Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Croissant 牛角飽

It is a popular belief that consuming breads (especially those made from white flour), pastries and desserts will make you gain weight. These foods are loaded with carbohydrates (mainly starch and sugar. Fiber is also a type of carb.) and fats. Modern city dwellers "input" a lot but "output" only a little.
chocolate croissants
I always wondered why French women in general are slimmer than most Americans. While more and more Americans are classified as obese, the French do not seem to have this problem even though breads, pastries and desserts are abundant there. What are their secrets to enjoy these foods without worrying about their waistlines? Genetics play a major role, I think. While we cannot change that, there are certain factors we can master. Firstly, eating smaller portions and knowing when to stop is key. Take myself as an example, I enjoy the cooking process but I do not have to eat every thing I make. Sharing with others is part of the joy. Secondly, eating out less certainly helps. By making homemade food, you can select the finest ingredients and control what and how much you put in. Lastly, eat less processed food like hot dogs, ham, spam, etc. Learn to read the labels. I always get turned off if the list of ingredients is long, especially with terms that I cannot pronounce. :)

"Fake food--I mean those patented substances chemically flavored and mechanically bulked out to kill the appetite and deceive the gut--is unnatural, almost immoral, a bane to good eating and good cooking." --Julia Child

In French Women don't get fat, author Mireille Guiliano offers some French recipes. This croissant is one of them. It takes 3 days to complete but only a very short time each day. Plan ahead.

Makes about 12-16
2 1/4 cups/315g unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbsp/24g sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1c milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks/12 tbsp unsalted butter

Day 1
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm milk in the mixer. Stir in 2 tbsp flour. Cover and stand for about 20 minutes. Heat the remaining milk to lukewarm and add to the batter in the mixer. Add the sugar, salt and the remaining flour and beat at high speed with the dough hook. Mix until dough is tacky and soft. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2
Shape the room temperature butter into a square by incorporating 3 tbsp flour with the heel of your hand or a scraper. Bring out the cold dough and roll into a 6x15 inch rectangle. Put the butter on the upper two thirds of the dough. Fold it up and roll back into a rectangle. Repeat the folding and rolling a few times. Cover and refrigerate.

Day 3
One and a half hours before baking, roll out the dough into a rectangle.

Cut out into small triangles and roll up from the wide side.


add chocolate chips for chocolate croissant

Brush with egg wash and let stand in room temperature for about 45 minutes until it doubles.
Preheat the oven to 400F. While the oven is preheating, put the croissants in the fridge to firm up the butter a bit before baking. Brush more egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

1)  This recipe can be modified and finished in one day. Instead of refrigerating the dough overnight, it can rise in room temperature until it doubles. Then proceed to day 2. After folding and kneading with the butter, refrigerate for an hour. Then proceed to day 3.


  1. miss reading your blog aunt phoebe! yes, european woman tend to be slimmer...i think it's because they also walk everywhere and commute less by car.

    ready for boston!? remember to visit flour bakery in boston!

  2. Yes, that's true. I walk 30 minutes daily. I visited flour bakery last time. It was good! You have any more vacation time?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...