I completely bastardized croissants today. And I'm going to let you know how you too can muddle this French staple and turn it into something weird and delicious! WOO!
Ever since I learned to make croissants in this croissant class from Melinda of Knead and Know here in Northern Virginia, I have become an absolute croissant SNOB. I have never been to France, thus I cannot be truly opinionated on croissants, but I can tell you if you're buying your croissants from Green Fishtail Lady Coffee or Giant Warehouse Jumbo Size Shop, you are eating absolute cardboard. Once you learn how to make your own, or befriend someone who does, there's no going back. There's that much of a difference.
But really, go take her class.
It's not that croissants are hard to make, it's that they take time. There's a lot of patience involved. Also lots of arm strength, so make friends with someone powerful in that realm. Each folding of the dough to 'laminate' it with layers of butter and dough takes a period of rest in the fridge between.
Croissants contain fermented dough (I have had said dough living in my fridge for over two years. I feed it regularly. You don't even have to walk it) which give them so much extra flavor. Really, what makes a croissant a croissant is the layers. Dough and butter which in this case, we have turned into compound butter containing sesame seeds and nori (dried seaweed).
Also- super quick- nail polish color change.....
Today's post is more about the concept and how you can apply it rather than a full recipe. I don't want to give away Melinda's proprietary methods and recipe for croissants (take her class!) but I want to show you how you can take a compound butter (hypothetically with basically anything) and turn them into croissants with your favorite recipe.
The sesame compound butter recipe is from Bon Appétit. It works brilliantly in croissants because one step in the croissant making process is absolutely smashing two sticks (yep) of butter into a rather flat square. And when you're making the compound butter, it is basically a mushed mess, PERFECT for turning into said flat square which you will then freeze for later use in croissant making.
When we formed these croissants we tested a batch with only the compound butter (see the sesame seeds in the dough below?). They were good, but not exactly the flavor robustness we wanted. So for the second batch, before forming them, I added a sprinkle of more sesame seeds, nori and a little sugar before rolling them up. THAT was exactly what they needed. When you make your croissants with a compound butter, I recommend taking a little of what's added to the butter, and adding it to the flat dough before rolling it up. Unless it's a ton more cayenne...
Here you can really see the benefit of filling an extra amount before rolling. WORTH IT.
I'm excited to try more deviations from standard butter in croissants. Let me know your favorite compound butter recipe and we'll add it to our list!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.