Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Croissants, demystified

I adore croissants, and I rarely eat them. Because few things are more disappointing than a lackluster croissant, and most of them are decidedly lacking.

croissants
{best with homemade pomegranate jelly}

When I found Nancy Silverton's recipe and technique, I knew I had to try it and Mother's Day was the perfect occasion. I'm not going to re-type the entire recipe here, because it's wordy. About 4 pages worth of wordy. I almost gave up when I read that you need a ruler. I think rulers have no place in the kitchen. But I'm glad I relented.

Don't be intimidated by the recipe, just follow it and enjoy the results. There is a lot of downtime, so the actual hands on work isn't too bad. And you end up with lovely, flaky layers of buttery dough.

croissants
{all rolled up and ready to go}

My tips? Yes, you need a ruler. However, I skipped out on the trash bag and the spray bottle of water and everything was okay. Buy good butter. That's my main recommendation. I used Irish butter, which is a bit pricey but worth every penny. Oh, and wear stretchy pants. That's key.

Looking for the frittata recipe? It's easy-peasy and it's right here. I used fresh, shredded potatoes rather than frozen hash browns. Next time I think I'll substitute fresh, sliced potatoes instead for a heartier texture. I think it could use just a bit of extra flavor, maybe in the form of some fresh basil. But really, the croissants were show stealers, so the poor little frittata got scant attention from me. I can barely remember how it tasted.

31 comments:

  1. I'm not a really great fan of croissants but I'll definitely be trying the frittata! Thanks for posting.

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  2. Those look and sound delicious. I think that the pomegranate jelly is surely a must as well! -e

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  3. A ruler? Incredible! I remember making french baguettes for the first time and was so intimidated by all the number of rising and pummeling, but it was ever so worth it :) THank you!

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  4. those croissants look absolutely fabulous and i can only imagine how the pomegranate jelly was the perfect complement.

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  5. I'm so glad you posted this! It all looked delicious!

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  6. I'm going to proceed to eat an entire batch of these, not fit into any of my clothes, and feel smug about it. :)

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  7. thanks, i'll add this recipe to my "someday i'll try that" list! :-)

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  8. Sounds like a great weekend endeavor!

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  9. I know what you mean about disappointing croissants. Luckily the area I just moved into has the perfect bakery around the corner - the kind with no frills or tables, just melt-in-your-mouth breads - but I'm definitely going to try out this recipe to perhaps save my bank account!

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  10. I think my fave recommendation here is the one about stretchy pants. No, I'm sure it is.

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  11. Oh dear goodness gracious! Homemade croissants... Sounds scrumptious! Thanks for the recipes and tips.

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  12. homemade pomegranate jelly? will you adopt me? i love washing dishes.

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  13. Yum! I try to use Irish butter whenever I can find it. It's my absolute favourite!

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  14. I love croissants. Love them so much I wish I could eat one (or two!) daily. Thanks for posting the recipe, I want to try it. *Last weekend we made the frozen ones from Trader Joe's - ohmygoodness - you let them sit for 9 hours overnight and they puff up huge, then bake. Delightful pain au chocolat or mini croissants, courtesy of TJ's. divine.

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  15. wow! these look incredible. thanks for breaking ground for us and handing over your tips. love your photos and your writing, as usual!

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  16. they look incredible and totally intimidating.

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  17. I admire your advanced kitchen skills! These look so wonderful and full of summery morning-goodness. I bet the leftovers would make a beautiful croissant bread-pudding.

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  18. I'm with Amanda - the stretchy pants were my favourite recommendation, too.

    They look amazing. And just thinking of flaky, buttery croissants with homemade (!) pomegranate jelly is making my mouth water.

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  19. i really truly cannot believe you made croissants. amazing as always.

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  20. Oh my gosh, those look delicious. Croissants always seem so French and complicated, I never thought I would be able to make my own!

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  21. Oh Oh I should have looked at this post after my tummy was full. The croissants look perfect!

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  22. These look wonderful and I know they tasted incredible. I think I may leave those to really good cooks~ like you.

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  23. Baking makes me nervous. It always ends terribly for me. But I will continue to look at your photos enviously :)

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  24. Wow-you are brave! The croissants are beautiful!

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  25. i made chocolate croissants for the moms on mother's day! insane recipe .. but worth it and i too found myself obsessively referring to my ruler ")

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  26. I have always been too scared to try making croissants at home---but if you say it can be done, then I must believe you!

    And you're right--it's all about the butter, baby!

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  27. Now i'm scared - a ruler?! As if i didn't think making croissants would be difficult enough anyway, it never crossed my mind you would require tools! They do look so delicious though that I might just have to check out your link, although the mention of 4 pages of instructions does sound a tad intimidating!!

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  28. these looks absolutely amazing, I bet they tasted sooo good. I'd love to give them a try, it's just a little daunting tho : )

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