Introduction: Croissants

Yummy all butter Croissants, Ideal for breakfast, served warm from the oven with a cup of fresh Coffee.

Step 1: The Ingredients

To make 12 Croissants you will need...

8 oz (225 g) Plain Flour
8 oz (225 g) Strong Bread Flour
7 oz (200 g) Butter
1 Medium size Egg
1 Sachet of Quick Activating Dried Yeast
1 Teaspoon of Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
7 floz (210 ml) Warm Water

You will also need a mixing bowl, a rolling pin, and a large clean flat surface to roll the dough out on.

Step 2: Preparing the Yeast

To activate the yeast, the water needs to be around 95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), you can get this temperature by microwaving tap water for about 40 seconds, or by mixing one third boiled water with two thirds tap water.

Mix the Teaspoon of sugar with a little of the warm water so that is has dissolved, then add and stir in the yeast before leaving it to bubble away in a warm place.

Step 3: Starting the Dough

Place all the flour (8 oz (225 g) Plain and 8 oz (225 g) Strong) in the mixing bowl along with 1 oz (30 g) of the butter and the teaspoon of salt. Then with nice clean hands, rub the butter and flower together. You need to use your hands, and pay particular attention to the consistency of the butter, the finished dough needs to be as close to the same consistency as the butter as possible.

Step 4: Add the Egg

Beat the egg in a small bowl or cup until the white and yoke are combined.

Make a well in the centre of the flour/butter mixture and pour the egg in. Collapse the flour into the centre and mix until the flour has absorbed the egg.

Step 5: Add the Yeast

By now the the Yeast mixture should have frothed up.

Make a new well and pour in the yeast mixture, then proceed in just the same way as after adding the egg.

Step 6: Get the Right Consistency

Add the water a bit at a time until the dough has the same consistency as the raw butter, you won't always need to use all the water, it will depend on the wetness of the egg and the dryness of the flour.

Once the dough is fully combined, cover it with a cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise.

Step 7: 30 Minutes Later

The dough should have approximately doubled in size.

Step 8: Dividing the Dough

If you have plenty of space then you will be able to roll all the dough in one batch, but if you don't have so much, you will need to divide the dough and the butter into equal parts. We usually divide them into 3, each large enough to make 4 croissants.

Step 9: Layering the Butter

If you have split your dough and butter into smaller batches, you will need to perform (and keep track of!) the layering and folding stages for each one.

Roll out the dough into a neat rectangle.

Cut the butter into thin slices.

Place the slices on top of the dough so that they cover two thirds of its area.

Fold the un-buttered third over so it covers halt the buttered area.

Fold again so that all the butter is inside the dough.

Step 10: Rolling and Folding

Roll the layered dough out until it is about the same size and thickness as it was when the butter was placed on top, but rotated by 90 degrees. Making sure you have the "open" side on top, again fold the dough in thirds.

If you don't rest the dough in between rolling then you will notice that the dough gets harder to roll out and fold each time.

Roll and fold again.

After rolling and folding twice, return to the fridge for 30 minutes, this stops the butter from leaking and reduces the elasticity in the dough.

Repeat the rolling and folding another two times, then again return the dough to the fridge for 30 minutes.

Then, roll and fold the mixture for the final two times.

If the dough is correctly mixed to match the consistency of the butter, all this folding will be easy. However, if the dough is too hard, the butter will tend to squidge out, or if the dough is too soft then the butter will form lumps that make holes in the dough.

NOTE: Batches of dough can be frozen in this form, and then defrosted over night ready for final assembly on the morning of consumption.

Step 11: Rolling and Cutting

Each croissant is made by rolling up a triangular piece of dough, how you make the triangles depends on how many croissants you are making from each batch. To make a batch of 4 croissants, we roll the dough into a parallelogram about 1/8" (3 mm) thick.

So that the edges of the finished croissants puff up nicely it is best if they are made from a cut edge, so we cut of the short edges of the parallelogram and place these trimmings in the middle of the croissants.

The board that is used here to roll the dough out on is about the size of an A3 sheet of paper. To roll out a larger batch you will need a much larger area, see the attached images for a guide on how you might make your cuts.

Step 12: Roll-Up, Roll-Up!

If the triangles have shrunk after being cut, or seem to be too small to roll-up, you can roll them out a bit more, or stretch them, but be careful not to squash the cut edges.

Roll-up each of the triangles of pastry, starting from the uncut edge and towards the point. You can then pull the ends in towards the point to make the traditional crescent shape, or leave them straight.

Place the rolled up croissants on a baking tray (with parchment) cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise.

Step 13: Baking

If you have added up all the time that the dough has been rising, or resting in the fridge, you will have realised that this process has taken many hours to complete, meaning that you would have to get up very early to make them fresh for breakfast. Luckily the dough keeps well in the freezer, as do the baked croissants.

To bake the croissants, you will need your oven pre-heated to 430 Fahrenheit (220 Celsius, Gas Mark 7) and the croissants will need to be in there for about 10-15 minutes to get a nice golden brown colour. Our oven is fan assisted, so they are done in about 11 minutes (appliances may vary).

Do not put the croissants in the oven while it is warming up, as this dries them out, and they don't expand properly.

Take the croissants out of the oven (WARNING: HOT PASTRY) and place them on a cooling rack to cool if you are going to store them, or on a plate if you are going to eat them.

To reheat a pre-baked croissant, it just needs to go into a hot oven for 3-5 minutes to warm through.