They say that French is the language of love. There are many reasons that I love anything French; lavender, wine, crepes, and the bread, just to name a few! The ultimate French delicacy is the croissant; flaky buttery layers, light airy and crisp! How about we learn how to make our very own homemade croissants?!
I can never resist ‘the croissant’! it goes perfectly with everything and at any time of day. There’s the ‘pain au chocolate’ and the ‘pains aux raisin’ and my all-time favourite the ‘almond croissant’. It’s perfect stuffed into sandwiches or sweetened with jams, I can never have enough!
So this Valentines I decided to make one of the most challenging pastries a baker can conquer, and it is by far the most delicious pastry there is! It is definitely a labour of love.
I’ve talked before about my love for butter and how Europe sweeps my taste buds away. They have a higher butter fat content than we do here in the west, resulting in rich flavours! They spend so much time mastering their craft perfecting sweets and savouries and only use the best quality ingredients. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your ingredients are of the utmost importance! Don’t cheap out especially on butter! We are lucky that here in Canada, Stirling Creamery has some of the top quality butters around and even a butter with higher butter fat; Churn 84. This lovely butter is perfect for making your croissants to create those beautiful layers of buttery flaky dough!!
It’s the simple things in life that are important and Valentine’s Day is a reminder to cherish and enjoy those; like a warm fresh baked croissant and a hot cup of tea served in bed with your favourite person, or a good conversation with your best friends and your favourite sweets.
“Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup”
“Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.”
Happy Love DayPrint
Learn how to make buttery, flaky croissants at home!
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 18 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: French
- 500g unbleached all-purpose flour (extra for dusting)
- 140g warm water
- 55g sugar
- 11g instant yeast
- 140g whole milk
- 40g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 12g salt
- Other Ingredients
- 280g unsalted butter, cold
- 1 egg + 1 tsp water to make an egg wash
- Good quality Dark Chocolate (if making chocolate croissants)
- Making your Dough
- In a small bowl add warm water and about 1 tablespoon of the 55g sugar, set the rest of the sugar aside. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water then mix in the yeast. Let sit until it bubbles and is foamy; about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, and butter. Once the yeast is ready add it to the dry ingredients, along with the milk. Mix dough on low with the dough hook attachment. Then add salt.
- Mix for about 3-4 minutes (note: if the dough seems too dry and is not coming together add teaspoon size of water)
- Shape dough into a disc. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Leave dough in the fridge overnight
- Laminating the Dough (butter block)
- Cut the cold butter lengthwise into around 1/2inch size slabs and arrange the pieces of butter on a waxed paper to form a square about 6″ x 6″
- Cover the butter with another sheet of waxed paper. Using your rolling pin pound butter into a block of about 7.5″ x 7.5″. Trim the edges and put the extra butter on top of the square and pound lightly until you have a block of 6.5″ x 6.5″ Wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and with the rolling pin roll the disc into a 10″ x 10″ square, trying as best as possible to keep the dough an even thickness and as square as possible.
- Get the butter block from the fridge and place it on a 45 degree angle to the dough. Fold all the edges over the butter fully enclosing the butter and seal the edges.
- Now roll out the dough to a 8″ x 23″ rectangle. Start rolling from the centre and roll dough outwards, don’t go side to side. If you need to you can rotate the dough 180 degrees to keep even rolling.
- Fold dough letter style (folding one third of the dough on top of itself then the other third). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30minutes.
- Do this a total of three times; rolling into 8″ x 23″, folding into a letter, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Each time rotate the dough 90 degrees before you roll (keeping the open end of the folded dough towards you).
- After the third turn put the dough in the fridge overnight until day 3)
- Take the dough out of the fridge and gently roll the dough into a long and narrow strip of 8″ x 43″. (if the dough is resisting, you can fold it back up and put it in the fridge to rest for 10-20 minutes. This is very important, if the dough won’t stretch anymore, fold it up and let it rest!!!)
- Once you’ve reached the dough length of 43″, trim and make clean straight edges.
- This is where I cut my dough in half and used half the dough for chocolate croissants and the other half plain croissants. You can do one or the other if you like, but I wanted both :). Cut dough in half and place one half to the side and cover with a clean tea towel.
- Using a measuring tape and a pizza cutter, measure out triangles. Lay the tape measure lengthwise along the top of the dough. With a knife, mark the top of the dough at 5-inch intervals along the length (there will be 7 marks in all if you are making all plain croissants). Position the tape measure along the bottom of the dough. Make a mark 2-½ inches in from the end of the dough. Make marks at 5-inch intervals from this point all along the bottom of the dough. You’ll have 8 marks that fall halfway between the marks at the top.
- Make diagonal cuts by positioning a ruler at the top corner and the first bottom mark. With a knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough along this line. Move the ruler to the next set of marks and cut. Repeat. You’ll have made 8 cuts. Now change the angle of the yardstick to connect the other top corner and bottom mark and cut the dough along this line to make triangles. Repeat along the entire length of dough. You’ll end up with 15 triangles and a small scrap of dough at each end
- Now very gently elongate each triangle to about 10 inches. This is often done by hand.
- Now cut a notch in the middle of the short end of the triangle, roll the two wings by moving your hands outwards from the center, creating the desired shape with a thinner, longer point. Try and roll the dough very tightly at the beginning and put enough pressure on the dough to make the layers stick together (but not so much as to damage the layers)
Proofing and Baking
- Arrange the croissants on a lined baking sheet, leaving enough space between them.
- Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash and whisk until blended. Lightly coat the croissants
- Cover with plastic and let rest in a warm place free of drafts. You’ll know they’re ready if you can see the layers of dough when the croissants are viewed from the side, and if you shake the sheet, the croissants will wiggle, approx. 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Add another thin layer of egg wash to the croissants. Bake for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on them. If they are browning too quickly lower the oven temperature by 10˚F.
- Let cool on baking sheets on cooling racks.
The croissants are best served sightly warm. You can reheat them as well in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. They can also be wrapped in plastic and frozen for a month or more. Frozen croissants can be thawed overnight prior to reheating or taken from the freezer directly to the oven, in which case they will need a few minutes more to reheat.
Chocolate Croissants: Chop some good-quality dark chocolate and distribute it along the length of the dough cut into rectangles approx. 6″ x 4″ —use about ½ oz. or 1-½ Tbs. for each one. Roll it up and pinch the ends closed. Proof and bake the same.
- Serving Size: 1 Plain Croissant
- Calories: 1129
- Sugar: 3.1g
- Sodium: 1051mg
- Fat: 116.5g
- Saturated Fat: 73.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 21.4g
- Fiber: 0.8g
- Protein: 4.4g
- Cholesterol: 316mg
Keywords: Croissants, Pastry, Breakfast, French
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