Oh my heart I actually managed to make these in my first attempt and the fact that they turned out edible (not to mention flaky, beautiful, and delicious) is a border line miracle.
My first tip: read the recipe front to back because, up until about two pages in, I was blissfully unaware of the time required to accomplish this mighty task. 14 hours people. 14 hours is about how long it takes. I, however, pulled it off in about 8. Which I probably shouldn't be proud of. The Parisians would surely scoff.
Can you blame me for wanting to eat them before sun down? I took a chance and skipped one or two minor (possibly major) steps and, to my surprise, it worked.
I followed the directions exactly in the Duchess Bake Shop recipe book up until the part where you have to let your dough sit over night. I wasn't about to wait until Monday morning. The croissant cravings were too real.
The key (as I learned) is in the layering of the dough and butter. I followed the steps exactly when it came to butter placement, rolling out the dough, and folding it just so. Duchess does a great job of explaining this process with visual aids. Keep in mind yours will not look as perfect as theirs but, in the end, that doesn't really matter.
After rolling, folding, refrigerating, rolling, folding, and more refrigerating, I couldnt take it anymore. Instead of placing my dough into the fridge overnight, I skipped that phase and started the final rising stage before baking.
Duchess says to put boiling water into a pan below your croissants in the oven to let them steam and rise before baking. I decided on a firm no with that one and instead placed my rolled up croissants in a warm area (in this case, it was on the counter by the stove being used for dinner prep, so there was plenty of warming going on). I let it sit for about an hour and they did in fact double in size. I considered that a success and plopped them into the oven.
Approximately 6.5 magical minutes later, they we're done, looking as golden as ever. Be sure to watch them. The recipe suggests 16 minutes but after 9 mine were done.
Don't get me wrong; had I the time to refrigerate over night I would have done so. There is definitely something to be said about letting your flavours marry over night. As delicious as this batch was, I intend to try making them again to see how flavourful they get when the steps are followed exactly.
Two other things to note. Instead of fresh yeast (not usually found in the average grocery store), I used traditional dry yeast from the can. I also used all purpose flour instead of bread flour. Both still did the trick and I didn't notice a huge difference flavour and texture wise.
I also couldn't help but create a few chocolate croissants while I was at it. I added a square of bakers dark chocolate to the the base of the flat triangle dough before rolling it up. The chocolate ones definitely stole the show.
You can find this recipe in the Duchess Cook Book; I also referenced a couple of Pinterest recipes to see if I was going to royally screw up my croissants. They all give similar directions, minus the steaming at the end. That one is all Duchess.
As i've mentioned in the past, I don't like to share recipes from this book as I am a huge support of local businesses. But I hope my commentary on these recipes help those of you testing them out, or at least give you something to relate to.
Thanks for reading!