…Yes, that is correct.
…Nope, that wasn’t a typo.
…Yep, I did in fact make CROISSANTS.
When I first made puff pastry, what I felt was a mix of excitement and dread. Excitement because if I can make puff pastry, there is a ton of new stuff that I can learn to make. Dread because so many things could go wrong. Double those feelings, no, triple them, and that’s what I felt with croissants.
This classic French pastry is no walk in the park. It takes a lot of focus, a bit of research, and being able to tell if you’re treating your dough correctly. But the rewards are worth it. What I ended up with are rolls that are crunchy, golden and flaky outside, while perfectly tender and buttery inside. And if you can make one batch successfully, what a confidence boost that is! I still feel some apprehension whenever I make these rolls, but I’m more comfortable with them now. Everything comes easier with a bit of practice.
- 1`batch of Lean Bread Dough (made from all-purpose flour, done with first rise)
- 1 bar butter (slightly colder than room temperature, ~10 mins in the fridge)
- 1 large egg, beaten
Between two pieces of parchment paper, pound and flatten the butter using a rolling pin to about a third of an inch thick. Try to keep the shape as rectangular as you can. Set aside somewhere cool.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 inches x 20 inches rectangle. Place the flattened butter in the middle section of the rolled dough, aligning the length of the butter vertically. Fold the left and right sides of the dough toward the middle over the butter, overlapping by about an inch. Seal the overlap, as well as the top and bottom of the dough to seal in the butter.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 2/3 of an inch thick, lengthening it vertically. Rotate the dough by 90 degrees. Fold in the short sides of your dough towards the middle, before finally folding it again in the middle (it will resemble a book). Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. This is the first turn.
After resting, push down gently on the dough using your palms to release some of the gas created by the yeast. Roll out the dough once again on a floured surface (use a well-floured cold rolling pin), lengthening it vertically to 2/3 of an inch thick. Rotate the dough by 90 degrees. Fold in the short sides of your dough towards the middle, before finally folding it again in the middle (it will resemble a book). Again, roll out the dough, lengthening it vertically to 2/3 of an inch thick. Rotate the dough by 90 degrees. Fold in the short sides of your dough towards the middle, before finally folding it again in the middle.Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. This is the second turn.
Repeat the steps for the second turn 2 more times to get a total of 4 turns. After the last turn, rest the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Using your palms, gently press down on the dough to release the gases produced by the yeast. Roll out the dough to 1/3 of an inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut out 4 inches wide by 8 inches high isosceles triangles from the dough.
Take one piece, placing it with the point away from you. Make a 1-inch vertical cut in the middle of the triangle base (side closest to you). Using your thumbs and forefinger, pull the base corners of the triangle away from one another. Roll the piece of croissant dough from the side closest to you towards the triangle point. To seal, pull the pointed end slightly, wrapping it around the rest of the roll and pinching the pointed end to the roll. Place the croissant on a buttered cookie sheet with the end point at the bottom so it doesn’t open up.
To make the classic crescent shape, pull the ends of the roll in the direction opposite from where the triangle end is pointing. Repeat for the rest of your dough. Let the croissants rise for 20 minutes in a cool area.
Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Before baking the rolls (and just before), spread some egg wash on the top of each one. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
This recipe isn’t one that I can really call simple, but it is worth trying yourself. It can even be easier to make than it reads here.
To make things extra interesting, try putting in some Nutella or peanut butter filling in the croissant. You can also wrap it around cheese and ham for a more savory treat.
And with that, I end my Bread-buary! Series. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be posting any more bread recipes, because I have a ton of those in the works. Please click on the subscribe button so you can be updated on more of the stuff I’m making. Cheers! 😀