Welcome to The Storied Recipe! I host a unique podcast where every guest gives me a recipe that’s significant to their culture, life, and memories. I make, photograph, and share the recipe with you. I invite you to listen to Michelin-starred chef Monique Chan's fascinating, vulnerable story as you make Puff Pastry Croissants.
Puff pastry croissants are probably one of the most challenging things a home baker can attempt, so you definitely want to start with a good recipe. This particular recipe comes to us from a Michelin-starred pastry chef, so you *know* it is perfection!
You can learn more about my podcast guest Monique Chan, who has worked in renowned bakeries (Dominique Ansel Bakery), five star hotels (Le Bristol Paris) and multiple Michelin starred restaurants (Epicure, The French Laundry). Here's what she had to say about the recipe:
Croissants are not only a hallmark of traditional Western pastry, but have also been a constant in my own baking journey. I discovered my love for pastry working at a bakery in Rome where we made hundreds of cornetti (an Italian version of the croissant) daily, and a quest for the perfect iteration of that flaky crescent has shaped my trajectory ever since. It took me through culinary school, bakeries in Paris and Los Angeles, and most recently wrapped up my nomadic adventures in Australia where I worked in a croissanterie. Through croissants, I met amazing chefs and made unforgettable memories with now-lifelong friends. Suffice it to say, they are very near and dear to my heart!
Even with the perfect recipe and the videos that Monique provided below, I found these quite challenging! I think you can tell that my personal results are a little less than perfect. Although they were certainly delicious (the butter took care of that), they should have been more pillowy. I asked Monique for advice at the very end of our interview and she made two very helpful suggestions:
First, if the dough is resisting at all - put it back in the fridge. I was working under time constraints to get these finished and photographed. I definitely believe that led to the less that perfect results! So I'd say leave yourself *lots* of extra time to get these done. It's probably a multi-day project the first time.
Second, don't be afraid to dust your work surface. I was very rigid - overly rigid - in my refusal to add any gluten at all to the dough by dusting my work surface. That was a mistake and it resulted in the slightest tearing of dough during the second turn, which worsened slightly with every additional step. If I hadn't torn the dough, I think the rise would have been everything I hoped and dreamed. The lightest dusting could have prevented this.
Third tip, this one from me: Read the recipe and watch Monique's videos several times before starting!
Episodes Related to these Puff Pastry Croissants
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How To Contact Monique Chan, Owner of Chez Momo
YouTube: The Real Chez Momo
Once you read the recipe at the bottom of this post, you may want to refer to these helpful videos from Monique along the way! They really helped me.