|Rich, warm and buttery fresh from the oven
|A luxurious, weekend breakfast
I have to be honest, the task of making my own croissants from scratch was intimidating at first; however, once I got immersed in the challenge, not only was it fun, but the process was much more fool-proof than I expected. Plus, the finished product was so worth it — I’ve never experienced anything quite like pulling these flaky, light pastries out of a warm oven, with their luxurious buttery aroma wafting around my kitchen. And they tasted that much better knowing that I made them with my own hands. These croissants were magically delicious. They had a soft, delicate, pillowy interior with a crisp, buttery, outer layer that shattered upon being bitten into. So have no fear, I will walk you through step-by-step and on making these melt-in-your mouth croissants at home.
Adapted from Best of Fine Cooking: Breads
For the dough:
4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (I ran out of milk, so I used almond milk)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1 tablespoon + 1 scant teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cold, unsalted butter
- Combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, and medium speed for an additional 3 minutes.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured plate, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate overnight
- Cut the cold butter lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slabs (about 3 slabs per stick) and arrange the pieces on a sheet of parchment paper to form a 6×6 inch square.
- Top with another sheet of parchment and pound the butter with even strokes with a rolling pin.
- As the pieces begin to stick together, use more force and roll it into a 7.5×7.5 inch square.
- Trim the edges off and pound them into the center of the square.
- Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
- Unwrap the dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll it into a 10.5 inch square.
- Take the butter square out of the fridge and unwrap and place it on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough square.
- Fold the flaps of dough over the butter and press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough.
- Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough, and roll it into an 8×24 inch rectangle, focusing on lengthening rather than widening.
- Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it over the dough, leaving one third of the dough exposed, and roll it over once more (fold the dough into thirds)
- Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling and folding process (steps 10-12) 2 more times.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.
- Unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough.
- Roll the dough into a long and narrow strip (8×44 inches) *hang in there! its a great arm workout!
- After you have finished rolling, check to make sure that there is enough excess dough on both ends to allow you to trim the ends straight and allow for the remaining strip of dough to be 40 inches long.
- Lay a tape measure lengthwise along your dough. On one side, mark the dough in 5 inch intervals. On the other side, mark the dough at 2.5 inch intervals. Make diagonal cuts by positioning a ruler at the top corner and the first bottom mark (2.5″ side). With a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough diagonally along these lines to form 15 triangles.
- Shape the croissants by making a 1/2 inch notch in the center of the short side of each triangle (this gives them a crescent shape). Hold the dough and gently elongate it without squeezing or compressing. Lay the croissant on the counter with the notched side closest to you and roll the dough away from you toward the pointed end. Flare your hands outward as you roll to make the “legs” longer.
- Bend the two “legs” toward each other in a crescent shape and place on a baking sheet (I recommend around 5-7 croissants per sheet).
- Brush the croissants with egg wash (place leftover egg wash in the fridge to use later)
- Proof the croissants for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (Or proof them overnight in the fridge, and let them come to room temperature for about an hour before baking in the morning)
- Brush them once more with egg wash.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway, until they have a nice golden brown color and darkened edges.
- Cool and enjoy!