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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ham & Gruyère Cheese Croissants

Let’s be completely honest here-I am not a pastry queen.  While I would like to be, the process is SO intimidating that I haven’t been brave enough to make pastries.  I have one good pie dough recipe.  Other than that I am out of luck.  I thought this would change when I first started the blog but after 2 years…well it hasn't changed much.  I have this beautiful book-Flour, and she has the most amazing pastry recipes.  I thought that it might convince me to peek out of my shell-but no, it hasn't L   Maybe with my success with this, it might help me be more adventurous!  Man, if only I could work in a bakery for a couple of months to gain experience-that would be incredible! 

About a week ago, Gavin and I went to this bakery in Telkwa (it’s called Baeckerei Kaffeehaus). I've heard many good things about it-and I do love a good bakery.  There was an exceptional amount of pastries-croissants, cinnamon buns, breads, muffins, scones & cookies.  Of course, I had to try something!  A croissant was at the top of my list.  Gavin convinced me not to go for a chocolate-raspberry croissant (so sad!) so I went with the ham and cheese.  I’m not particularly a savory breakfast person, but I loved these.  You can’t go wrong with ham and cheese wrapped in a tasty pastry!

There’s something about croissants that are fascinating-I think it must be their buttery flakiness & delicate appearance.  So I went home feeling slightly inspired and started researching.  Of course, I had to make these:D.  Next time I will try a sweet-dessert type croissant-can’t wait to experiment!

YES, they are finicky and take a while to make. NO, it’s not impossible! There are several steps involved that I felt like throwing in the towel but persevered.  I don’t have enough counter space so that may have contributed to my frustrations.  The dough was easy to work with, although slightly tedious having to roll out four times.   After all of that, we wait for the dough to rise for about an hour and a half and bake for 30.  They are amazing.  Gavin has eaten most of the croissants already-he doesn’t like sharing.  I loved the gruyere cheese paired with the ham-it wasn’t salty at all and balanced eachother out nicely.  If you haven’t had gruyere before-it’s perfectly creamy with a slightly nutty (& smoky taste).  I highly recommend you trying this-but if you can’t find it, then maybe some Swiss or Gouda would be a good substitute!
Ham & Gruyere Cheese Croissants
Makes 16 croissants

for the pastry:
¼ cup warm water
½ cup milk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2¼  cups all-purpose flour
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon (1 oz. | 25g) sugar
1 cup butter, cold, cut into thin slices

pain au jambon:
8 to 16 thin slices smoked ham (depending on how many croissants you are making)
approximately 4-6 ounces Gruyère, cut into matchstick-sized pieces

egg wash:
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of milk

for the pastry:
In a small bowl, pour the water and milk. Add in the egg, beating with a fork to mix.

In a food processor, add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar & cold slices of butter. Process until the butter is cut up-about ½ inch of size-approximately 15-20 quick pulses.

In a large bowl, empty the contents of a food processor. Add in the milk-egg mixture. With a spatula, mix the ingredients together until combined-do not overdo it. The mixture should be slightly gooey with some butter lumps present. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator and leave overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Try to allow it to come to room temperature-it’s okay if it’s still slightly cool. Roll out the dough into a 20 inch square & thin. Fold the square into thirds-like a business letter. Turn if so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Roll the dough out again into a large square/rectangle, repeating the above step 3 times.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

roll the croissants:
Roll out the dough again into a large square or rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise & crosswise. Then cut each of the four pieces in half diagonally.

Lay the piece of smoked ham over two-thirds of each triangle, leaving the pointed tip uncovered. Scatter the sticks of Gruyère on top.

Starting with a wide base of each triangle, roll up each croissant, encasing the ham & cheese as you go.

In a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the rolled croissants, spacing 2 inches apart.  Brush them with the egg wash & leave them for an hour and a half.

30 minutes prior to baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.

Source: minimally adapted from Alexandra Cooks


  1. I do not believe that you aren't talented in the pastry-making department - just look at these! If you're ever in doubt, I recommend you pull up this post and remind yourself how awesome and talented you are. Looks incredible!

    1. Kathi-you are too sweet. Thanks so much! :D

  2. claim not to be a pastry queen and yet you made these perfect, flaky, beautiful croissants?! You're amazing! I haven't even attempted croissants yet and my whole blog is about baking! I'm in awe. These look fabulous and I love that you used ham & gruyere together (yum!). Fantastic job, girl!

    1. Aww Nancy! Thank you kindly-they were tough but well worth the effort! You are so nice! <3



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