If I thought bagels were ambitious, croissants are just insane. Ok, maybe that is a little unfair, but it felt like a crazy endeavor and the timeline really does necessitate some commitment.
I'm going to be honest, I wouldn't dare put together my own version of a recipe or tutorial for croissants. There are so many steps and such precision in directions, times, and temperatures, I think I'll leave it to the experts.
I followed Tartine's fabulous step by step recipe as shared by Saveur. I started them on Friday night and finished around 11:00am on Sunday. Though complicated and a little scary they were completely worth it for the steaming soft interior and the shatteringly crisp exterior. With a hot cup of cafe au lait and a French Grand Prix to watch, these were heavenly.
What I will share with you is the Almond Croissant variation from TARTINE. Because, OMG, Almond Croissants At Home. I feel like I have super powers. I made these. And then I ate them all.
Adapted from TARTINE by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
1 cup Frangipane Cream (below)
¼ cup Sliced Almonds
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Bake croissants and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, split each croissant in half, but not all the way through. Spread bottom half of croissant with frangipane cream, close croissant and top with a little more frangipane cream, just enough to allow some sliced almonds to stick. Top each with sliced almonds and arrange on baking sheet. Bake at 350 until hot, cream is melted, and croissants are crispy, about 20-35 minutes. Serve dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
Makes about 3 cups
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
4 tsp Brandy (optional)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp whole milk
Combine the almonds with ¼ cup of the sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter until creamy. Add remaining ¾ cup sugar and mix to incorporate. Add the almond sugar mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Add salt, brandy, and 1 egg, mix until incorporated. Add remaining egg and the milk, mix until light and fluffy.
And a final note on the process...
Sometimes when I start to make complicated recipes I have to create a step by step timeline to figure out when I'll need to be available and how long each step will take. It helps me feel a little more like I can tackle a multi day project. I do this when I'm painting a room too. Clean, sand, putty, sand, clean, prime, prime, paint, paint, paint. Look back and admire. Same concept. Much tastier result.
This was my croissant guide. My shorthand is probably not understandable to anyone else, but it helps me get through the recipe, even if it takes a few days :)
Let me know if you decide to tackle some crazy cooking project! I'd love to hear about it.