I wanna live in the world of pastry, I’m crazy about pastry, I love pastry, I could eat all day pastry. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked croissants? Fluffy and buttery, croissants are like heaven on earth. I must admit that, until recently I was comfortable and I prefered to buy croissant from markets. Once I discovered the perfect recipe, believe me, I moved to the kitchen for two days. But it was worth the effort.
Nothing is more delicious than a coffe and a croissant for breakfast, a mozzarella and arugula croissant for lunch, or a croissant with jam for dessert … so many choices, so much variety, so many options. Even the process of making croissants can become fun once you’ve got everything ready.
- 500g bread flour
- 55g white sugar
- 10g salt
- 150g luke warm milk
- 150g luke warm water
- 8g dry yeast
- 250g butter, room temp
Step 1: First thing you have to do is to make sure that your milk and water is luke warm, this is very important, then add your yeast and give the mixture a good stir and set aside.
Step 2: In a large bowl add the bread flour, salt, sugar and give it a quick mix. Add the milk mixture and use your hand to mix until the dough is formed (for about 5 minutes). Once the dough is formed, keep kneading for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Transfer the dough to a tray lined with baking paper, press it down slightly with your hands to form a rectangle and cover with cling wrap. Place the tray in the fridge overnight.
Step 4: It’s time to create the butter block. It is very important for the butter to have the right temperature. First, fold 2 baking paper to the size of 20cm by 40cm. Cut the butter in small pieces and place them on one of the baking paper. Lay the second baking paper on top and fold the edges of the baking paper until it’s back to being 20cm x 40cm and use a rolling pin to roll out the butter. Try to make the butter block as thickness as possible. Place the butter on a baking tray and transfer to the fridge to rest overnight. You can make this butter a few days in advance if you wish and just leave it in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Step 5: Take the dough out of the fridge. You will notice that the dough is puffy. Dust your bench with flour and place your dough on the bench. Very gently try to stretch the dough with your hands then roll it out to 40cm x 40cm in size. Gently wrap your dough in cling wrap and place the dough back in the fridge for 30 mins to allow the gluten to relax. Meanwhile, remove the butter from the fridge to allow it to come back to being the malleable consistency.
Step 6: Remove the dough and the butter from the fridge. The dough may have shrank over, so roll it out to being slightly bigger than 40cm x 40cm so that you can encase the butter in the dough. Peel of one side of the baking paper, and place the butter in the middle of the dough pressing it down into the dough lightly to let it stick to the dough and slowly peel off the second baking paper. Fold the left and right side of the dough to encase the butter and press it down gently with your rolling pin to seal it.
Step 7: It’s time for the first fold. Remember, we will fold the dough three times. Now, roll the dough slightly longer than 60cm (around 62cm is fine). Don’t forget to dust the dough if you notice parts sticking to the bench. You can stop when the dough is 62cm x 40cm. Fold it into thirds (like a letter), wrap tightly with cling wrap and freeze for 20 mins. After 20 minutes, repeat the same process two more times.
Step 8: Remove your dough out of the freezer and roll it to be at least 60cm x 28cm. Use your ruler and pizza cutter or a knife and trim the edges of the dough. Finally, make sure your dough still has 60cm x 28cm area. Mark the base along the length of the dough at 10cm intervals until you reach 60cm, then on the top of the dough, mark the dough at 10cm increments offset by 5cm. Using a ruler, place the ruler along the breath connecting the markings on the top to the bottom and slice it. You should get 11 triangles.
Step 9: It’s time for shaping, take a piece of dough triangle and before rolling, gently stretch the dough, place it on the table and roll it from the base to the tip as evenly as possible keeping the roll tight.
Step 10: Place the croissants on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to proof for 2 hours.
Step 11: Preheat the oven to 200°C and gently brush the croissants with egg wash. Bake your croissants on the middle rack for 7 mins, reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for another 13 mins.