Happy Wednesday, Foodies!
Can you believe November is almost over?! I feel like I keep saying this, but this month is going by so fast and I’m having a hard time keeping up. I’d be lying if I said I got nearly as many blog posts done this month as I wanted to. But oh well, that’s life sometimes. Of course, November coming to an end isn’t the worst thing ever, that means the holidays are in full swing. That means twinkly lights and Michael Buble, but most of all, it means holiday baking.
I never really had any interest in croissants until I went to Barcelona. Every morning Arlo and I would get up and have coffee and pastries at a patisserie near our hotel. You could smell them baking as you walked past, warm, buttery goodness. After that, I spent the summer working in a French restaurant and bakery and I would wait to eat until I got to work just so I could have a croissant. Now I’m in Doha and I can’t find a decent one to save my life. So I figured I’d try making them myself. The heat and humidity have finally died down so it seems like the best time to experiment with dough. I had a couple flops, but finally, I got these finicky little pastries down.
Okay, maybe my shaping needs a little work, but they taste like heaven.
When To Make These
This isn’t a super simple recipe, it requires lots of time and attention, minimum, 11-12 hours. That being said this is definitely a weekend project. Start on Saturday and bake on Sunday morning. If you’re not already overwhelmed about Thanksgiving, you could definitely take advantage of the long weekend and prepare the dough Wednesday night to enjoy Thursday morning. Same goes for Christmas morning. If you have extras, cut them up and add them to your stuffing.
Tips and Tricks
The most important thing to remember when making croissants is that everything has to stay cold. That’s why it takes so long to make them. Once the butter warms up, it turns into a big greasy mess and it’s really hard to control the dough. I rest my dough for two hours in the fridge between every two turns. You’ll want to work as quickly as possible while the dough is out. You’ll also want to bake these on a rimmed baking sheet. If not, you’ll end up with an oven full of smoke and butter. Lastly, when you get to forming your croissants, if you notice lots of scraps but you don’t want to throw them away, make baby croissants! I wouldn’t recommend that you re-knead the dough because it just won’t work. But while I was at a patisserie in Spain, I saw these tiny little croissants and I thought it was a great way to use the scraps. They’re so cute!
|Prep: 1 hr 20 mins | Rest: Overnight | Bake: 20 mins | Temp: 400° F |
- 1 Packet (2 1/4 tsp) Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 C Warm Water, no more than 110°
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 C Milk, slightly warmed
- 4 TBSP Canola Oil
- 3.5-4 C All Purpose Flour
- 1 C (2 sticks) Butter
- 1 Egg, beaten
- In a liquid measuring cup, warm the water and add yeast and sugar. Mix until combined and set aside until yeast is fully liquid and a layer of foam forms on top of the water, about 5 minutes. If it does not foam, throw it out and start over.
- In the meantime, combine warm milk and salt in one bowl, measure the oil, and measure 3.5C of flour into another large bowl.
- Once the yeast is foamy, add milk and oil to the mixture and add it all to the flour at the same time.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold everything together until a dough starts to form, then dump it out onto a floured surface.
- It may seem very wet, allow the dough to rest 2-3 minutes and absorb some of the flour. Use this time to clean up and wash the bowl as you’ll need a clean bowl in a few minutes. If it still seems too wet, add the other 1/2 C of flour.
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then place in the clean bowl and cover it with plastic.
- Leave at room temperature to rise for 1.5-2 hours, the dough should triple in size.
- Take the dough out and place it on a floured surface, roll it out into a 10×16 inch rectangle. Rounded edges are okay at this stage, but try to make it as square as possible, do better than I did.
- Look at the rectangle as if it were in thirds, fold the bottom third into the middle, then fold the top third over that, as if making an envelope. This is called a turn.
- Cover in plastic and place in the fridge to rest for an hour, this time the dough should double in size.
- Just before taking the dough out, take your two sticks of butter and using a rolling pin, smash them flat. I do this by literally hitting them with the rolling pin until they are flat and then rolling them out to make them smooth.
- Place the butter back in the fridge and take the dough out, again rolling it into a 10×16 rectangle, place the butter in the top two-thirds of the dough, making sure to leave one inch of space between the butter and the edges.
- Once again, fold the bottom third into the middle and the top third over that.
- Now roll the dough out again into a rectangle and fold it the same way. You have no completed three turns. Cover with plastic and place it in the fridge to rest for 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured surface, using the same technique, complete two more turns. Wrap in plastic and rest for another two hours. At this stage, you can freeze the dough and finish it another day, however, if you freeze it at this stage you can not freeze it again.
- Finally, remove the dough from the fridge and on a floured surface, roll the dough into a large square and cut it in half. Remove any curved edges. Cover and place one half in the fridge to keep cool while you work with the other.
- Cut the dough into even triangles using a zig-zag pattern.
- Roll the triangles into a croissant shape starting from the widest end, make sure the tip is fully attached to the rest of the roll when finished.
- Curve the two ends slightly inwards and place on a lightly buttered baking sheet.
- Cover and rest for at least two hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. At this stage, you can freeze the dough and save it for another day, so long as it has not been frozen before.
- If you rest them in the fridge, take them out 20-30 minutes before baking and bring them to room temperature.
- If you froze the dough, you can bake the croissants still frozen.
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire top surface of the croissant.
- Place the formed croissants on a lightly buttered and rimmed baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and lower heat to 400°F.
- Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown, fluffy and flaky.
- Remove and cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve warm with butter and jam.
How To Use The Scrap Dough
If you’re having a hard time throwing away the scrap dough, I know I did. You can roll it out and use it to make tiny croissants. Just follow the same steps for shaping as above. I would not recommend re-kneading it or trying to make it into a larger piece as the layers will be ruined. Bake them at 350° for 5 minutes.
If you try this recipe out or any of my other recipes, let me know how it worked for you in the comments!
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Thanks for reading!