Earlier this month I had a "coffee" for a group of women I know in my community. Long story short, I decided to make homemade croissants. For those of you who are adventurous, they are a lot easier to make than one would think; just a bit time consuming.
First of all, there is a LOT of folding. And rolling the dough out into a perfect rectangle was a little bit challenging. One neat trick I learned was to roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper. In the past I rubbed the rolling pin with flour.
The second huge thing about making croissants was the large amount of butter used in the recipe. Not only was the initial amount of butter for the dough, but I also had to add 2 additional sticks of butter (unsalted) during the folding process. It is also advisable to pat down the butter (flatten, actually) with a piece of plastic wrap over it; that way you can avoid getting your hands messy. Still, I had to take my wedding ring off for this so I didn't have to clean it up later on:
One of the interesting things about the folding process is the more you fold, the more flaky layers you get. It's interesting because it appears the dough has been smoothed out, but some how it knows it's layered and has folds. I do not know enough about pastry making to know why or how; it just does.
I was also tasked with figuring out a way to create a make-shift proofer environment in my oven. After the fact, I found out that wasn't really necessary as long as the croissants were covered and in a room that is able to maintain a constant 80 degrees. With that said, my croissants would have definitely been better off staying covered overnight. You live and learn. They still came out great.
The recipe I have told me to cut out the dough into 4x6 rectangles, hence the need to roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Since I wanted mini-croissants, I cut the dough into 2x3 rectangles instead. You can put any type of filling in the center. And don't forget the egg wash; that's what gives the croissants it's golden glow.
Thanks for looking!