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Almond Croissants #Dessert Challenge

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This month’s Dessert Challenge, hosted by Sheryl, of Lady Behind the Curtain, features dishes made with Pastry and Almond Paste. It just so happened that our Tuesdays with Dorie group made croissants this month…so I filled some of my flaky, buttery croissant dough with almond paste. I have a feeling most of you won’t go through the two day process of rolling, turning, chilling, repeating over and over to make your own French delicacies. But these Almond Croissants could easily be made with frozen puff pastry dough or even crescent roll dough. If you use a premade puff pastry dough, just make sure to purchase an all butter variety like Dufour brand. You may not get quite the puff as with this yeasted croissant dough, but they’ll still be fantastic.Since I had never filled croissants before, I just rolled a rectangle of dough around a thin rope of almond paste. SO delicious…but I wish I would have used more filling! I topped these pastries with sliced almonds…so the nut-avoiding hubby wouldn’t mistake one of mine for chocolate croissants I created just for him.

I made one of these babies disappear in no time flat while typing up this post…so it’s time to hop on the treadmill so I can have another! Check out all the fantastic creations from my Dessert Challenge friends below.

 

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

Almond Croissants…#Dessert Challenge

  • For Croissant dough:
  • 1 ounce compressed fresh yeast (I used 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast-I let it dissolve in the milk for about 5-10 minutes and added it with the milk.)
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 + cup milk
  • For the butter square
  • 4 1/2 sticks (1 pound 2 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • For Filling:
  • Small can of almond paste
  1. For the dough:
  2. Put the yeast, flour sugar, salt and 1 cup of milk into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If using dry active yeast see proofing instructions in ingredient list). With the machine on its lowest speed, mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until a soft, moist dough forms on the hook. If the dough is too dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time (I added almost 6 T). You want all the flour to be moistened. The hook should pick up all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Set the mixer to its highest speed your manufacturer allows for dough (2 on my KitchenAid) and work the dough until it is smooth and elastic, no longer sticky and close to the consistency of soft butter.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixer and put it in a plastic bag, leaving a bit of space for the dough to expand. Keep the dough at room temperature for a half hour, then refrigerate the dough for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. For the butter:
  6. Attach the paddle to your mixer and beat the butter and flour on the highest speed until smooth and the same consistency as the croissant dough, about 2 minutes. Put the beaten butter onto a large piece of plastic wrap, give it a few slaps to remove any air, then shape into an oval 5 to 6 inches long and 1 inch thick. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate until needed.
  7. Incorporating the butter:
  8. Put the croissant dough on a floured large work surface and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a long rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval approximately 10 inches wide and 17 inches long. Center the oval of chilled butter across the oval of dough and fold the top and bottom of the dough over the butter to make a package. Gently stretch the folded layers of dough out to the sides and press the edges firmly to seal.
  9. Using a rolling pin, start whacking the dough to distribute the butter.Rotate the dough and pound it again in the other direction….you should see the butter moving towards the edges. After pounding you should have a 1 inch thick rectangle about about 14 inches long and 6 inches wide.
  10. Keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured, roll the dough into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long and about 14 inches wide, with the long side facing you. (If your dough and butter has become warm, you may want to refrigerate for an hour or two before this first rolling stage). Brush off the excess flour and, working from the left and right sides, fold the dough inward into thirds (like a brochure).
  11. so that you have a package that’s about 8 inches wide by 14 inches long.
  12. Move the dough to a parchment- lined baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You may want to make the parchment “Turn 1” to keep track of your turns.
  13. Second turn:
  14. Place the dough so that the 14 inch side runs left to right. Making sure the work surface is well floured at all times, roll the dough as you did before into a rectangle 24 to 26 inches long by about 14 inches wide. Note that it’s OK if the dough cracks a little with the next couple turns.
  15. As before, fold the dough in thirds. Place it on the parchment, mark the paper “turn 2”, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  16. Third turn:
  17. Start again with a 14 inch side running from your left side to your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle 24 by 14 inches wide. Fold the left and right sides of the dough into the center, leaving a little space in the center, and then fold one side over the other as though you were closing a book.
  18. Chilling the dough:
  19. Brush off the flour, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours (I refrigerated overnight).
  20. Rolling the dough:
  21. Flour a work surface. Place the dough so that it resembles a book, with the spine to your left and the opening to your right. Then cut the dough in half horizontally…for easier handling. so that you have two pieces about 7 inches long and about 6 1/2 inches wide. Wrap and chill one half while you roll and cut the other. Extra dough may also be frozen to use at another time if desired.
  22. Flour the dough and roll it into a rectangle that’s 24 to 26 inches long and 15 to 18 inches wide. Keep the work surface and the dough well floured. This will give your muscles a work out! If necessary turn the dough so that the long side runs from left to right along the counter. Carefully fold the top half of the dough down to the bottom.
  23. Cutting the dough:
  24. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  25. When the dough is ready to be cut, measure off 3 to 4-inch-wide pieces, and simply cut the dough from bottom to top in straight lines; unfold each strip and cut crosswise in half. Place a rolled piece of almond paste at the top (I would use more than I did!) of each strip of dough and roll the dough into a coil, finishing seam side down. Shape the rest of the croissants and allow to rise.
  26. Glazing and rising:
  27. Brush the croissants with egg wash, garnish with almond slices, and allow them to rise, uncovered, at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, until tripled in size and spongy. (Reserve egg wash, covered in the refrigerator.) The ideal place for rising is a turned off oven containing a pan of hot steamy water.
  28. Baking the croissants:
  29. Preheat the oven to 350º. Brush the croissants once again with egg wash and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate front to back and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, until the croissants are deeply golden. Cool on racks before eating.
  30. Storing:
  31. The croissants are best eaten the day they are made. Freeze in airtight container. Thaw the croissants overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature and reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes.
  32. Source: Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers



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48 comments on “Almond Croissants #Dessert Challenge”

  1. Oh my goodness these look to die for! Sadly Patrick hates all things that have nuts 🙁 , but he is out of town A LOT. I might have to sneak these in when he is gone

  2. You just don’t stop amazing me Liz! These are quite beautiful and so professional looking. I have made croissants before and they were rather successful, but it’s such a rich pastry that I don’t think I’ll make them again, unless it’s for a really special occasion; I’ll just come back to your posts to ogle the beauty.
    My BF hubby also hates nuts, even peanut butter! It’s really amazing. Once, I made almond crackers for my BF and had them sitting on the counter, her hubby came in and popped one in his mouth and as soon as I said it’s almonds he spit it out! No, he is not allergic, just hates nuts. Pretty weird behaviour to say the least.

  3. I’ve never tried my hand at making puff pastry at home, but I do use Defour brand and think it is delicious. I saw that they have a chocolate flavor and am looking forward to trying that too. Either one would be delicious with an almond filling. One of these days I will trying making the pastry myself.

  4. You’re like a rockstar with croissants right now, omg

  5. Awesome round-up, Liz! I’m back from hotel reviews in Penang, so glad to be back cause it’s super hot there. So nice to be greeted by your lovely post. Pardon me if I’m slow in going thru your posts the next few weeks as I’ll be tied up with my reviews; but I’ll be back to catch up.

  6. Wow! You made your own pastry! I have never tried doing that…your croissants look lovely and I know that they had to have an amazing taste…almond paste does that to things!! Beautiful dessert!!

  7. Yum! I love anything almond. This looks so delicious!

  8. Wow Liz your croissants look so wonderful! You’re my hero for being so successful with your croissants. I have yet to muster up the courage to bake them.

  9. Wow, that’s a great combination, almond and croissants, soooo tempting.

  10. As good as these look they’d probably make my mouth itch like crazy. 🙁

  11. One day I will make my own croissants and one of those types will absolutely be almond. I love that almond paste in the center. So delicious and these are so beautiful!

  12. What a great combo–what a great challenge. This looks like a bit of heaven for sure! Beautiful.

  13. oh bella, the almond croissants i’ve had always leave me wishing there was more filling inside!!! haha! i loved going through your posts that i’ve missed this morning, and your photos are simply beautiful.

  14. Good grief, you’re not afraid to tackle anything. You earn the title, “Baking Queen” in my opinion. 🙂 Good job!

  15. These look so good! I wish I had one of these Almond Croissants and some of those fresh strawberries right now!

  16. These look so incredibly flakey! I love them! Never would have thought of adding almond paste to croissants-but I just imagine the taste! Beautiful!

  17. Oh these are really WOW … I love almond paste a lot . I bet you kept the treadmill on all night 🙂

  18. Amazing! I’m sure I could make like 10 of these disappear in the blink of an eye!

  19. Gorgeous croissants, I love the almond filling!

  20. Perfect combo, croissants and almonds. Wish I had one now!

  21. You are so good at baking croissants! These look fabulous! Love almonds and I’m so tempted by these!

  22. These look so yummy! Your homemade crescents are beautiful

  23. look absolutely delicious!! Lizzy!

  24. Oh yum, your croissants look so good!

  25. Wow! I have been wanting my croissants, but they sound intimidating to make! Your look beautiful!

  26. Love those Parisian pastry-style almond croissants, Liz.
    I sooo admire how you create these beauties from scratch =)

    P.s. I didn’t realize the photo of my contribution to the Dessert Challenge and link back to my site couldn’t be included later after posting as in other groups.
    Love to have you take a peek at The Ninja Baker’s Petite Almond Puffs.
    http://ninjabaking.com/news/petite-almond-puffs-dessert-challenge

  27. Oh Lizzy – those look perfect! I adore anything almond and all these recipes look fantastic… eek – I better hit the treadmill before I even read the recipes.

  28. These look AMAZING! How do you make everything so perfectly Lizzy! I’m way too scared to try croissants, except I used to make the ones from a tin when I was a kid, but they don’t count!

  29. They’re so fluffy!

  30. These look so good, Lizzy. Perfectly flaky and wonderful for breakfast or as a break in the afternoon with a hot cup of tea.:))

  31. I would have to live on the treadmill if I visited your home, you always have such delicious treats. Look at that air in the croissant and yes to wrap one up in a dark chocolate would be to die for… Take care, BAM

  32. Oh you are so clever!!!
    I would love to try making these from scratch one day but I fear I may be too lazy 😉
    Yours look beautiful 🙂

  33. What a great recipe! Thanks so much for participating in Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge. I’ll see you again next month with Caramel and Pretzels! YUM! ~Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain~

  34. Liz your croissants are perfect and I’m sure light, buttery and delicious. Croissants are on my to do lit this month.

  35. Wow! These look like the real thing. How clever are you! The rest of the line up look pretty enticing too.

  36. There’s a bakery nearby that makes almond paste filled croissants every morning and they’re far more a weakness for me than any frosted cake. You’re my hero for making these…now you just need to move next door. 🙂

  37. SERIOUSLY impressed with these croissants!!! Wow, they look like you could find them in a bakery window! I had a bad experience making croissants last year…the recipe had the wrong amount of flour in it, so I basically spent 2 full days of making them only to have an inedible product. Maybe I’ll give them a try again one day…. 🙂

  38. I really admire your skills in baking, Liz. I wish I have the same skills but I can just keep trying (sigh). 🙂 This is one of my favorite croissant filling and I’m sure the aroma while it’s being baked is amazing. Have a wonderful weekend, Liz! 🙂

  39. These look GREAT! This was a fun challenge! 🙂

  40. This is my ultimate treat when at a coffee shop. Great almond paste and pastry contribution.

  41. I’m so impressed that you made your own croissants! And love the almond paste inside and almonds on top. I’m sure they made these super special and so tasty!

  42. This is a perfect breakfast in bed! Your croissant looks beautiful with almond filling and wow…all those layers!

  43. I am a fan of almond… so this would be a treat. Fabulous and perfect croissants!

  44. When I saw the first picture, I started saying “yummy” and I’m still saying “yummy”. I don’t think I need to say anything else! 🙂

  45. Lizzy,
    Your croissants look delicious! I’ve always wanted to make them but never had the chance to.
    Annamaria

  46. Oh man! These croissants are calling my name! 🙂

  47. Very nice, Liz. I’ve had to put Baking with Julia on the backburner while I’ve been selling the house and moving. Just trying to hang in there with FFWD. I’ve never made croissants before. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was cleaning out my freezer tonight and found a box of Trader Joe’s frozen Almond Croissants (just proof, let rise overnight & bake). Sooooo, that’s what I’m doing and will be having for breakfast tomorrow morning. Wish I was eating yours instead.

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