Croissants were, until very recently, at the top of my list of things that I eventually had to make from scratch. I made them over my spring break, and I was very happy with the results. They were a two-day endeavor, but they were absolutely worth it. I used this recipe, and the instructions on how to form them can be found here.
I mixed my yeasty liquid together, and was relieved, as I always am while baking, when it foamed up.
Next, I mixed in the dry ingredients.
The dough started to come together.
By the time it came together completely, it was very smooth. As per the recipe, I kneaded it by hand for a few minutes and wrapped it and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the dough was in the fridge, I beat the crap out of three sticks of butter and wrapped them in wax paper, then put them in the fridge also.
When the dough came out of the fridge, it had risen slightly and was spongy and just a bit chilly.
I rolled it out and put the butter in the middle.
I folded the dough like a letter over the butter.
I rolled the dough (and the butter) out again, and folded it like a letter again.
After this, it went back in the fridge for an hour. After the hour, it came out of the fridge and I rolled it out and folded it like a letter, then put it back in the fridge. I did this two more times, and after the final fold, I cut the dough in half so that I could freeze half. I could see all the layers of butter in the dough.
Half of the dough went into the fridge, and half into the freezer. The next morning, I rolled out the dough from the fridge, one half at a time, and cut it into triangles.
I rolled up the triangles and let them rise. I baked them. Slightly too much, unfortunately.
However, overdone though they may have been, they were absolutely delicious. Much better than my usual Starbucks croissants. They were quite a bit of work, but it was soothing to do something that had to be done at a leisurely pace, and it turned out to be a great way to kick off my break. I would definitely make them again, and I can't wait to have the opportunity to use the dough that's still in the freezer!
I just finished reading... The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon.