Croissants

Time: ??
Serves: 4

There are no notes for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • Bread flour, 500g

  • Sugar, 55g

  • Salt, 10g

  • Milk, luke warm, 150g

  • Water, luke warm, 150g

  • Yeast, instant, 4g

  • Butter, unsalted, room temp

  • Egg

Method

 

Day before

  1. Ensure milk (150g) and water (150g) is luke warm, add yeast (4g), give the mixture a good stir and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the bread flour (500g), sugar (55g), salt (10g) and give it a quick mix, add the milk mixture and mix on low (speed no. 1) for 2 mins. Increase the speed (to speed no. 2) and knead for another 7 mins.

  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.

  4. Place the tray in the fridge overnight.

Make the butter block

  1. At least a couple of hours before you are ready to shape the dough, remove it from the fridge. If it is summer where you are, you might not need as long for the butter to soften.

  2. You’ll want the butter to be the consistency of being malleable where you can actually bend the butter but it doesn’t leave a melted oily buttery feeling on your finger tips when you work with it.

  3. Now that the butter is at the right temperature, the next step is to create the butter block.

  4. Most recipes call for the butter to be made into a thicker smaller block than what you will see in this recipe. I however ask for this to be bigger to make your initial first fold a lot easier and lower risk.

  5. You’ll want to fold 2 baking paper to the size of 20cm by 40cm.

  6. Slice the butter up 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. I would usually press down on the dough or gently tap it to help with shaping it.

  7. Ensure that you make this butter slab thickness as even as possible. If you remember my mention of the lamination, we are trying to create even layers of dough and butter when we begin the lamination process.

  8. 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.

The next morning

  1. Stretch the dough

  2. Take the dough out of the fridge and you’ll notice that it would have puffed up slightly overnight.

  3. Dust your bench and rolling pin with flour and place your dough on the bench.

  4. Roll it out to 40cm x 40cm in size.

  5. I usually try to stretch the dough out to being a square with my hands by gently tugging along the edges whilst I roll it out.

  6. Cover and place the dough back in the fridge for 30mins to allow the gluten to relax.

  7. During this time, remove the butter from the fridge to allow it to come back to being the malleable consistency.

  8. If you are in a warm climate, you might only need to remove it 15 mins before you are ready to use it.

The first fold

  1. Now that the dough is encase, extend it to be slightly longer than 60cm (62cm is fine).

  2. The seam should still be facing up at you running down the middle of the dough as you are only extending the length from 40cm to 60cm.

Rolling technique

  1. Press down on the dough with the rolling pin to help compress the layers and this also helps with stretching the dough out.

  2. Through the pressing action you will stretch it slightly, the next thing to do after pressing down on it is to roll it out like you usually would roll the dough and you’ll notice that it might roll slightly more evenly.

  3. Dust the dough if you notice parts sticking to the bench. As you continue the lamination process and create more layers. The layers of dough holding the butter in will be thinner and you don’t want to tear it by having it stick to the bench.

  4. Another action that I use is the fluffing action.

  5. This will help to relax and release the dough from the table to ensure it doesn’t stick and helps with the rolling process. I basically tuck my hands under the dough and fluff it gently like you would fluff a piece of cloth.

  6. Be sure the thickness of your dough is  as even as possible. If one side thicker just roll it out to make it even with the other side.

Folding it

  1. Dust off excess flour that is on the dough prior to folding it.

  2. To fold the dough, take the top part of the dough and fold it downwards by a slightly less than a third of the length.

  3. Then take the bottom of the dough and fold over that initial fold with the dough overlapping at the edge just so it doesn’t sit directly above the dough but rather goes around the spine. This is your first fold.

  4. By overlapping the edge of the fold it helps with keeping the dough layers/shape when you roll it out it out in the second fold.

  5. Take note of which side the overlapping edge sits on the dough, I usually rotate the dough clockwise so that its on my right.

  6. Wrap tightly with cling wrap and freeze for 20mins (15mins if its cooler or 25mins if it’s warmer).

  7. Wrap it tightly in cling wrap to lock in the moisture in the dough so it doesn’t dry out whilst it’s in the fridge.

Second fold

  1. The process of rolling it out is the same but you will notice that it will be tougher to roll it out. That’s okay, the dough shouldn’t tear.

  2. Just remember to flour the surface as need be to prevent it from sticking. If the dough gets too warm (dough feels really soft), just place it back into the freezer. And if it’s too cold (butter cracks), just let it rest on the bench.

  3. To roll out the dough, ensure that the overlapping edge is on your right side of your body and that the overlap is on the top and you didn’t somehow manage to flip it over whilst you were wrapping the dough so that it is now on the bottom.

  4. You’ll want to roll the out to be slightly longer than 60cm (around 62cm). Fold it in thirds again just like the first fold you did above, rotate the dough ensuring that the overlapping edge is on your right once more.

  5. Wrap it tightly and place it back in the freezer for 20mins.

Third fold

  1. Repeat with rolling it out and folding it in thirds.

  2. Wrap it and place it back in the freezer for another 20mins.

 

Prepping the dough for slicing

  1. Take your dough out of the freezer and roll it to be at least 60cm by 28cm.

  2. This might take awhile. The dough will fight you, the dough will shrink, but just keep at it, just be sure not to rip the dough. If you feel that it is getting too soft, place it back in the freezer for 5-10mins.

  3. Keeping with the pressing and rolling, keep with the fluffing, keep with the dusting of flour to prevent it from sticking. You will get there and you will be happy when that happens. In this stage, it’s absolutely fine if you rotate the dough as you roll it out, the seam doesn’t have to remain on your right.

  4. The key is to ensure your dough is of even thickness. This is always key.

  5. Just when you think the dough is around the right size, you’ll start to realise that it will shrink slightly as it sits which is why I usually roll it to be larger than 60cm x 28cm (64cm x 30cm)

  6. Take your ruler and pizza cutter (or knife), slice off a little of the top and bottom of the dough along it’s length. This will help with the dough as it puffs up to ensure the middle is able to expand as the layer have now been released from you slicing off those seams.

  7. Check the length of your dough to ensure it still has a nice 60cm area that you can work with. Trim off the left side of your dough.

  8. You should now only have one edge not trimmed off (on your right)

  9. Gently mark the base along the length of the dough at 10cm intervals until you reach 60cm. (e.g. 10cm, 20cm, 30cm…60cm). You just want it marked enough to visually see the indicators but not cut through it nor compress your layers.

  10. Slice off the right side at the 60cm mark to make that perfect 60cm x 28cm rectangle.

  11. Keep all of your trimming because we can still make something with it.

  12. On the top of the dough, mark the dough at 10cm increments offset by 5cm. (e.g. 5cm, 15cm, 25cm… 55cm)

Slice your triangles

  1. 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 beautiful triangles with 2 halves on each end.

If the triangles are getting warm, place on a tray and wrap it in cling wrap and place it back into the freezer for 5-10mins until cool again.

Shaping the croissant

  1. Take a piece of dough triangle with your right hand hold it by the base with your left hand.

  2. Using your thumb and index finger, gently stretch the dough along the middle to elongate it slightly and relax the dough. The dough should extend slightly.

  3. Place it on the table and roll it from base to tip as evenly as possible keeping the roll tight. 

  4. Ensure the tip of the croissant is tucked under to ensure it doesn’t unroll when it bakes/proof. I usually tap/throw the dough gently against the workbench to help “lock it in” under the croissant. But you can just gently tuck it under and press it down just to “lock” it in.

  5. Transfer them to a tray with a good amount of space between them as when they bake they will increase in size by at least 3 times. I usually place them on a 45 degree angle on the tray to fit more on.

Proofing
Proof your dough in a warm area until it looks puffy and wobbles when you give your pan a shake. It should increase in size by around 70% and if your lamination was done correctly, some of the layers will start to show. At 25-27C it takes around 3-4hrs for me before it’s ready for the egg wash.

There are a few things to note with this step. You’ll want to ensure that the dough doesn’t dry out, but more importantly to ensure that the temperature of where you are proofing your dough doesn’t go higher than 27C.

If the temperature gets higher than 27C, the butter will start to melt and you will lose those lovely layers and your croissant will turn into a brioche instead. Still delicious, but not a croissant.

The best way to proof your dough if where you live is cold, would be to put it in an oven with a mug of hot water to heat up the oven. Just be sure not to place it directly under the tray. Ideally to the side of the tray or above it just so you do not accidentally overheat the dough by overheating the tray. Replace with boiling water as need be if the oven starts to get too cold again.

The hot water does 2 things – it increases the humidity in the oven and allows the dough to proof without the layers cracking due to the dough having dried out and it also heats the oven to make it a warm environment conducive for the dough to proof.

An ideal proofing humidity is approximately 80-85%.

If you do want to go down the path of using your oven’s pilot light to proof the dough, be sure to keep the dough away from the light as the lights tend to get too warm and may melt the butter of those croissants closest to the light. To keep the dough “moist” use a hand water spritzer to spray a light mist of water on the croissants.

If you don’t have a water spritzer, you can place a mug of hot water in the oven without the pilot light just until it’s humid and steamy after which you can turn on the pilot light to proof.

One of the toughest part about making croissants is the proofing time, too short and butter will leak out of your croissants. Too long and it might deflate. Due to the lower amount of yeast in this recipe, overproofing is going to be less of an issue than underproofing. You want to be sure that you let it go for the 3-4hrs and it looks all puffy and pillowy before you bake it.

Egg wash and preheat your oven
Mix 1 large egg, 20g of milk (or water) with a light pinch of salt until smooth.

Brush a light coat of egg wash on the croissants. Try your best to be gentle so you do not knock the air out of your beautifully proofed croissants.

You want to try and avoid brushing the sides of the croissants if possible as you don’t want to “seal” the layers together when it bakes.

Baking it

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.

  2. Before placing the croissants in the oven, brush it with another layer of egg wash.

  3. Bake your croissants on the middle rack for 7mins at 200C, reduce the heat to 180C and bake for another 13mins.

  4. Remove from oven and immediately gently transfer the croissants to a wire rack.