Croissants have long been a staple in French bakeries, and I’m going to show you how to make them at home.
So let’s start with the croissant dough itself.
How to Make Croissants
I have a full Cup of warm water and I’m going to add to that half a Cup of milk.
Croissants can take up to a couple of days to make, but they are well worth the effort.
Add 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
Even though I’m making bread dough, I don’t use bread flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which is good for big hearty loaves of bread. But facades are a little more delicate.
I’ll add 5 tablespoons of sugar.
Sugar is actually what the yeast feeds on as it slowly rises, and now for the yeast.
This is instant dry yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons.
The final ingredient is a teaspoon and a half of salt, but I add that after I get the mixer going, salt can actually kill yeast activity. After the dough is mixing, it’s fine to add.
Once the dough starts coming together, I just add 2 tablespoons of butter.
I let the dough need for just a couple of minutes to develop the gluten’s the proteins that are going to hold in all the air, as the East rises.
Once you see the dough clean the sides of the bowl but still stick a little at the bottom. You know it’s fully needed.
There we go, perfect over.
And now, let it rise not in a bowl, but on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Cover it with a tea towel that gives it some air and room to move and then so it doesn’t dry out or get a crust.
Just a loose piece of plastic, right on top, just like so.
I leave this to sit out for about an hour and a half at room temperature, then to control how the yeast grows, I put in the fridge and now you can let it rest.
As short as an hour or up to 8 hours, you really do have a great window of time. Just remember the longer that yeast has to ferment, the better the flavor you get out of your croissants.
Now it’s time for the barrage, the butter layer, and guess what’s in it. Just butter, a cup and a quarter of it.
And then just simply use a plastic wrap to flatten it into a square shape.
I’m starting with room temperature butter now, but I do have to chill it down a little bit. So I’ve got my two parts, the bread dough, and the butter.
Here’s the first step of the dough, chilled.
Now it’s time for the first fold, tip this out, on to a floured work surface and even though it’s had time to chill down, remember, it’s a yeast dough.
It’s soft, it’s flexible, and what’s important is that butter layer that you just put into the pan is the same consistency.
You might want to pull it out from the fridge a little bit before you start rolling.
Roll it into a square first.
I tip out on to the soft bread dough.
So what I do is just package up the butter like a parcel, fold in the dough edges.
And then just roll it out into a long rectangle the butter, getting pushed in between the dough layers.
And now for the first fold. This is called a trifold or three-fold.
Can definitely feel the weight now of the added butter.
This goes back on the tray. And I just cover it back up with the tea towel, you let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of an hour.
But if you can push it to a maximum of eight hours, you just going to get that better flavor and the flaky crisper crust on the outside of your croissant.
So this is the dough after its first fold. But after resting for 8 hours.
And you have to work with it from this point on, with the dough being cold.
And with this second fold, you will feel as you roll the dough, the bits of butter flaking and shattering within it.
And the folding technique is the same as with the first folds and with each roll and fold.
You’re knocking the carbon dioxide out of the dough, and that forces the yeast to get back to work, start feeding on the sugars and fermenting again, and that’s where the flavor development in fold over fold, knockdown over knockdown, comes from.
Another one hour, but ideally 8 hours, in the fridge.
Now that we’ve made this buttery croissant, oh, it’s time to get rolling and make some classic croissants.
The traditional plain, a slice of cheese and almond croissant and pen or chocolate.
So let’s take a peek at the dough. After the last 8 hours, it really has doubled in size and you can see all these beautiful butter layers throughout.
And I’m going to start by using half of this dough to make 12 Croissants.
Trimmed the outside edges.
The first cut is horizontally and then make triangle cuts.
An important little step is just to make a notch at the base of the triangle. That allows you to roll it more easily, but it also bakes evenly in the center.
Open at the notch a little bit with just a gentle stretch, let the dough do the work.
You always curve your croissant away from the tail end. Fold its hands together.
And that is a classic croissant.
And with this rolling and then shaping, you’re adding even more folding to create those flaky layers.
Let’s do the cheese style.
A little bit of the cheese at the base of each croissant.
And I’m saving some to put on top. And then the same step applies, but you have to do a little lift and then open that notch before you do the traditional role, and fold.
Now, I have to say the next one has to be my all-time favorite Croissant.
I love a good almond croissant.
So to make easy marzipan, I just take a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds.
About a tablespoon and a half of sugar.
And then just two teaspoons of soft butter.
Just a couple drops of almond extract.
Just stir this until it turns into a paste.
And a nice, I like to shape it into a bit of a log.
That way every bite of croissant has a little bit of that almond paste in it.
The rolling motion is still the same. But if you notice, in a traditional French bakery, almond croissant remains straight.
In a busy bakery, you’re making so many of these.
You get used to working pretty fast dozens at a time.
Now the last style is panel Chocolate, and that hasn’t altogether different shapes than the traditional curved croissants.
It’s important to use good quality chocolate because after the panel chocolate comes out of the oven and once it’s cooled baking chocolate stays nice and soft in the center.
And this time because I’m not curving or shaping, you don’t have to do the notch at the base.
And if you do have these little ends, you just tuck them back in.
And as much as you want to put them in the oven now, there’s a little more weighting involved.
And the final proof should happen in a warm draft-free place.
So I have my rack by the oven. It really encourages yeast to come to life.
And these have rest for two hours.
They’re ready for the oven.
So just the finishing touch. On my classic plane and the cheese.
Just a brush of egg wash, a little egg mixed with a little water. Makes the croissants shiny and promotes and even browning.
And so you can easily tell the plane from the cheese. Little of that reserve cheese right on top.
To tell you that there’s marzipan inside, a little sprinkle of sliced almonds on the almond croissants.
For a nice little crunch on the panel chocolate, a little sprinkle of turbinado sugar.
Finally, this is the quickest part of the Croissant recipe, in a 375 oven. These only take about 15 minutes.
It smells absolutely divine in here. The final touch you always see it in a bakery. A little dusting of icing sugar on the almond croissants. But I have to treat myself to my absolute favorite flaky almond.
That was worth waiting for.
I hope you like and please do not forget to share, happy days…