Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kimchi and Blue Cheese Croissants

Savory Treat courtesy of MomofukuDSC_4213

As you know if you have been following along with Nipponnin’s blog, this week you are stuck with the guest blogger. She is doing a great job helping with the grandkids in Hawaii and should be back next week. Since she left me with specific instructions as to what to make and blog about, I couldn’t just ignore it.

These come from the Momufuku Milk Bar recipe book – a wonderful recipe book that has many great recipes in it. I questioned this one a bit however as I am not a huge spicy kimchi fan. They turned out to be great. As I spent Saturday morning making these though, I think that they should have given some warning to guys like me about the recipe. First, it takes a long time. You need to give it 30 minutes between bookings and there are several of those. Next learning was that this recipe is not meant to make enough to feed a hungry family. It only makes 5 of them. If I had realized that I would have used the whole mother dough and doubled the rest of the ingredients to make 10 of them (at least). I only used 1/2 cup of blue cheese, that was all that would fit on the dough. Lastly the pictures in the cookbook are meant to show you how to do it – not to be true to the size that you actually make. Unless the model’s hands are only 1-1/2 inch wide… 

Recipe and instructions for 5 croissants (Print Recipe here)


For the Mother Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 packet (1-1/8 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • oil for the bowl

For the croissants

  • 1/2 recipe of Mother Dough, proofed at room temperature for 45 minutes
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 recipe Kimchi Butter
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (I only used 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon water

For the Kimchi Butter

  • 1/2 cup red kimchi
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons butter) at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mother Dough

  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer — do it by hand, using the dough hook like a spoon. Continue stirring by hand as you add the water, mixing for 1 minute, until the mixture has come together into a shaggy mess.
  2. Engage the bowl and hook and have the machine mix the dough on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, or until the ball of dough is smoother and more cohesive. Then knead for 4 more minutes on the lowest speed. The dough should look like a wet ball and should bounce back softly when prodded.
  3. Brush a large bowl with oil and dump the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Kimchi Butter

  1. Put the kimchi in a food processor and puree it.
  2. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
    Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the pureed kimchi, salt, and pepper
    and paddle for another 2 minutes; the liquid from the kimchi will try and separate the butter during this time, but the paddling will keep it in line. When the mixture is light, fluffy, and red,
    stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the butter out onto a piece of parchment.
    Lay a second piece of parchment on top of it and press down on the butter with your hands to flatten it into a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.
    Transfer the butter-filled parchment to the fridge to firm up..


  1. Punch down and flatten the dough on a smooth, dry countertop. Dust the counter, the dough, and a rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough to a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches and even in thickness.
    Grab the butter pad from the fridge and place it on one half of the dough rectangle.
    Fold the other half of the dough rectangle over the butter pad and pinch the edges shut around it.
    I put a sheet of paper under the silpat so that I could tell when I was close to the 8X12 size
    Drape with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  2. To make the croissants, you will need to put 3 “double book” turns into the dough to create enough alternating layers of flour and butter to make the croissants rise and puff in the oven. To make your first double book turn, dust your counter surface, your rolling pin, and the dough with flour, remembering to dust under the dough as well. Roll the dough out again to a rectangle 8 x 12 inches and even in thickness.
    Be gentle with the rolling pin, making sure not to break into any part of the butter bundle or roll so hard that the butter rolls right out of the dough. (If this happens, push it back in and pull a little dough over the escape hole to patch it up.) Make sure there is not an excessive amount of flour left on or underneath your dough — dust off any excess with your hands.
  3. Visually divide your dough lengthwise into quarters. Fold the two outer quarters over to the center axis, or spine, of the rectangle of dough, so they meet in the center.
    Then close the book, bringing one edge to meet the other with the spine now to one side.
    Wrap it loosely in plastic and transfer it to the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 twice more to make a total of 3 turns. Each time you start a turn, make sure to have the open edges, or seam, of your dough facing away from you. If you put in one too many turns, it will not hurt your dough; if you skip one, you will end up very disappointed in your soft body croissants.
  5. For your last and final roll-out, dust your counter surface, your rolling pin, and your dough with flour, remembering to dust under the dough as well. Roll the dough out to a rectangle that’s 8 x 12 inches and even in thickness.
  6. With a paring knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5 triangles, each 8 inches long from the pointiest tip to the center of the side across it and 4 inches wide at the bottom. You should have 5 triangles (2 upside down and 3 right side up) plus some scrap on the right and left.
    Divide the blue cheese among the croissants, putting it into the center of the wide bottom end of each triangle.
    Starting at the blue cheese end, use one hand to begin rolling the dough up toward the tip of the triangle while your other hand holds the tip and gently stretches it away.
    Continue until the triangle is completely rolled up into a crescent shape. Make sure the tip of the triangle is tucked underneath the body of the crescent, or it will unravel in the oven. I also used the scraps – see the not-very-pretty rolls in this picture?
  7. Transfer the croissants to a parchment-lined sheet pan, arranging them 6 inches apart.
    Cover lightly with plastic and leave at room temperature to double in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. Heat the oven to 375F.
  9. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl. Generously coat the top of your croissants with the egg wash, using a brush. DSC_4210
  10. Bake the croissants for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they double in size, caramelize on the edges, and have a crusty outer layer that sounds hollow when you tap them.


I shared these with our neighbors and they gave it a thumbs up as well. I think they are better when shared with someone else. Looking forward to getting my wife  back home with me to share things like with.


  1. I was looking forward to this post as I knew how hard you were working on it! Nice Job!

  2. Thanks Danae. Next time I'll make more so I can share.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jalna. They were pretty good if I do say so myself.

  4. What a creative croissant recipe! The kimchi butter sounds really intriguing.

    1. It was. Next time I think I'll add more kimchi.

  5. I am a regular kimchi maker and also prepare different dishes with it quite often (actually I have just made a new recipe and intend to post it soon!) but I would never even dream of combining it with blue cheese (which, as someone living practically at the French border, I have in my fridge all the time too). Amazing!
    The croissants are not only original, but they are simply beautiful. You are such a kind husband to keep this blog updated! (And with such a good quality too!).

    1. I've made kimchi a few times - only once successfully. I'll definitely go check out your blog and maybe try again. The one success I had was using whey from kefir that I make.

    2. My kimchi sometimes tastes better, sometimes a bit worse, but the only time my kimchi didn't work was when the container during the fermentation (the first 24-48 hours) wasn't completely closed :-( It went straight to the bin.
      Otherwise, I add simple fish sauce which does the job perfectly.
      I hope you will find an easy method too and I'll be glad to help of course, though I'm not a specialist... my kimchis are "lazy" ones: cabbage and cucumbers are pre-cut.

  6. Kimchi in bread - especially these scrumptious looking rolls is an excellent idea! Bless the lovely people at Momofuku. And thank you for bringing it to the attention of Nipponnin readers =)

  7. Beautiful croissant! So original.



  8. They look amazing... and with kimchi too? What a novel ideal! I never made croissants - of any variety. It was my big goal when I was living in France but I just never got around to it. Something to add to my new to-do list now!

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