The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissants, a la Bertinet

pmccool's picture

Croissants, a la Bertinet

We had invited friends for brunch the weekend after New Year's day and I had already decided to make zolablue's cinnamon rolls.  It seemed, though, that something else would be good to have with the quiches that my wife was making; something not quite so sweet as the cinnamon rolls (which were fabulous, by the way).  It occurred to me that a croissant's buttery, flaky lightness would be a perfect accompaniment for the richness of the quiche.  There was one minor problem: I'd never made a croissant in my life.

The first step: search TFL for threads dealing with croissants.  I found two things that proved to be very helpful.  The first was a formula for Bertinet's croissants, posted by dolfs.  The second was a link to SteveB's Breadcetera site, which included some very helpful videos and other instructions for croissants.  Armed with this information, I decided to forge ahead.  If the croissants turned out well, I would serve them to my guests; if they turned out badly, my guests would never hear about them but my wife and I would have some very tasty french toast.

The next step was to assemble all of the ingredients and start building the dough.  I'll spare you all of the process steps; Dolf and Steve have done an excellent job of documenting those, which you can read by clicking on the links, above.  My laminated dough skills, being essentially non-existent, caused a couple of butter breakouts during the turning and rolling steps.  Happily (for me, anyway), the end product didn't seem to have suffered as a result; although M. Bertinet may not have wanted his name attached to them.

I was grateful to have a largish island on which to roll out the final dough before cutting the croissants.  A 3-foot long strip of dough is much longer in reality than it would seem to be in concept.  While I suspect that I may not have rolled the dough as thinly as a professional baker would have, I did get 14 croissants out of it, plus a couple of smaller scraps from the ends (which served well for QA testing).  

Here's a picture of the shaped croissants during their final rise, after shaping:

Shaped croissants

By this point, I could already tell that they would taste wonderful.  All I needed to do was bake them successfully.  Here's how they looked after coming out of the oven:

Baked croissants

I could probably have left them in the oven another couple of minutes for additional browning, but I was very skittish about burning them after having gotten them this far.  (By the way, Dolf, thanks for including the tip on applying the egg wash.)  Turns out they were fully baked and absolutely delicious, as confirmed by our QA samples.  Lots of tender, buttery, flaky goodness.  

So, our guests did get croissants to go with the quiche, although the cinnamon rolls were probably the bigger hit of the party.  

As good as they are, these will probably remain on my "special occasion" baking list.  For one thing, there's almost a tablespoon of butter in every single one of them.  For another, they require significantly more effort for the yield than a similar quantity of dinner rolls.  Still, after a bite of one warm from the oven with a dab of marmalade, I know I'll be making them again.



trailrunner's picture

I feel the same way you do about the outcome vs the work LOL. The first time I ever made croissant my oldest son was about 3 1/2. He went outside and told all his little friends that "Momma and Daddy had made bread again! " Uh,,,no ,,,no ..too late...all those little fingers grabbed....chomped...yelled "thank you " and out they went. My husband and I looked at each other and sighed and devoured what was left. On a positive note that "boy" is almost 34 now and he is a graduate of NECI and a wonderful chef...I work for him !

You did a fantastic job ! Caroline

SylviaH's picture

Beautiful Croissants...I also saw dolfs photos and have been wanting to give this recipe a try...another one for the to do list....nice photos!  I can just taste them!


Paddyscake's picture

wonderful. We love croissants, but it will have to be for a special occasion that I make them since it's just the two of us.


holds99's picture


Nice job, they look delicious.  Those call for a piping hot cup of cafe au lait.


pmccool's picture

Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

My wife would be right there with you and the cafe au lait, Howard.  I'd prefer a good black tea, personally.  I'd also rather have a croissant than a beignet, any day.