Watch Cooking Channel

Baking Croissants with Sarabeth Levine

Sarabeth Levine's Croissants

Notice the layers in this side shot of Sarabeth Levine's perfectly flaky croissants, from her book Sarabeth’s Bakery: From my Hands to Yours.

Sarabeth's BakeryI once considered signing up for a croissant-making class but I decided to buy a cookbook instead. Then I bought more cookbooks and subscribed to more magazines and I bookmarked recipe after recipe online, and still I had never baked croissants. . . I’m quite the recipe hoarder. But when I flipped through my latest cookbook acquisition, Sarabeth’s Bakery: From my Hands to Yours (recently nominated for a 2011 James Beard Award), I was inspired to chat with Sarabeth Levine about the secrets to making those flaky, buttery croissants I occasionally snagged from her bakery in Chelsea Market.

“You have to flip to the first pages of my book and make them,” said Sarabeth, when we met and I blurted out the truth about my croissant-making procrastination. She explained that most people are intimidated by the final product, but croissants really aren’t that difficult to make. They only take a few ingredients and time-wise, you spend most of your time waiting for the dough to chill, freeze and proof. “Making a pound cake takes more focus,” she said.

Sitting in her cozy bakery office, Sarabeth walked me through the steps, pantomiming the bashing of butter-laden dough with a huge rolling pin stashed by her desk. Her obvious passion for these pastries was infectious. So, armed with her no-fail recipe, I decided it was time for me to bake some croissants already.

Croissants

My first batch of croissants, rolled, proofed and baked.

Here are a few tips to go along with the step-by-step guide:

  • Timing is Everything: The croissants really do need to be eaten the day they’re baked, so plan ahead. They need to freeze for 24-hours to 4-days, and then defrost for 8-hours, so do some math before you start mixing up dough.
  • Don’t Over-Mix the Dough: A few lumps of flour are fine, and Sarabeth says it should look like lumpy mashed potatoes.
  • Don’t Fear Sticky Dough: If you’re in doubt, as I was, go ahead and add all the flour called for in the recipe. When shaping, flour your counter, flour the top of the dough, and if your hands still get goopy, just wash them off and jump back in. This was the hardest part of the whole process for me.
  • Temperature is Important: Before folding them together, the butter and the ball of dough should be the same temperature.
  • Use Two Rolling Pins: A large one is great for bashing the butter-filled dough into a flat sheet and a smaller one works best for making the small clover shape required when wrapping the dough around the butter.
  • Be Precise: Have a yardstick and a pizza wheel handy for precise measuring and easy cutting.
  • Don’t Over-Bake: Keep an eye on them and get an oven thermometer. After all the time invested, you don’t want to over-bake them.
  • What About the Next Day?: Use day-old croissants to make Michael Chiarello’s Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding or Nigella’s Caramel Croissant Pudding.
croissants

I even served my beautiful croissants with Sarabeth's jam.

And all that dough-waiting was worth it when I finally opened my oven and pulled out a tray of my very own toasty brown croissants. I couldn’t wait – Were they done? Were they as good as they looked? Steam scorched my fingers as I eagerly tore one apart straight off the cookie sheet and bit into the soft, fragrant goodness. Thin shards of crispy crumb littered the counter, leaving faint stains of butter when brushed away. Sigh. . . I ate three (okay, four) in a row, slathered in butter and spoonfuls of jam. And I emailed a picture to the “goddessofbakedom” herself the next day. “They’re beautiful,” Sarabeth replied. “Job well done!”

croissants

Here's one all dressed up with butter and jam.

Here is Sarabeth’s recipe for perfect Croissant Dough and her Croissant Recipe, both from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From my Hands to Yours. And before you start baking, flip through my complete step-by-step guide.

You can keep up with Sarabeth by checking her fantastic baking blog and following her on twitter.

Tags:

Comments (3476)

  1. best women's handbags posted 12/23/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are useful [...]……

  2. anti-aging posted 12/24/2013

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related bogs to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  3. Kill brad breath posted 12/24/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  4. best cellulite creams posted 12/24/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to piddeling around on the internet and realized…

  5. clean my pc posted 12/24/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While browsing bing I discovered this article in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  6. how to win the lottery posted 12/24/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you will find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  7. get rid of bad breath posted 12/24/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its hard to find informative and precise information but here I found…

  8. Designer handbags posted 12/25/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While searching amazon I discovered this site in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  9. medical coding schools posted 12/25/2013

    medical coding schools…

    [...]although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually really worth a go as a result of, so possess a look[...]…

  10. fix dry skin posted 12/25/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to messing around online and realized…

  11. kaminski technology…

    goalsample controlor klub nellospazio fbigroup prospectsto poets….

  12. get rid of under eye circles posted 12/25/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While searching youtube I discovered this page in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  13. egigs posted 12/25/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to blogs that we link to because we think they are worthed[...]……

  14. ecigarettes posted 12/25/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  15. treat hemorrhoids posted 12/25/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am regularly proclaiming that its hard to get good help, but here is…

  16. under eye treatments posted 12/25/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are few links to blogs that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  17. muscle building supplements posted 12/26/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are few of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  18. Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  19. Pension Tracing Service posted 12/26/2013

    Looking around…

    While I was surfing today I saw a great post about…

  20. xbox live generator posted 12/27/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  21. tao of badass review posted 12/27/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  22. wake up now scam posted 12/27/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other blogs, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some of them worthed to try[...]……

  23. full version Free pc games posted 12/27/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other articles, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some of them worthed to try[...]……

  24. how to be more green posted 12/27/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worthed[...]……

  25. Title…

    [...]that will be the finish of this report. Here you will come across some web pages that we think you will value, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  26. affordable seo services posted 12/28/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its difficult to find informative and accurate info but here I noted…

  27. lawyer website design posted 12/28/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am constantnly saying that its difficult to get good help, but here is…

  28. best quarterback mechanics posted 12/28/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  29. Bored at work…

    I like to surf around the web, often I will go to Stumble Upon and read and check stuff out…

  30. buy gold coin posted 12/28/2013

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  31. Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  32. Stevia zoetjes navulling posted 12/29/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  33. sites4teachers.com posted 12/29/2013

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nevertheless genuinely worth taking a look, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got a lot more problerms as well [...]…

  34. Download music from YouTube posted 12/29/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to websites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  35. Tumblr article…

    I saw a writer writing about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  36. cannabis seeds posted 12/30/2013

    Title…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they may be basically really worth a go through, so have a look[...]…

  37. Tumblr article…

    I saw someone talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  38. instagram followers cheap posted 12/30/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  39. Prediksi Skor posted 12/30/2013

    Looking around…

    While I was browsing yesterday I saw a great article concerning…

  40. Texas wedding videographer posted 12/31/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  41. Estudio Viajeros Travelgenio posted 12/31/2013

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  42. Liam posted 12/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are basically worth a go through, so possess a look[...]…

  43. Estudio Viajeros Travel2be posted 12/31/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  44. Estudio Iniciativas Virtuales posted 12/31/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  45. backpacking posted 12/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  46. Estudio Viajeros Travel2be posted 01/01/2014

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG today I noticed this…

  47. More Info posted 01/02/2014

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are several totally not connected web-sites to ours, however, they are certainly worth going over[...]…

  48. best fat burning supplement posted 01/02/2014

    Title…

    [...]we prefer to honor quite a few other web internet sites around the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  49. luxury cottages York posted 01/02/2014

    Yahoo results…

    While browsing bing I discovered this page in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  50. michael raynor actor posted 01/03/2014

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting topic…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c