I am well aware that I don’t have to bake to eat a good croissant. In fact, I live a stone’s throw from the stores where all kind of great croissant are in no short supply.
So why do I bake my own croissant?
Firstly, just because!
Secondly, when the oven fairy in your kitchen whispers in your ears, I believe that it’s kind of good-manner to yield.
Thirdly, well - serving fresh out of the oven croissant in a sunny morning on your balcony with some tea ... and these days' lemon balm herbal tea strikes my fancy.
Lemon balm herbal tea is naturally sweet, no need to add any sugar. It also has a calming effect with natural remedy properties.
Although croissant is a half day baking adventure, making your own croissants is not difficult, seriously. For one thing there's no special equipment or hard-to-find ingredients required. What is necessary is good technique. The technique doesn’t require a skill so much as patient and time. Once you understand the basics of creating multi-layered dough, you're well on your way to wowing yourself and your family or friends with delicious croissants.
Basic croissant recipe calls for flour and water dough. I made brioche dough, which is flour, egg, milk, vanilla and a few drops of almond extract. Those few drops of almond extracts lend the croissant a tad bit distinct noticeable flavor. I also used wild and active dry yeast and left the dough overnight in the fridge for that tangy distinctive flavor.
A word of wisdom from an amateur baker - Besides some good technique, which doesn’t require a skill so much as patient and time; choosing high end flour and butter is the different between mediocre or extraordinary croissants.
When it comes to baking croissants you definitely get what you pay for.
Since there is no substitute for practice and experience, please don't expect a perfect croissants at your first attempt. The key to success with croissant is not pushing anything too fast.
Keeping the butter chilled in between laminating steps or called ‘turns’ is crucial for creating all the lovely, flaky layers of pastry. Laminating is the process of rolling and folding the dough in order to create very thin layers of butter and dough. More turns the merrier, up to 4 turns, each turn - at least 30 minutes down-time in the fridge, you do the math. If you skimp on chilling time the butter will get too warm and start being absorbed by the dough and you’ll not get that flaky confection we're aiming for. (አደባብሰው ቢያርሱ፡ ባረም ይመለሱ) kind of thing.
Speaking about butter, using a good butter, sometimes labeled as "European butter" with less water and more fat helps create flakier croissants. But using regular butter is just fine. Amish roll butter is a good choice .
If you don't have a whole lot of time to make the croissant from start to finish, you can break up the work and make it over a few days. The croissant dough can be left in the fridge for a few days.