I just waited for a quiet house to myself to begin with my croissants. You see, croissants are not for the faint hearted. They are for those who are ready to wait and be kept waiting. Getting my point? Making a croissant takes 3 days of patience and cold butter. Butter that has to be cold at all times. Or you wont get it right. As much as i thought that i would hate the whole process of making the croissants, i have to admit now, that it was very enjoyable and might satisfying to see those cute little rolls coming out all brown from the oven. The butter must be cold. The dough may tear. But its all worth it. And you must try it if you are a daring baker like me who made my croissants when the weather was mercurial.
Recipe For Classic Croissants
( Rolls made with cold butter and flour)
Prep Time: 10 mins to knead the dough
Overnight rest for the dough
About 1 hour for the lamination and folding
Overnight rest again
About 1 hour for shaping
2 hours for proofing
Cook Time: 15 mins
Bake Temperature: 220 C
Yields 10 mini croissants
All purpose flour 2 cups
Instant yeast 1/2 tbsp + a pinch
Granulated sugar 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Cold Milk 1/4 cup
Cold Water 1/4 cup
Unsalted butter, softened 20 g or 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
125 g cold unsalted butter
Milk for brushing
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and butter.
Now, slowly add the milk and water and knead into a smooth soft dough. You must knead about 3 mins for this.
Now, dust a deep pie pan or a side plate with flour and place the dough in this. Gently shape the dough into a flat ball. Dont knead or use pressure as this causes gluten development which we dont want. Now,cover the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Before we begin, i must remind you all that we need cold butter for this. And the butter has to be cold at all times. Nothing else will do. In case you find the butter melting during the process of lamination, refrigerate the dough for 10 mins and then continue. I would strongly advise you all to try and do this in an AC room. I did so and i was rewarded.
Cut the butter into small pieces. Place the cold butter on a piece of parchment as big as 15″ by 10″
Cover the parchment with another parchment and slowly pound the butter using a rolling pin.
Once the butter pieces start sticking to each other, use more force and flatten the butter into a square.
If you find the butter losing shape, gently shape using your hands and make a square. Make sure the butter is cold all the while.
Once done, refrigerate the butter with the parchment.
Now, take out the dough and transfer to a slightly floured surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 8″ square.
Make sure the dough is evenly rolled out.
Now, place the butter on the dough in the centre in such a way that the butter forms a diamond on the dough.
Once done, take one flap of the dough and slightly stretch it over the butter and place.Now the pointed Repeat for all the four sides. Make sure the butter is sealed well within the dough like a letter in an envelope.
Now, the pointed ends of the dough would have all come together in the center.
Dust the dough with flour slightly and then turn the dough over.
Dust again and now start kneading the dough into a rectangle of 4″ by 12″
Do this gently with the rolling pin, dusting the dough with flour in case you find it sticky.
Now, divide the dough into three parts lengthwise.
Place one end of the dough over the middle part. Similarly, bring the other end over and place on the first layer. Just like how you would three fold a letter before you put it into an envelope.
Now dust a baking tray with flour and place the folded onto this. Stick this into the freezer for 15 mins to chill and relax the dough.
After 15 mins, bring the dough out, slightly flour gently roll into a rectangle of the same size.
Repeat the folding, freezing and rolling for 1 more time.
Again dust a baking pan with flour and place the dough on this.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Shaping and Proofing Croissants
Remove the dough out and gently divide the dough into two along the lengthwise.
Refrigerate one half and work with the other.
Place one half of the dough on a well floured surface and wake the dough up by gently pressing it along the sides with a rolling pin.
Now, start rolling out the dough into a rectangle.
Make sure you flour the surface well before you begin this.
Once the dough has stretched to more than 1/3 rd its size, slightly lift the dough and place it back on the counter.
Now, continue rolling the dough into a neat rectangle of about 5″ by 11″ rectangle.
Once you ve got the required size, trim the breadth ends of the dough so that the length of the rectangle is 10″ in all.
Now, divide the length of the dough into 2 inch parts.
With the help of a pizza cutter, cut each 2″ part into the shape of a triangle.
Lets shape the triangle into a croissant now.
Work with one triangle each. And refrigerate the others while you proof one.Lift one triangle off the surface and place it in such a way that the broader side is on the same side as you.
Now, start rolling outwards into a roll. You must do this not very tightly or not very loose.
Flare your hands outwards as you do this. The roll must be in such a way that the pointed edge of the triangle must be under the rolled croissant.
Repeat the same for the remaining triangles. Once done, place them on a baking sheet 2 ” apart and brush them slightly with milk.
Let proof in a cool daft place for about 2 to 3 hours. The croissants wont double but they will look slightly larger.
Make croissants with the remaining half of the dough triangle resting in the fridge in the same fashion.Towards the end of the proof, preheat the oven to 220C.
Bake one batch each of the croissants for 15 mins. If you find them browning too much, reduce the temperature to 210 C.
Once done, cool them completely on a wire rack and enjoy for breakfast with a dollop of butter and a good pot of jam!
1. Please make sure you work with cold butter all the time. In case the butter starts leaking, refrigerate the dough for a few mins and work forward.
2. Dont panic if the dough tears here and there while you fold. Mine tore too. Just make sure you dust a little flour and continue the folding.
3. Before you begin mixing the dough, see if your yeast is alive and then continue. To do this, add a little yeast to a glass of warm water and see if it froths up. If it does, then bingo! the yeast guy is all yours.
This goes off to this month s Bake Your Own Bread at Roxanna s Space