If there’s a bread that has a spectacular look and taste it’s a croissant. A real french piece of art that makes us salivate constantly. You can have it on its own, with marmalade and butter or even use it for sandwiches. Whatever you use it for it’s always going to be a conversation topic.
This dough, like all things spectacular, require a bit of patience. The good thing is that we can wait up to a day between a few steps so if we get organized we don’t need to spend a whole day making it. Pay attention in the recipe where I mention at which points you can stop until the following day.
The croissant dough is a laminated one. This means that it’s made of several fine layers of dough and butter which give it its flaky look. Puff pastry is exactly the same only that this one has yeast as well.
Once you make these croissant you won’t want to buy them ever! When you’re going to reheat them do so in the oven or even a small electric oven so that they’re perfect. Don’t microwave them or they will turn to chewy.
I made these croissants a small in size but you can make them the size you like. Remember that the base of the triangle will be the final width of the croissant and the length of the triangle should be double that.
- Small croissants: 10cm base by 20cm long
- Medium croissants: 15cm base by 30cm long
- Big croissants: 20cm base by 40cm long
The shape in which you stretch the dough at the end depends on the size you’re making your croissants: if they’re small the dough and be square but if they’re bigger you’ll probably need it to be a bit longer so the big triangle fits.
Once the dough is stretched make sure to make the most out of it because whatever’s left behind you won’t be able to stretch again to make croissants because it would have lost the lamination. However, you can make increidble cinnamon rolls: mix the dough, stretch it and spread on top 4 parts of brown sugar to 1 part ground cinnamon. Then roll it up and cut the circles. Remember they also need to proof before going into the oven. If you just want to make cinnamon rolls, check my recipe.
For the dough
- 600 g all purpose flour ideally use bread flour, but I used regular flour for this one so you can see it can be used, too
- 60 g sugar
- 12 g salt
- 6 g instant yeast
- 180 ml lukewarm water
- 180 ml lukewarm milk
Butter for the lamination
- 250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
To paint the croissants
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water at room temperature
Butter for the lamination
- Fold an A4 sheet in half, which gives you and A5 sheet (or use an A5 sheet if you have one).
- Fold a piece of baking paper in half and wrap it around the piece of paper we folded, forming a sort of envelope. Check the video for further reference.
- Once formed, remove the paper and we place the butter at the center which should be very soft at room temperature.
- Close the envelope with the butter inside and stretch the butter gently using a rolling pin. When you're done you should have the butter inside the paper in the shape of an A5 sheet.
- Take to the fridge as we go on to the dough.
For the dough
- Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Make a hole in the center and pour the milk and water.
- Mix with a spatula until it's not helping anymore and continue with your hands.
- Put in a bowl covered with cling film and let proof for an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has proofed knock out the air from the dough and flatten it. Wrap it in cling film and take for 30min to the fridge. [AT THIS POINT YOU CAN STOP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY]
Dough lamination (important to watch the video!) and baking
- Take out the butter from the fridge about 5min previous to the dough so that it's not rock solid.
- Stretch the dough to 1.5 times the length of the butter and keeping an extra 3cm at the bottom and sides.
- Put the butter on the lower 2/3rds of the dough, remembering to have 3cm uncovered at the bottom.
- Fold the top third without butter onto the butter so that now we only see half of the butter.
- Now fold the bottom part with butter onto the first fold. At this point we have 3 layers of dough and 3 layers of butter.
- If your butter isn't too soft we can go on to making the first turn. If it's too soft take it to the fridge for an hour before moving on. [AT THIS POINT YOU CAN STOP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY]
- For the first turn, stretch the dough once again (the length of your rolling pin is a good enough amount) and fold it in 3 like we did before. Now we have 9 layers of dough and butter. [AT THIS POINT YOU CAN STOP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY]
- If you haven't rested your dough yet I recommend you do so at this point for an hour, also wrapped in cling film.
- Now we're going to make a book turn which is more efficient because we make 4 layers instead of 3. Stretch the dough again and fold the top half way up the dough and the same with the bottom, so that they meet at the middle. This is then folded in half so that you have something that resembles a book. At this point we have 36 layers of dough and butter. [AT THIS POINT YOU CAN STOP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY]
- Make another book turn, always making sure that the dough isn't too soft to handle. [AT THIS POINT YOU CAN STOP UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY]
- Wrap the dough in cling film (you can use the same piece of cling film for the whole process) and take to the fridge overnight. Make sure that it's nicely wrapped because it will proof and expand.
- On the next day we stretch it until it's 2.3mm thick. The shape of the dough depends on the size you're making your croissants, trying to make the most out of it.
- Cut the triangles for the croissants with the help of a ruler. Remember that the height of the triangle should be double the size of the base and that the tip should be centered and not to one side.
- Roll the croissants starting at the base and all the way to the tip, using a slight bit of pressure.
- Put the croissants on an oven tray with silpat or baking paper and let them proof for an hour in a warm spot. If your oven has a low setting put it at 34C or 50 with the oven door ooen so that the proof faster, about 30min.
- Paint the proofed croissants with the egg beaten with the water and take to a preheated oven at 165C por 20-30min depending on the size of your croissants. They should be golden.