Traditional Croissant…just look at those layers!!!
Almond Croissants…filled with almond paste
I found some new muscles today. I do actually work out and can even do push ups, but rolling out this croissant dough was certainly an invigorating bicep, tricep (and who knows what other muscles!) training. I have made croissants from scratch one other time…for the Daring Bakers. So when my oldest was by for Sunday night dinner, he was disappointed when I started reeling off what was left on the instructions list: 2 more hours in the fridge, then a turning, another two hours in the fridge, then rolling and shaping and another 3-4 hour proofing before baking. I “could” have had these completed on Sunday, but a little hiccup caused a delay. You see, this recipe calls for fresh yeast. Upon googling it, I found it wasn’t easy to locate and impossible to find at the typical supermarket, and there were tales of ordering it online and ending up with dead yeast. With a pound of butter and 1+ day of work invested into these puppies, I wasn’t going to risk it. I substituted 4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast for the one ounce of fresh. Except I followed the instructions for the fresh yeast, tossing it in with the other ingredients and mixing, then kneading in the stand mixer. Well my first dough was the consistency of Silly Putty…nothing like the “soft butter” spoken of by the recipe developer, Esther McManus. Nope. Then I had an aha moment about 4 AM on Sunday…I needed to proof the dry active yeast. Duh. Started over at that point. Who needs sleep????
Well, the aroma in the house was that buttery fragrance found in a French Pâttisserie…as these gems baked away. I filled some with almond paste and rolled the dough around some chocolate morsels in others. You, too, can make these…as the recipe can be found our hostess’ site, Girl+Food=Love, where our Tuesdays with Dorie baker friend, Amanda blogs. And if you’d like to try these tender, flaky pastries, I’d recommend watching this video where Julia Child watches Esther whip up and shape this dough. And set aside a whole weekend dedicated to the most delicious baked goods you’ll ever make!