I’ve never attempted to make croissants… until now! I’m going to be helping with an Easter Brunch for about 50 people and I’m hoping to master this recipe before then! So this is my first batch! When I went searching for a recipe guide, I found one adapted from Julia Child. I feel confident that Julia knew what she was doing, so I dove in! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be! Once I understood the process of layering the butter into the dough, it was smooth sailing. Time consuming, but smooth sailing. So here it is, a great recipe for a rainy day. This recipe makes 6 small croissants. You could always double it and make them twice the size!
1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/8 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm milk
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 stick of butter, chilled
1 egg + 1 tsp water (egg wash to be used just before baking)
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside to let the yeast activate. It will get bubbly/foamy. If it doesnt get foamy, your water may have been too warm, or too cold. Too warm will kill the yeast, too cold wont activate it. 110 degrees is perfect.
In a separate bowl, (or kitchen aid fitted with the dough hook) mix the remaining ingredients (except the butter) including the proofed yeast mixture, till a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and really knead the dough for about 3 minutes till it is smooth and doesn’t stick to your fingers anymore. Now return it to the bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel for about an hour. It should double in size. Once it has risen, punch it down and wrap it up to chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Now your ready to work in the butter. Smash the cold buter with a rolling pin or spatula till it is smooth.
*I did this onto a piece of wax paper till I had a thin even layer, then covered the top with plastic wrap and froze it. When I was ready to incorporate the butter with the dough, it was so easy to peel the wrap off, kind of like opening a piece of american cheese, and lay it onto the dough.
Roll the chilled dough out into a circle, and place the cold butter on top of it. Fold the sides in, and then fold the top and bottom in. Pinch to “seal” it. Now, roll the dough out longways, and fold into thirds. Then roll it out longways again, and fold into thirds. (see above photo) See what we are doing? That cold butter is getting layered in between each fold! You dont want the butter to soften, so you may want to stop at this point and rechill for about 10 minutes. Then, pick back up where you left off. Rolling longways, and then folding in thirds. Repeat this process for a total of 4 times. Now roll the dough out longways and cut into thirds. Cut each third (square-ish) diagonally into 2 triangles. Roll ’em up! Start at the wide end, rolling towards the point. Shape them so they are curved a little, and the points of the triangles are tucked underneath. Once they are all rolled and shaped, arrange them on a buttered baking sheet and let them rise, one more time, till they have doubled in size.
Now we are ready to bake! Preheat to 475. Beat the egg 1 tsp of water and brush over the croissants before baking to give them that nice shiny look (egg wash). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Keep a good eye on them. Baking at this high of a temperature can lead to burning before you know it! Let them cool on a wire rack before devouring!