I love croissants and I suggest you give it a try. The dough recipe is amazing to work with and even though it was the first time for me trying laminated dough, it worked out great! It was awesome to see the finished product. I never thought I could make my own croissants so I'm sure anyone can do it if I can. I'm so proud of this recipe and I hope you give it a try.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks or 14 oz)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of milk
Step 2: Activating the Yeast
Step 3: Making the Dough
Step 4: Kneading
Step 5: Making the Butter Square
Take the dough out from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 9 x 17-inch rectangle. Take the square of butter and place it gently on the bottom half of the rectangle. If the butter is too soft, put it back into the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. Align the dough and the sides of the butter square so they are even.
Step 6: Making One "Turn"
Roll the square with a rolling pin to stretch the dough and the butter in it.The dough dough should be rolled into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle (remember measurements are important!).
Next, fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter. Start with a narrow end and begin folding the bottom third up towards the middle. After, fold the top third down. This is called a "turn." Remember this because you will have to repeat many turns.
These steps could be a bit tricky so refer to the images below. They are in chronological order in this step except for the first picture which shows the dough after the turn.
Step 7: The Second Turn
You are ready to start the second turn. Roll out the dough into the 9 x 18 inch rectangle. Repeat the process in the last step (making the rectangle, folding into the thirds with the top and bottom). After you're done, use your fingers to make two marks on the dough to keep track of the two turns you have made.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Once the dough has been refrigerated, take it out and complete two more "turns" along with the refrigeration in between each turn. You should have done a total of four turns in total.
Now the dough is ready to be rolled out and shaped. However, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for up to 24 hours before you shape it. Proofing the dough in the refrigerator lets it rise slowly which actually enhances the doughs flavor. It's completely up to you though.
Step 8: Preparing for Rolling Out the Dough
Step 9: Rolling Out the Dough
Transfer each large rectangle onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until the dough is firm.
Step 10: First Part of Notching
The next step is to cut the triangles from the dough that will be made into croissants. However, we have to do this in an uniform way, by notching the dough. Follow the steps carefully and I suggest looking carefully at the pictures.
Starting on the left side of the bottom edge of the rectangle, measure 5 inches from the end. Use a rubber spatula or a knifeto make a tiny notch to mark the beginning of the base of the first triangle.
Measure another 5 inches from that notch and to make a second notch to mark the base of the second triangle. Repeat notching the dough again so that you have four sections that are five inches long.
Step 11: Finishing Notching
Now we notch this side. Starting on the left side, make a notch 2 1/2 inches from the end. Measure 5 inches from the first notch and make a second notch there. Repeat for the rest of that side, marking five inches from the last notch. The sections at the ends will each be 2 1/2 long and the ones in the middle 5 inches long.
Step 12: Cutting the Triangles
If you look at the closely, you'll see that the notches on the far side (the first notchings) are for the bases of the triangles and the notches on the near side form the tips of the triangles (the second notchings). Use a large knife to cut the triangles by connecting the notches on the near and far sides. Six to seven full triangles (5 by 6 1/2-inches to be exact) should be formed. You'll be left with some leftover dough as well. I used the leftovers to form mini-croissants (which were adorable!).
Repeat the notching and the cutting with the second rectangle (don't forget about that one). You should have double the triangles after you finished cutting now. :)
Step 13: Making the Crescents
Using both hands, roll the triangle into a crescent by rolling from the base up. One hand should be working with the dough on each side of the slit. A tip to get perfect crescents is to point your hands away from each other as you roll. This will make the classic shape that we're all familiar with. They look so cute!
Step 14: The Rest of Them
Step 15: Proofing
After waiting, preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Combine 1 egg with a tablespoon of milk to form an egg wash and brush the proofed croissants.
Step 16: Baking and Finish!
You're done! Can you believe it? Fresh baked croissants. These instructions might seem long but it's not as bad as you might think. They are certainly worth the effort, especially when they're fresh from the oven. These are perfectly crunchy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside. Perfect with some jam or coffee, or just plain!
Try out my recipe! If the lure of fresh croissants isn't enough, the first person to make this and post some pictures in the comments will get a 3 month pro-membership! The next two people who attempt this recipe will get a patch from yours truly!