Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Brioche Croissants

Croissants, as defined by Wikipedia, "is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie or Vienna-style pastry named for its well-known crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry.". Even before knowing its descriptions, I was already intimidated by the making of this delicate pastry from eating one bought from a decent bakery. And that's just why I've put off the idea of trying to make croissants at home until now. 

I went through many recipes online before settling with this particular recipe given the small quantity which I thought would be more manageable. But I was caught in a dilemma at the results of my final baked pastry because a recipe meant to be homemade croissants turned out more like brioches. And Brioches, according to Wikipedia, "is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs.". 

Given the soft bready texture made out of a laminated croissant dough which doesn't contain eggs,  I'm not sure if they may well be a brioche alike or a failed croissant recipe. Or perhaps these could probably be the integration of brioches and croissants. I mean, Chef Dominique Ansel invented Cronuts, a croissant-doughnut pastry, then how about a new invention of brioche-croissant pastry? Haha! Anyway, I must admit that I did not follow the instructions of the recipe which I'd referenced. The impatient me tried to combine all the different methods of croissant-making that I read online using the specified ingredients, and reduced the originally 3-day making affair into a 1-day affair, twisting the steps here and there. Seemingly a smart-aleck right, I know. Haha! I never like to follow proper rules anyway, but I guess it's just a lesson learnt. Perhaps there's just no short-cut when it comes to croissant making. In any case, this may well be a blessing in disguise since the final baked product turned out edible (haha!), and in fact they were incredibly soft! So here's my Brioche Croissants...

And I'm not giving up, just yet. I'm going to experiment this recipe again, following the exact same steps and I'll share the results then. In case any of you have tried the same original recipe, do drop me a note in the comments section as I would love to share your results!

Brioche Croissants
Recipe sourced and modified from: Dessert for Two
Makes 4 to 6

Ingredients Required

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon milk, divided
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached bread flour, divided
1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter (for laminating)
Egg wash: 1 to 2 large egg yolks, beaten

Bakeware Used

Large baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Preparation Steps
  1. Heat 1/2 cup milk to 115-degrees F (or hand hot temperature), and stir in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar until dissolved. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, the remaining sugar and salt. 
  3. Add the foamy yeast mixture to the dry mixture, and knead until smooth using a wooden spoon, about 3-4 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but it will stick to itself and not the edges of the bowl. Refrigerate for four hours.
  4. Fold a large sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle of approximately 1-cm short of 6" x 10" dimension.
  5. Slice the butter into almost equal thickness and lay flat on the parchment paper within the folded lines of the rectangle. 
  6. Cover with a large piece of plastic cling wrap and roll the butter to form an even layer within the folded lines of the parchment paper. Scrap the butter that spread over the folded lines and place over the rest of the butter and re-roll to form an even layer. Refrigerate the butter until firm.
  7. After four hours, flour the working surface and rolling pin, and roll out the dough into a 6" x 15" rectangle. Place the roll-out dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with a plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. This helps to bring down the temperature of the dough to a similar consistency with the temperature of the cold butter.
  8. After 1 hour, transfer the dough to a floured working surface and roll out to 6" x 15" if necessary. The 6" side should be closest to you. Measure and mark out the dough with a slight indentation at 5" and 10" length-wise.
  9. Remove the butter and slice into two width-wise. Place one portion of the butter right in the middle of the dough. Fold up the bottom part of the dough to the middle, covering the butter.
  10. Place another portion of butter on top of the folded-side of the dough and fold down the top part of the dough, once again covering the butter.
  11. Rotate the laminated dough 90-degree counter-clockwise. Gently roll out the dough into a 6" x 12" rectangle to spread the butter layered in between the dough. Flour the dough and rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking.
  12. Once rolled out, brush off any excess flour on the surface of the dough using a pastry brush.
  13. Tri-fold the dough again by folding the bottom third up to the middle and then folding the top third down to the middle. Brush off any excess flour on the surface of the dough before each fold. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. 
  14. Repeating the above steps 3 more times, refrigerating for 1 hour between each fold and roll. After the last roll out, refrigerate the dough for two hours.
  15. Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it on a floured surface into a 6" x 12" rectangle.
  16. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the rectangle length-wise into 3 evenly-sized rectangle. Then cut each rectangle diagonally to form a total of 6 triangles. 
  17. Roll out the short side (at the 90-degree angle) of the triangle slightly to form a symmetrical triangle.
  18. Make a small slit at the wide end and roll the dough towards the skinny tip.
  19. Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush with the remaining tablespoon of milk.
  20. Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. The rolls are ready to bake when they wiggle as you shake the baking sheet slightly. 
  21. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  22. Brush the egg yolk generously over the croissants. Be sure to get it in every nooks and crannies.
  23. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Start checking on the rolls at the 10th minute, and shield them with a piece of foil if the edges threaten to burn. 
  24. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool over a wire rack before serving.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. The above preparation steps are not the same as he original source recipe (for homemade croissants) which takes 3 days before the final baking. Click here if you wish to refer to the original instructions guide.
  2. I substituted the all-purpose flour in the original source recipe with bread flour in my above baking experiment. I suppose the higher gluten content might have certain impact on the texture of the baked pastry. 
  3. The original source recipe suggested adding flour into the yeast and milk mixture. Apparently it didn't work for me as I noticed no reaction from the yeast, unlike what I get as shown in my picture above. In fact adding flour to help the yeast bloom is something new to me as most of what I've read uses sugar, which is what I have suggested and twisted in my above recipe. Then again, I am using bread flour, so I'm not sure if it would work with all-purpose flour. With one batch of wastage, I rather stick with sugar.
  4. The above steps 9 and 10 is the result of a smart-aleck me. Oops. Since the croissant dough is all about layering the butter in between dough, I thought this method of double layering the butter would be of help. Guess this method did not quite work scientifically in hope of baking some flaky croissants. Haha!
  5. I baked my rolls for 12 minutes before removing them from the oven (baking time varies across different ovens).
I must re-emphasize that this is definitely not one classic flaky croissant recipe. However, I would still like to share this recipe in my own ways given that it is a successful Brioche Croissants integration. ^_^

They were still incredibly soft the next morning!

I am sharing this post with Bake-Along #80: Theme - Croissants jointly organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings.

This is definitely one challenging theme! But thanks to the trios for giving me the push to execute this intimidating bake which I have put off for a long while. I'm definitely going to try making croissants again! ^_^

And for the first time, I am sharing this post with blog event, Perfecting Pâtisserie June 2015 organised by Kevin of The Crafty Larder and Lucy of BakingQueen74
There is no theme for this month and according to Kevin, their definition of pâtisserie for the challenge also includes viennoiserie e.g. croissants, pastries and so on!

Till next time!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker


  1. Interesting experiment and I like your sharing experience.

  2. Wow!!! I really like the concise instructions that you wrote with well illustrated photo to show how you made these croissants! You are such an organised person.


    1. Hi Zoe, thank you thank you! A picture speaks a thousand words, so I try to take as many pictures as I could.. :)

  3. Croissant is really a challenge to make! Your brioche-croissant looks wonderful with soft crumbs inside. I love eating brioche, so I would definitely love to eat your croissant with a mug of hot coffee!
    Thanks for baking along with us!

    1. Right Joyce, it's indeed challenging. It definitely takes a lot of patience too. Although it didn't turn out well like flaky croissants should, which is quite reasonable since I tried to do rush a 3-day croissant making affair into 1 day, but I'm glad it became a new creation - brioche made from laminated croissant dough. Haha! Thanks for your lovely note. It certainly is enjoying to bake-along. :)

  4. hi dream baker! these look wonderful..i'm glad that you took up this challenge baking croissants with us..your steps are well explained here, me too nvr came across of putting flour into yeast to activate them..hmm..i really think it's okay for beginners like us to squeeze 3 days to one day making croissants, you know very first btch i also did in 3 days but ended all throwing away. thats why subsequesntly all i did was small batch and also quicker one.

    1. Hi Lena! Thank you! This was my first time making croissants and I was greedy to sink my teeth into the croissants thus tried to reduce the entire baking process. But I guess good things are just worth waiting for.. :)

  5. Now I love croissants, and I also love brioche - I bet these tasted great! Thanks for linking up with #PerfectingPatisserie, and sorry for the late comment

    1. Hi Lucy! It's better late than never! Thanks much for dropping a note. I hope this Brioche Croissants combination is right for you! :)