Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Croissants (& Pains au Chocolat)

March 5, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, general pastry, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 27 Comments
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croissants (& pains au chocolat)

TWD’s crossing a biggie off the list this week– Esther McManus’s Croissants.  This probably qualifies as the most technically complicated recipe we’ve made so far.  Like puff pastry and Danish, croissants are made from a butter-laminated, or layered, dough.  This means a block of butter is encased in dough and repeatedly rolled and folded to create layers that puff in the oven (and flake in your mouth!).  Once you get over butter-shock, it’s really fun to make this kind of dough, and if you give someone a homemade croissant they will be seriously impressed by your talents.  Cool weather helps when making the dough, and so does leaving yourself plenty of time to let it rest in between rolls and folds.

I could not resist turning half my dough into pains-au-chocolat.  Dangerously good–now I remember why I don’t allow myself to buy them!  Next time I make croissant dough (that’ll be awhile since I still have like fifteen p-au-c formed in the freezer), I’ll definitely prep almond-filled ones.  Would have done it this time, but as usual I procrastinated and didn’t get it together to make the filling.  Also, I’ll cut my croissant triangles a bit bigger.  I wound up with ones that were only slightly larger than minis and I associate mini croissants with conference room party platters.  Although these were much better (and flakier) than any office-croissants I’ve ever had, and here’s proof…

croissants (& pains au chocolat)

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read Amanda’s Girl+Food=Love. There’s even a video of Esther and Julia making the tart together).  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

P.S.: For something totally unrelated, enter my BOOK GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a copy of Breakfast for Dinner.


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  1. I have been eying this recipe for years and haven’t gotten the nerve…..

  2. Gorgeous croissants! I do like small ones, but wasn´t crazy about this recipe. And still have to make the pain au chocolat and almond versions.

  3. Beautifully done!!! Yours look like they came right out of a patisserie!

  4. <>

    That made me laugh. So true. How would you make almond filling for croissants? That would be fantastic.

  5. I watched croissant-making on “Baking with Julia” over the weekend. What a process!

  6. I like how yours came out so dark. Wish mine had bronzed a bit more. I agree about making the triangles bigger next time. The 4 inches they recommend is not big enough.

  7. Wow, these look divine! I have been dying to try a pain au chocolate recipe, you have inspired me to do it!

  8. Love the photo of the empty plate. Congrats on your delicious looking pain au chocolates!

  9. Yum! That video was a lifesaver. Too bad I watched it halfway through baking! Yours looks great!

  10. The croissant crumb picture says it all 🙂 Lovely looking croissants!

  11. Hahaha. I love the proof! Well done on some lovely pain au chocolat and croissants!

  12. Those are great looking croissants! Love the pics.

  13. beautiful. I’m a little jealous!

  14. I would have loved to see photos of the process…The finished product looks delicious. Thanks for making me hungry!

  15. It was nice to get this one scratched off the list. Other than that wedding cake, I wonder if there are any left that are as challenging.

    Your croissants are beautiful.

  16. They look absolutely perfect! I agree with the 4″ being a bit small and I love how dark yours are.

  17. They look delicious!

  18. I am in complete awe with all you amazing bakers who attempted homemade croissants for this instalment of Tuesdays with Dorie. I’m terrified – it’s such an ordeal, even though I know that it would totally be worth it in the end. I’m drooling over your pain au chocolate – pastry should always go hand in hand with chocolate. This looks simply incredible!

  19. I love the empty plate and mug. There were lots of empty plates at my house, too. I only made half the batch, so my freezer is full too. I’m definitely making pain au chocolate next time.

  20. Beautiful, beautiful croissants, love the deep brown colour! The empty plate photo is great too, it actually made me hungry! 🙂

  21. These were an accomplishment! I realize how much when I read your post and I didn’t even know the official names for the techniques we were doing haha! Yours look great!

  22. I remember when The Daring Bakers made homemade vol-au-vent – it was late summer, I believe, and I had a few choice words for the butter as it kept oozing from the dough and sticking to the work surface. But it’s so worth the work! Nothing compares to homemade croissant dough.

    Your croissants are beautiful, Steph! (Good call on adding the chocolat.) 😉

  23. I love a good chocolate croissant, but I have never thought to make them at home. They sound intimidating, so it is nice to have a post like this to look to when I finally get the courage to make them myself. They look great!

  24. hi steph! when i made the croissants, i took 3 days. day one, dough. day two, folds. day three, shaped. then i put them in the fridge overnight. the next day, i took them out and let them rise for about 2 hours before baking them. call it an old habit from my days as a young pastry assistant making them in large quantities but i think it helps develop a nice flavor!

  25. Mine turned out small too! Not the grand croissant I was dreaming of. Brilliant that you have some in the freezer.

  26. Oh my…these look sensational! Love a good buttery flaky croissant!

  27. yum…they look scrumptious 🙂

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