These croissants are one of those decadent recipes that you just have to try sometime. They are not hard to make. You simply need time to let the dough rest between folding the butter into the dough. I made these a couple of weeks ago, so I have to admit I cannot find and give credit to the recipe I followed. I put together from my memory and from a few different sources that I believe to be what I executed.
This is the first time I have ever made croissants. I now understand what happens to dough when you keep layering it. I have seen this done with biscuits and will definitely use this preparation method the next time I make biscuits.
– 1 3/4 cup milk
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 2 packages Fleischman’s active dry yeast
– 6 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp salt
– 4 sticks of unsalted butter
– 3 eggs plus milk
Place milk in a saucepan and heat until lukewarm, that means you can put your finger into it and you barely notice a change in temperature. Pour the milk into a large bowl and add yeast and sugar, stir to combine. Let ferment for 10 minutes.
Add the flour and salt and mix to form a very sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins, adding a little more flour if it is too sticky, but not too much as it should still be a slightly sticky soft dough.
Form the dough into a ball.
Wrap in cling wrap and pop it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
About 20 mins before the dough resting time is up start working on the butter. Place the butter into a big freezer bag. Let the butter soften. Start pounding it with a rolling pin.
If the butter is hard to flatten, then let it warm a little more. You are trying to soften it until it is in a malleable state but still cold. Pound the butter until it is about 1/8″ thick and rectangular. Pop it in the fridge to keep cold until ready to add to the dough.
Take the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough out into a rectangle.
Place the square of butter in the middle and fold the two long sides of dough over to meet in the middle.
Press all the edges together to make sure the butter is completely enclosed in the dough. You are essentially making an envelope.
Flatten the dough slightly by pressing it with you rolling pin, and then roll the dough out into a rectangle again. Fold the dough into thirds by folding over the left side of the dough to one-third, and then the right side over the top. We are going to do this process four times total.
After each rolling out and folding the envelope, put the dough back in the fridge for 45 minutes and then repeat.
After the 4th time, leave the dough in the fridge to rest for 8-12 hours before continuing.
Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half, wrap one half in cling film and pop it back in the fridge to stay chilled. Due to the high butter content, you need the dough to always stay chilled to work on it. If at any time you feel the dough is getting warm whilst working with it, just pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes before continuing.
With the half piece of dough you have out, roll into a rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half width ways to make two rectangles. Cut each rectangle into six even triangles – we were not scientific about this step.
When I do this again, I will make bigger triangles to make bigger croissants.
Starting from the bottom roll the triangle upwards, when finished place the pointed tip on the bottom and shape the ends to create a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the croissants on baking trays lined with parchment paper. If you do not use paper, the butter will make the bottoms burn. Cover dish towels and leave them to rise for 1-2 hours or until tripled in size.
Once they have risen, brush the croissants with a little egg wash (1 egg and a dash of milk) and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them. You want a nice browning but not too much.
Remove from trays and leave to cool slightly on wire racks.
Serve and enjoy!