used in the workshop. Let us know how your croissants turned out when you give this recipe a try. Bon Appetit! 🍽