Sourdough Croissants

Sourdough Croissants |

When Sourdough Surprises asked us to make sourdough croissants this month, I was delighted.  I recently took a great Craftsy online class called Classic Croissants at Home taught by Colette Christian.  The class was full of great tips and techniques and I have been wanting not only to try the recipe from the class but to try it with my sourdough starter instead of the commercial yeast.

Unfortunately, since the recipe comes from a class, I can’t publish it here.  I can, however, tell you how I converted their recipe to use my sourdough starter and show you how I made the croissants.  I highly recommend taking the class if you love to bake and want to try this recipe.  I have made croissants before, but not as successfully.  These come the closest to store-bought croissants that I’ve ever produced.  I also like the sourdough flavor I was able to get in the dough and I think it goes especially well with the Pan au Chocolat version.

Croissant Cross-Section |

At Colette Christian’s recommendation, I made an overnight sponge using what she referred to as a “20% build”.  The original recipe called for 16 ounces of water and a little over 2 lbs of flour.  To make the sponge, I used the full 16 oz of water and mixed it with 16 oz of the recipe flour and 3.2 oz of my (active) starter.

croissant sponge |

After 12 hours, when the sponge was very bubbly, I mixed up the dough for the recipe as written, omitting the commercial yeast.  I let this dough rest overnight in the refrigerator both for my time constraints and also because I was hoping that more sourdough flavor would develop during the slow rise.  The next day, I rolled out the dough, enclosed my butter block and made my first turn.

After letting the dough rest in the refrigerator, I made the 2nd turn then another rest in the refrigerator and then the final turn.

Turning the dough |

The next step was to roll the dough out and cut it into triangles for the classic croisants and squares for the Pan au Chocolate which were shaped and allowed to proof at room temperature.  The proofing took about 2 1/2 hours, much longer than it would have with commercial yeast.

The croissants were then egg-washed and baked until a dark golden brown on the outside and light when picked up.

Classic Croissants | Pan au Chocolat |

I have to say that while this was a very time consuming process, none of the steps were actually difficult.  The tips and tricks from class definitely helped, as did having a good recipe, but croissants are entirely doable!  The hardest part?  Not eating 12 freshly baked croissants in one day…

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Pumpkin Crinkles

Pumpkin Crinkles | BakeNQuilt.comI confess, we like pumpkin enough that I bake with pumpkin all year round but come October I get to share my love of pumpkin openly!  My latest experiment with pumpkin was these Pumpkin Crinkles.  I love ginger crinkles, so I thought I’d see if I could replicate that in pumpkin form.  I wasn’t (and still am not) entirely sure what creates the crinkles in the cookies.  None of the recipes I looked up actually said why they crinkle.  The things that all crinkle recipes seem to have in common, no matter the flavor, was a high amount of baking soda or powder and the rolling of the dough into a ball.  When the cookie spreads, the crinkles form.

These pumpkin crinkles didn’t crinkle quite as dramatically as other flavors of crinkle cookies, perhaps because they don’t spread as much due to the soft pumpkin, but enough that I was happy with the result.  I did find that the bigger the cookie, the better the crinkles so this is no time to play dietician and make tiny ones.  I chose to use sparkling decorator sugar instead of powdered or regular granular sugar as I really like the crunch it provides to an otherwise soft cookie.  The sparkle also makes this humble cookie a little dressier.

I am entering this recipe into the Biscuit Barrel Challenge for October.  The theme this month is “comfort food” and pumpkin cookies definitely fit my definition of comfort!

Pumpkin Crinkles
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
Soft pumpkin crinkle cookies coated in decorator sugar
  • ½ cup (4 oz/113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (5.5 oz/156g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (2.75oz/78g) maple syrup
  • ½ cup (4.75oz/134.5) canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 2¼ cups (9.5oz/269g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • coarse, sparkling decorator sugar
  1. Mix the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup together until fluffy and light.
  2. Mix in the pumpkin puree. The mixture will look a little curdled, that's ok.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Heat the oven to 375F/190C and line two baking sheets with parchment or grease them.
  7. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut.
  8. Dip the top of each ball into the decorator sugar and place on the baking sheet, sugar side up.
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of the cookie) until just barely set in the middle. Be careful not to overbake or the cookies will be too dry.
  10. Move cookies to a wire rack to cool.
The crinkled look will be better if the cookies are bigger. However, they still will have some crinkles if you make 4 dozen instead of 2 dozen. Be careful not to over-bake these cookies. Small ones will take about 10 minutes, big ones about 12. You can also make your own pumpkin pie spice if you don't have any on hand: 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 1.5 teaspoons ground allspice mixed together will make 4 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice.

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