I’ve only dabbled in viennoiserie since I started baking but it’s been on the top of my baking bucket list to conquer for the last year.Most people who ask would you bother making your own Croissants? I’m obviously a bit mad but I would never think anything is too much work if you want the real thing. I love a challenge and this is a baking challenge. I’m by no means an expert now after completing a 6 hour intensive course but I was super happy with the results and hope to carry on making and experimenting with this beautiful pastry.
It requires a minimum of two days to produce one croissant. The first stage is preparing the dough which then must rest for 18-20 hours in the fridge before you can even start laminating the dough.This is the scary part. Keeping the dough cold enough to fold in the butter will rolling it out and creating more layers. There are loads of different methods of creating this but I learned a 3-4-4 method. It worked so I am not looking any further.
The most important tips I took from the class and feel are vital to successful croissants is to constantly flour your work top while rolling it out so that you can get even layer without tears. As you are rolling your dough it should always be moving forward and never stick to the surface. Also keep ice packs handy (or bags of frozen peas) to ice down your dough if it gets to warm and avoid touching it with your hands if at all possible. The heat from your hand will turn this dough into an oily brioche in seconds. All that said it was really enjoyable to make my own pastry and will be hopefully a a regular product at my markets and the coffee shops I supply. I’m keeping it small scale as it is labour intensive and sadly in Ireland there can be a lack of appreciation of artisan baked goods. Hopefully this will improve with the popularity of home baking. Don’t be afraid of making your own viennoiserie! Pick a cold day and give your self plenty of time. The dough can be be pre-made and frozen up to 6 weeks so you can have it ready for a special weekend treat. Just let in defrost in fridge overnight and the do your final roll and shape and prove for 1-2 hours the morning you want your fresh baked goods and everyone will be very impressed!