Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Croissants

by Amy & Mike Bradley

What is better for Sunday Brunch than homemade croissants topped with cream cheese spread and smoked salmon? It’s rich, buttery and absolutely delicious. This creation was a team effort for us and it’s much easier to create than you think. As Axl Rose once said, “All you need is just a little patience.”

First, you’ll want to create the croissants and the smoked salmon. These are the most time consuming parts, but as mentioned, they don’t take a ton of skill.


The Croissants…

Created by Amy

I used this recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com. The recipe is extremely detailed. There are several long rest periods for the dough, so be conscious of this in your schedule. You’ll either have a long day of folding, rolling, resting and finally baking (13 hours, give or take) or you can allow one of the long rests to go overnight. Sally mentioned that the rest periods should not exceed 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

Special Materials You’ll Need

The little nuances of this recipe created a few mishaps for me and therefore my croissants were not 100 percent perfect. To help you avoid the same problems, here are my tips to success:

  • Ensure you have plenty of time to dedicate to the process. I created this batch over a weekend when I was not working.
  • Pay attention to your refrigerator temperature and how it impacts your butter layer. I had trouble with the butter getting too solid and then breaking up in the dough when I rolled it out. If this happens to you, it’s ok, just know you will probably have some butter leakage when you bake the croissants. Check your butter layer after 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator and take it out early if you need to (it should be firm, but pliable).
  • If you have limited refrigerator space like us, use a wire cooling rack like this one – place it over the first baking pan, resting the second pan on top of the rack. #spacesaver!
  • If you accidentally cut less than 16 croissants like I did in my first attempt, whatever you do — do NOT press the dough back together and re-roll it / re-cut it. Trust me, lol! Just go with the number you cut out and bake a little longer, if needed.
  • When shaping the croissants, roll them tightly – tighter than you think they should be. I failed to do this, therefore the majority of my croissants were puffy and a little misshapen. If this happens to you, don’t fret. They still taste delicious!

These croissants freeze well, so don’t worry about eating them all in one sitting. Then again, you might want to!


The Smoked Salmon…

Created by Mike

Ingredients

  • Fresh salmon filet
  • Apple juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Select a container in which your entire salmon filet will fit.
  2. Pour equal parts apple juice and maple syrup into the container, then add the salt. Mix until well combined. This is your sweet and simple brine mixture.
  3. Place the salmon into the brine mixture, ensuring it is fully submerged. (Add more apple juice and maple syrup to the brine, or remove some of the mixture, if needed.)
  4. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  5. Approximately 4 hours before you plan to put the fish on the smoker you’ll want to remove it from the fridge and the container. Place the fish onto a plate, uncovered, until it develops what is called a pellicle. A pellicle is kind of filmy surface that develops as the salmon nears room temperature. You’ll know it when you see it, it has a nice shine to it when the salmon is ready to be cooked.
  6. Smoke the salmon at around 220°F for 2 hours. At least once or twice during the smoking process, brush on a layer of maple syrup. (If there is skin on the salmon, place it on the smoker skin-side down.)
  7. Remove from smoker, place onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator overnight or at least 6 hours to ensure it is cold for on top of the croissants.

Simple Cream Cheese Spread

Created by Amy

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 6 tbsp sour cream

Instructions

  1. Place softened cream cheese cubes and sour cream into medium mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat together until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes on medium-low speed).
  2. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. You may need to let it sit at room temperature for a short time so it is soft enough to spread after storing.

Putting it all together…

Simply slice the cooled croissants in half, spread a generous amount of cream cheese on the inside, and top with cold smoked salmon. Enjoy open-faced or sandwich-style!

Did you try this recipe? Share your creations on social media by using the hashtag #sweetandsavorycouple!
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