Daring Croissants

The Daring Bakers' Challenge this month was croissant ala Julia Child.

Yippy, yeah!

I was excited to get all up in making laminated dough. That's what they call layering butter with flour dough. There's puff pastry which isn't yeasted and danish which is and has eggs and is a little sweeter, then there's croissant. It's kind of the Mac Daddy. Do people say that anymore? There are few more obscure laminated pastries out there too like Kouign-Amann which is sugary and caramely. It's on my list to make at some point soon.

This was my first attempt.
Croissant trial No. 1 
I thought I'd give it one more go. My boss was full of stories about pain au chocolat and days as a college student in France. I just thought it would be an opportunity to make a good impression.

As I work in kitchens I made the dough at home and baked it off during my break.

Aren't I lucky to be working with ovens just outside my office door? I think so.

Pain au chocolat. Croissant dough cut rectanular wrapped around dark chocolate

One might say my colleagues are the lucky ones. I shared the croissant buttery goodness with them. I think that's what you might call influence.

"Hello, would you like a warm croissant?"
"Why? It's a hobby, this Bakers' Challenge thing. Don't want them all to myself."
"Oh, I'll just shut up while you enjoy...."

Before proofing

Baked and lovely

I really should have taken pictures of people eating them.

Really, I'm not so much self congratulatory as I am genuinely surprised at all the fuss. The peoples were really very happy while they ate them.

As for the challenge piece, I used to make them professionally twenty some years ago-dear lord-I was but a pup. And please know they aren't hard to do so much as it takes planning. A few minutes over the course of 12 hours or so depending on how much you want to wait. 

Here is a video of Julia Child making them if you are so inclined. I love her.

With Plum Preserves on Melamine
Extra pretty

Frankly, I'm not the biggest fan of fresh plums. But there are these hard little Italian pruning plums one only finds this time of year. I love them. Well, not fresh but cooked. I grew up baking them into a flat cake, done on a jelly roll pan, ala Gisela, my German step mother. Well, I bought some for a cake which I made and share, but alas too many, so I cooked the remaining down into preserves.

(I've since gone and bought 4 more quarts and have made a literal gallon of plum preserves.)

I served them up to to colleagues as well, on melamine, the institutional serving wear of choice. 


  1. WOW that is the way to impress work mates and the boss LOL LOL. They do look wonderful and you are lucky to have an oven outside your work door. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Great job Juliana and it's funny that you mention it because I've got a Kouign-Amann on my to do list. It's one of my very favourite pastries! But I sort of need to work up to making my own puff again :P

  3. If I went out to work and someone wandered up to me with a freshly baked croissant they'd made themselves, I'd be all impressed too :) Well done on the challenge and lovely to meet you Julianna.


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