Homemade croissants do take a while to make but honestly are one of the most incredible and delicious things to make and eat.
The delicious, flakey, buttery pastry is absolutely delicious and unique. The numerous folind of dough creates the buttery flakey layers of croissant we all know and love.
This recipe is very fun and can be made ahead of time by freezing dough before proofing the croissants (they can freeze for up to 2-3 months)
One of the greatest things to know about making croissants is that they are not hard to make. It is just a long process so if you have a couple days where you have alot to do around the house or have alot of time on your hands please try this recipe!!
It is amazing sharing these with your friends and family because freshly baked croissants are incredible and when they find out you made them, let me tell you people are impressed!
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Step 1: Ingredients
For the Dough:
- 4 1/4 cups Plain Flour (Plus extra for rolling)
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup Caster sugar
- 40g soft unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Instant dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
For the Butter Slab:
- 250g Cold unsalted butter
For the Egg Wash:
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
Step 2: Equipment
- Elextric mixer with a dough hook attatchment
- Large mixing bowl (for mixer)
- Rolling Pin
- Baking paper
- Cling wrap
- Pastry brush
- Large plastic square bags
Step 3: Activate the Yeast
In a small bowl mix the warm water, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl until combined and then place aside for about 10 minutes until it becomes foamy.
This is an important step as placing the yeast, warm water and sugar activates the yeast (it is not essential as it will happen later but i find it really helps to make the dough even more delicious)
Step 4: Make the Dough
In a large electric mixer bowl with a dough hook attacthment place the milk, 40g butter and yeast mixture together and mix it together on a low speed setting. Slowly add the flour to the mix and allow the mixing hook to stir it for between 5-10 minutes. You will know the dough is ready as the dough will come together and have an elastic feel to it
If the dough is too sticky or not coming together add 1 tbsp more flour until it holds.
If the dough is too crumbly or dry add a tsp of milk until you reach a consistencey of dough where you can touch it without it being sticky but holds its shape.
Step 5: Knead the Dough
Once the dough has been made on a kitchen table knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
You should not have to flour your work surface at this point, if you do your dough is too wet.
To knead the dough place your palm in the centre of the dough and push out to one side of the circle. Then turn the dough 1/4 circle, fold the dough on itself and repeat, applying pressure on the dough through yout palm and pushing the dough to the same side. Repeat this motion for 5 minutes in total.
Step 6: Rest the Dough
Once you have kneaded the dough place it in a large bowl, cover it with cling wrap and allow it to rest in a warm area (between 23-25 degrees Celcius) for about 1-2 hours until the dough increases in size (it may not quite double in size).
Once it has grown take the dough out and knead it again as described before. Then wrap the dough again and place it in the fridge overnight.
Step 7: Make the Butter Slab
To make the butter slab that will be folded into our delicious pastry dough make a 20cm by 20cm square of butter. This can either be done by
1. Placing the butter in a square ziplock bag and rolled out to its shape.
2. The butter is but into squares and rolled out between 2 sheets of baking paper until you reach 20cm by 20cm.
nce the utter square has been made place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before working it into the dough. (This can be made the same day as the dough and left in the fridge overnight)
Step 8: Make the Croissant Butter Pastry Dough
The next morning take out your dough and on a floured surface roll it out into a rectangle so that it is slightly doubled the size of the butter slab (enough so that you can fold it over and pinch the edges to seal in the butter.
That is roughly a rectangle 22cm by 40-45cm. Then with your pastry brush remove any excess flour from the dough
Then place the butter slab on the dough and fold it over and pich the edges of the dough so the butter is encased in dough.
It is important to remove flour from the dough when folding as this helps make the flakey buttery layers of the croissants better
Step 9: Make the 1st Fold in the Pastry Dough
Now that the butter slab is in the dough roll the dough out to a 22cm by 60cm rectangle.
What is important here is to fold the dough more than half the way in then join the other end of the dough together and pinch it closed (This helps the ends of the dough which might not have butter in it to become buttery.)
Then roll the dough out to another 22cm by 60cm rectangle.
Step 10: Triple Fold the Dough 5 Times
With the 1st fold complete now take the 22cm by 60cm rectangle of dough and brush any excess flour off it. Fold the dough in onitself into thirds.
Basically what we are going for is a rectangle 3 times as long as the original butter slab (3 x 20cm = 60cm) so that the dough can be folded on itself to create the delicious puff pastry layers of a croissant.
Make sure to brush any excess flour from the dough and fold the dough into thirds.
Then place the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes to make the butter cold and make the dough easier to work with. If the butter starts to melt make sure to put it in the fridge.
When rolling out the dough after folding in 3rds make sure to roll with the folded/ creased side facing you so it will stay roughly 22cm wide.
Repeat the folding of the dough on itself a total of 5 times (as well as the initial 1st fold).
Place the dough in the fridge in cling wrap for at least 2 hours or overnight to rest and cool the butter.
If you are making these in the summer or a hot place make sure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes between rolling as if it is too hot the butter will leak out of the dough and lose it's flakiness when baked.
*Pro tip* make in a cold room or during winter.
Step 11: Shape the Croissants
Take the chilled croissant pastry dough from the fridge and cut it in half (keep the other half in the fridge). You need to make sure you are working with cold dough.
On a floured surface roll half of the dough into a 20cm by 45cm rectangle which is only about 3mm thick (it can be longer than this do not worry it is all homemade itdoesn't have to be exact.
cut between 6-8 triangles from the dough and then stretch the 'base' of the triangle out and then roll the dough up from the base to the point of the triangle. Then pinch the ends of the croissants ogether infront of the tip of the pastry and place on a bakng tray. Repeat with the other dough.
Step 12: Proofing the Croissants
If you are making the croissants and want to freeze them and baking them later, freeze them at this point.
Once you have rolled the croissants you need to proof them before cooking. This involves placing the croissants in a warm environment (23-25 degrees celcius) for between 2-3 hours. You will notic the croissants will puff up to a bigger size and become a little bit spongey to the feel. Mkae sure to put room between your croissants. This helps give the croissants their final proof shape.
Step 13: Baking
Just before baking make the egg wash but mixing the eggs, milk and salt together and then brush them on the proofed croissants.
Bake the croissants for 8-10 minutes at 200 degrees celcius and then turn the heat down to 190degrees for another 10 minutes or until the croissants are golden brown.
Step 14: SERVE!!
When the croissants are golden brown and delicious, stop, take a step back and look at what you have made! How awesome is t that you have made these incredible croissants that you thought were so hard to make. They just take a while to make, the process is actually quite straight forward.
Enjoy them as they are, with jam, nutella, ham and cheese or whatever you like with them. But eat them with pride knowing you put love and effort into them!
If you are freezing the pastry just let them thaw out for 2-3 hours (basically just the proofing process and cook as mentioned before.
I hope you like them!!!