Is there anything better than waking up to the aroma of golden buttery croissants fresh out of the oven? This simple thought makes my mouth water.

Baking croissants is somewhat easy, but I have to admit the process is very time-consuming… but oh so rewarding! It needs to be planned ahead since the dough has to rest for a long time.

Also, by baking croissants at home, you can decide on the amount of filling you put and get creative: you can make sweet croissants, savoury croissants, … Personally, I’m usually very conservative and bake regular, chocolate or almond croissants, but I sometimes bake cheese-filled croissants or even zaatar (a middle-eastern spice mix of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds) croissants. To each his own!

The best part is that all this work can be enjoyed again afterwards if you decide to freeze some of the croissants. They keep well, and then you can satisfy a craving much faster than when you have to start the whole baking from scratch!


(yield: about 14 croissants)

        1 kg               white flour (ubut: unbleached, untreated)
   500 ml               warm water
      30 gr               milk powder
      20 gr               salt
      30 gr               yeast
    125 gr               sugar
    200 gr               butter (room temperature)

    450 gr               butter (room temperature, flattened to form a rectangle the size of the paper wrapping)

Whip water and yeast together. Add milk powder to the mixture.
Add flour. Mix either by hand or with a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.
Add sugar and salt.
Add butter, little at a time.
Knead for 5 to 6 minutes (stand mixer) or 8 minutes (by hand), until butter cannot be distinguished.
Let sit in the fridge for 60 minutes, covered with a plastic wrap.

Dust your work surface with flour. Roll the dough (using a rolling pin). Make a
26 in x 16 in rectangle.
Spread the butter (turns) on 2/3 or ¾ of the surface of the dough. Fold in 3 lengthwise. Close the sides. Gently roll the dough (the butter must not burst out!).
Fold in 3, butter on butter.

You must make 3 turns in total. The dough must rest for 60 minutes in the fridge between each turn.
Then, let the dough rest overnight in the fridge, either cut or not.

Roll the dough, make a 30 in x 18 in rectangle.
Cut in half lengthwise.

For croissants, cut 80-90g triangles.
Make a small incision on the shorter side, then roll while stretching the dough towards the outside.

For chocolatines (or pains au chocolat), cut 7 in long rectangles.
Brush egg wash on the upper and the lower part of the rectangle, put three chocolate sticks, fold dough over the first stick then roll the rest of the rectangle, placing the « seam » at the bottom when you’re finished rolling.

Brush the croissants/chocolatines with egg wash (3 eggs, water, salt), let proof. Add some egg wash, bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400oC.

If the croissant was frozen, proof either for 4 hours on the counter, overnight in the fridge, or one hour in a preheated oven, under a wet cloth.


Easter Chocolate

Easter is only a few weeks away and it’s not too early to begin thinking about what treats I’m going to offer some lucky few this year! When I think Easter, the first thing that comes to my mind is chocolate… Who doesn’t like chocolate? Oh yeah, my best friend Sandra. But except for her, really, who doesn’t like chocolate? But is chocolate any original? Nevermind originality, it is always a much appreciated treat! This year, I decided to mold my own Easter chocolates… What about a nice chocolate egg or bunny that’s been hand-crafted by no one other than me? I’m sure my mom will be delighted. And my dad. And my nephew. Ok, maybe he won’t care. Anyways, that would also make for a super fun afternoon for me! 

Chocolate molding involves no recipe. All you need is chocolate (either dark, milk or white, but chocolat de couverture would work best), a bain-marie, a thermometer and molds! It looks very easy at first sight, and it sort of is, except that in order to get a nice shiny chocolate that won’t turn whitish afterwards, you need to temper the chocolate the right way. It can be tricky, so let me explain how it should be done.

Using a double-boiler [warning: the water should be simmering, not boiling; make sure NO drop of water falls in the chocolate or it will ruin it], melt half the quantity of your chopped chocolate until it reaches 45 °C (113 °F). Then, take the upper bowl off the double-boiler and add the rest of the chopped chocolate. While melting, this addition will make the temperature of the melted mixture to drop. It has to reach 27 °C (81 °F). Once it has reached that point, put the bowl back on top of the double-boiler until it reaches 31 °C (88 °F). You now have tempered chocolate that’s ready to be worked with!

When your chocolate is tempered, it is ready to be poured in the mold. Once your have covered all the sides, gently tap the mold on your counter to make sure there are no air bubbles. Then, flip the mold over the bowl of tempered chocolate and let drip the excess. Let the chocolate set, and check if the coating is thick enough. If not, add a second layer. When the chocolate is hard, unmold by simply turning the mold over, and gently pushing to extract the chocolate. And ta-dah! You have a masterpiece! If you mold is double-sided, just add some chocolate on the edgesyou’re your unmolded chocolate and stick the two pieces together, trying to seal the seam.

Be warned though that working with chocolate can be very messy. By the end of the day, my kitchen counter was covered in chocolate, as was my cleaning cloth, my shirt… and my face! (oops!) Also, beforehand, it’s important to set a security perimeter around the kitchen. Just in case. I didn’t and my significant other kept stealing spoonfuls of tempered chocolate while I wasn’t looking.