Baking croissants takes time but these are the real things. Frustrated with the Starbucks (fill in your favorite name here) pretentious and unreal flavorless croissants, I decided to take the leap and make my own. This is a rehash of many online recipes as baking is not something you can start from scratch without stealing some secrets from the experts.
This takes time. It's so obsessive and detailed that you might want to quit. Believe me, they are worth it.
Looks like too much butter (or too much work). don't quit. Check the pictures. They look good, right? Actually, they taste much better than they look. Just do them.
Here it goes, a step-by-step journey:
- Temperature matters: make sure all the ingredients are at a room temperature before you get started.
The butter block: spread some flour on top of the working surface - ideally a wooden one. Knead the butter and form a square shaped butter block (about 22x16cm/8.5×6.3 inch and about 1cm/ 0.4 inch thick). Wrap it with parchment paper and chill in the fridge for a couple of minutes (it should feel firm but not too hard).
Prepare the pre-dough: add one teaspoon of raw sugar to the yeast; once it reacts, add the milk (warm but not hot) and dissolve it. Combine the yeast with sugar, eggs, oil, flour and salt. Knead smoothly. Add a bit more flour if it's too soft. Form a rectangle, twice the size of the butter block. Place the chilled butter in the center and fold the flaps over the butter. Gently press the edges and seal it in. It should be folded uniformly to form a square.
The first three-fold: roll out with a rolling pin, turn the dough over occasionally to keep the edges even. Dust the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking. Continue until the dough is about 1cm (0.4 inch) thick again. Then fold the dough into 3rds. Do another three-fold. Cover with foil and chill for about 30 minutes.
The second and third three-folds: repeat the above procedure two more times. Cover with parchment paper and put in the fridge for 2 hours before forming the croissants. If you can wait, keep the dough in the fridge overnight and it will be much better.
Divide and conquer: remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour both sides of the dough. Firmly press the dough along its length without widen it. You have to create a long and narrow strip, 20.3 cm/8 inches by about 112 cm/ 44 inches. If you are felling resistance, you might have to fold it in thirds and put it back in the fridge for an extra 10-15 minutes. Continue until reaching the final size. Lift both extremes (it might shrink a little, that's OK). Measure again, cut any excess to keep the rectangle 100 cm/ 40 inches long.
Measure that: On the top (long side of the dough) every 12 cm/5-inches, make a small mark with a knife. You'll get 7 marks. On the bottom, make a mark 6.4 cm/ 2 1/2 inches in from the end of the dough. From this point on, 12 cm/5-inches, make a small mark with a knife.You'll get 8 marks. With a knife make a diagonal connecting the first mark on top with the first mark on the bottom, repeat with second mark and so on and so forth. Cut with a pizza roller or knife. Cut the resulting 8 pieces diagonally. You'll get like 15 triangles.
Shaping U: Make a 1cm/ 1/2-inch-long notch in the short side of each triangle. This will help shaping the croissant. Form little crescents by rolling the shortest side tautly up to the tip of the triangle (keep the notch side up). Press down on the dough with enough force to make the layers stick together, but avoid excess compression. The tip of the triangle should be underneath the croissant. Form the crescent shape by bending the two legs towards you. You might want to press the tips slightly. Repeat the process with the rest of the croissants.
- Proof the croissants: mix the egg with one teaspoon of milk. Brush each croissant with a cooking brush. Keep the croissant at a warm place (if it's winter, you might want to turn the oven on). Don't put them on top of the oven/ stove, you don't want the butter to melt. Proofing might take from 1 to 2 hours. The croissant should look bigger (though not doubled) and you might be able to see some of the pastry layers if you look them from the side.
- Cooking time: Preheat the oven at 400°F convection, or 425°F conventional. Once you are ready, start cooking your croissants. Brush them with egg for a second time and put them in the oven.They might need approximately 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Make sure to rotate the tray half way in the cooking.
- Remove from the oven. Let them rest (ideally on a rack) until they cool down.
- Enjoy with raspberry jam or butter or dulce de leche. They are so good that you can't go wrong if you just have them plain. Yes, great croissants are that great!!!!
- If you like a chocolate croissant you can add chocolate chunks after cutting the triangles and before folding.
- Ooops!! Did I mention the smell? The smell of home made croissants, when they are almost ready, is AMAZING!!
- Croissants can be frozen and then re heated.
Baking croissants takes time but these are the real things. . I was so frustrated with the Starbucks (fill in your favorite name here) pretentious/ unreal/ flavorless croissants wanna be, that I decided to take the leap and make my own. This is a rehash of many online recipes as baking is not something you can start from scratch without stealing some secrets from experts.Add to Favourites