Because...the last thing you want to do right now in the middle of summer is turn on the oven and play with cold laminated dough? Well sorry, but this post is long overdue, and I personally want this recipe on my blog at some point so I can make them again in the fall during all of the holidays. The other reason this post is going up now is because I have nothing else currently in the works. I (kind of) don't have a kitchen!! Which leads me to some news!
We bought a house! And we moved to San Antonio!
I have been keeping a secret from y'all for about 4 months now, when we first started looking at houses back in March, and it has not been easy. If you are a careful reader you may have suspected something with all of our frequent trips to San Antonio, hehe. It has been the craziest and most insane housing process, most of which I don't really want to get into, but after 4 offers and dozens of home tours and a tricky loan situation and much more drama, we are officially HOMEOWNERS!
It's such an amazing feeling. I feel so incredibly blessed, and I definitely know Kyle and I appreciate it a lot because we never imagined we would be able to be homeowners this early in our lives, especially considering we were living in Harlem in New York City only a year ago! But, God is good and somehow we are moving up in the adult world.
Since we moved in, it has been nonstop projects. We are scraping down all of the popcorn off the ceilings, painting, cleaning, and renovating certain rooms. We are re-doing the kitchen completely and eventually the master bathroom. We bought an older home and there are a lot of things that just need to be replaced. But I love how quiet it is here, I love having a yard (and so does Sibbie!!), and our neighbors have all been very welcoming and friendly. Kyle has been home working on projects this week and it has been so nice having him nearby. I'm sure there will be more house renovation updates in this space for the next few months!
Why did y'all move to San Antonio when you literally just moved to Austin from NYC? I know, I know. It's crazy how much we have moved in the past 4 years, but this time we are definitely going to be here for awhile and putting down roots, at least while Kyle is in school! For the past 2 1/2 years he has been going to school full time while also working full time to take all of the prerequisites needed for Optometry school. He finally finished his last prerequisite in May and applied to Optometry school (after taking and passing the OAT).
There are only 19 optometry schools in the U.S., so we were looking at schools in Houston, San Antonio, Memphis, and Chicago. Neither of us really wanted to move out of state again, so we were really praying he would get into at least 1 of the 2 Texas schools.
We heard back from the San Antonio school after only a couple of weeks, and the way the admissions process works is once you get an offer letter, you have to let them know if you accept within the week. We still hadn't heard back from the other schools, but we didn't need to wait. We were excited to be back in San Antonio, and finally be closer to family and friends again. I couldn't be happier with our decision, because it's been a long time since we lived here. I am happy to be in a city that is near family, has easy access to tacos 24/7, is affordable and laid back, and has much more friendly people (no hard feelings, Austin!).
Maybe it sounds like all of these crazy life changes have been easy and I have just been calmly wading through the water without any questions or insecurities or doubts or fear of drowning. Well this is not true. It's been a really difficult and challenging year. I always want to be cheery for this space because food makes me happy and no one wants to hear complaining. But the truth is, it has not been easy! There have been many tearful nights and sometimes frustration and discussions like what are we doing and where are we going to live and when is this going to happen. It's been a long year(s) of waiting, and not seeing much of each other, but I'm thankful to be out of the boat and onto the shore once again. There is hope at the end of the tunnel, I'm here to tell you! I've definitely learned that over the past few years, as well as where I should be putting my daily trust in.
Now that all that is out of the way, let's talk about these buttery golden croissants! I absolutely adore croissants, and would frequently get them at the Le Pain Quotidien right across my office in Midtown East Manhattan. They were flaky, buttery, soft, and paired perfect with hot coffee. I also had them daily when we went to Paris for a week in 2015, and they were absolutely incredible.
Making homemade croissants have been on my list of things to make for at least 2 years now, but who has the time? Make the time!! I roped Kyle into making them with me one weekend and when they came out of the oven golden and warm and soft yet flaky, we were in bread heaven and agreed it was 100% worth it.
Homemade Butter Croissants
makes approx. 32 croissants
barely adapted from Half Baked Harvest
- 6 tbl. warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 4-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4 tbl. melted and cooled butter
- 2 cups cold whole milk
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working
- 2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg beaten, mixed with 1 tbl. milk for eggwash
make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the warm water and a pinch of the sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
After yeast mixture is foamy, add in the remaining sugar, salt, melted butter and milk and mix on medium speed until just combined. With the mixer still on medium speed, gradually add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough comes together and forms a sticky ball.
Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch in thickness. Transfer to a large baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
make the butter package: Place cold butter on a cutting board side by side or alternatively place in a large gallon ziploc bag. Beat with a rolling pin until the butter becomes flat and smooth, and shape it into an even 6x8 inch rectangle. Keep working at it and shaping with your hands to make it this shape. It can be tricky but keep working at it. Pop butter package back in the fridge until dough is ready to use.
laminate the dough: When dough is chilled, roll out onto a lightly floured surface into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. With the short side of the rectangle facing you, place the butter package directly in the middle, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the dough. Fold the dough like a letter, by folding the bottom half over the butter and then the top half over the bottom half, sealing the edges of the dough as you fold.
Turn dough again so the short side is facing you. Using a rolling pin, press down dough and flatten it once again until it becomes a 15 x 10 inch rectangle.
Turn the short side of the dough towards you again, and fold once more like a letter: fold the bottom third towards the middle, then fold the top third over it. The dough should be roughly an 11 x 6 inch rectangle. Use your hands to form it if not this shape. This completes the first turn! Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Return dough to a lightly floured surface, and repeat the process of folding, rolling, and chilling the dough to make 3 more turns. After the final turn, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight, so you can have them when you wake up in the morning!).
form the croissants: Divide the dough in half and place half in the refrigerator to chill. Roll out the halved dough onto a lightly floured surface until a 9 x 18 inch rectangle is formed. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice dough lengthwise in half. Cut each lengthwise strip into even-sized triangles. On the longest side of the triangle, cut a small slit in the middle. Using both hands, roll up croissant while pushing ends out to either side. Place on a baking sheet 2-3 inches apart, and cover with a towel for 1 -2 hours.
Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 425°F. Brush dough with the eggwash, and bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on the pan slightly before devouring.
*If you would like to freeze some of these (that's what we did because no way could the two of us eat 32 croissants...), simply go through all of the steps up to forming the croissants and laying them out on baking sheet. Freeze them for 2-3 hours until hard, and then transfer to a plastic bag. Store in the freezer.
When ready to use, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then sit out at room temperature for 2-3 hours before baking.*