To say these croissants were a labor of love, would be an understantement. 4 days and 2 tries later (oh and I forgot a LOT of patience), I can now say, it was all worth it. Not only do these beauties taste amazing, it felt pretty good knowing that they were made completely from scratch!
We tried a couple of recipes, as I've read it takes 2-3 times to truly become comfortable with the croissant making process - This turned out to be SO true. Below is the journey. They were buttery, flakey and delicious. Paired with a little (or a lot) of Nutella, it was almost like being in Paris.
So give it a try. Make some mistakes! You'll see ours aren't perfect, in fact, they're perfectly imperfect, just as they should be!
Ingredients (Makes about 16 croissants):
Dough Ingredients/Instructions (No stand mixer needed)
- 1 cup cold, whole milk
- 1/2 cup boiling water (you can do this in the microwave)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (usually one packet)
- 1/4 cup suger
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, frozen then left at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
1. Combine the milk and boiling water in a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir in the yeast and sugar until combined. Leave for 5 minutes until a foam forms.
3. Add in the flour and salt and combine with your hands until and tacky ball is formed.
4. Roll out on to floured surface and knead until all the flour is incorporated, about 2 minutes.
5. Form a ball and place in a well oiled, covered bowl. Place in the fridge for 1 hour. The dough should rise, and almost double in size.
6. When your dough has about 30 minutes left, remove your butter from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
7. Using a cheese grater, grate butter on to a large piece of plastic wrap. Pack firmly together, forming a rectangle that measures about 8"x5".
8. Wrap your butter rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. It should look something like the first, top left picture below.
9. Once the butter has chilled, roll out your chilled DOUGH on to a floured surface and form a 16"x9" rectangle.
10. Unwrap the butter and place in the center of the dough.
11. Fold the dough in to thirds, like a business letter (see below).
12. Turn the dough 90 degrees (short end facing you) and roll out into a 15"x10" rectangle.
13. Fold dough into thirds AGAIN (removing any excess flour from dough), and securely wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 1 hour.
–Steps 12 & 13 are considered a "turn."–
14. After one hour, remove dough and unwrap, repeating steps 12 & 13 for a total of 4 turns.
15. Cut the dough into thirds. Wrap the thirds tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Shaping the Dough:
1. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out in to a 16"x6" rectangle. Your dough should be about 1/4" thin.
2. Cut in to thirds to form 3 small squares.
3. Cut each square diagonally to form 6 total triangles (2 from each square).
4. Pull on the top corners of the shortest edge, to even up the base of the triangle. Then gently stretch the dough, pulling on the end.
5. Cut a slit in the base of the triangle the roll her up to form your croissant!
Bake the Dough:
1. Once you shaped all of your croissants, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Generously brush each croissant with an egg wash and place in the oven.
4. Immediately reduce the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Let cool on a wire wrack and enjoy!
All images ©2015 Jonathan Stiers | Recipe adapted from Top with Cinnamon