Hello!! I’m very excited for this upcoming long weekend. Three days of relaxing and lounging around at home and with friends. I’m so pumped! I promised you guys croissants, and so here is the post, with several pictures to hopefully help you out if you decide to try this on your own! I have to warn you that this is a time-consuming process. The recipe itself isn’t difficult to follow, but there are several hour or 2-hour long breaks where you have to wait for the dough to work its magic, so give yourself plenty of time to make these and start early in the day!
It might seem a little daunting to make these at first, if you have never tried out pastry before, but I was able to make it and so can you! I know I’ve said this but it does take a large chunk of time out of your day to make these, but the results are soo worth it. The croissants are so flaky and buttery straight out of the oven, and I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go back to the store-bought kind. I can’t take any credit for learning how to make these, as I followed Annie’s step-by-step tutorial on her blog. I’ve also provided my own pictures that I took along the way, so without further ado, let’s make croissants!
The first step was to roll out the dough (after it has chilled in the fridge for an hour) to an 11-inch square. Make sure your work surface is well dusted with flour, and don’t be afraid to add more flour if your dough starts sticking to your work surface.
Next, take your 7-inch butter square (that has been chilled for 30 minutes) and place it diagonally on top of the 11-inch dough square.
Then, fold the flaps of the dough over the butter square, and seal the edges tight by pinching them.
Then take your rolling pin and gently press it onto your dough/butter square. Make several indentations to slowly begin to roll the dough out. You want to be gentle so that the flaps of dough don’t come apart and expose the butter square underneath.
Gently roll out the dough to a 14 inch square. Add flour as needed if the dough starts to stick to the work surface.
Okay, now you want to fold 1/3 of your dough towards the center.
Fold the remaining third over the previous 1/3 that has been folded to form a long rectangle.
Now repeat the same thing, by taking a third of dough and placing it towards the middle…
And fold the remaining 1/3 of dough over the previous third of dough to make a square.
This baby gets saran wrapped and goes in the fridge for 2 hours. After 2 hours, repeat the whole process (gently using your rolling pin to make indentations first in the dough before rolling it out to a 14 inch square), and you should end up with almost the exact same dough square seen in the picture above. Refrigerate this for another 2 hours.
Next, cut your dough square in half. Roll one half of it out to a 10 x 20 inch rectangle. Cut that rectangle into thirds (3 identical pieces), and then within each third, cut diagonally to end up with 6 triangular pieces from each half of the dough. You should therefore have 12 triangular dough pieces in total.
Take each triangular piece, and gently stretch it out so that the 2 longest sides are equal in length. At the base of this triangle, cut a 1-inch slight directly up the middle. Take the now separated flaps and roll them up and outward.
Make sure to leave a 1/4 inch dough flap at the end unrolled.
Then take the two ends and bend them inwards to form a crescent shape. Let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes until puffy.
Before you stick these in the oven, you’re supposed to brush the tops lightly with an egg wash. I forgot to do that…oops! It’s okay, when the croissants came out I didn’t even realize I had missed that last step, until I reviewed the recipe an hour after I had demolished a croissant 😛
Yield: 12 croissants
For the dough:
3 cups (15 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1 tbsp. instant yeast
¼ cup (1¾ oz.) sugar
1¼ tsp. salt
1¼ cups whole milk, cold
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
For the butter square:
24 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and kept cold
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
To make the dough, combine 2¾ cups of the flour together with the yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together and set aside. Add the milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients and knead on low speed until a ball of dough forms, about 5 minutes. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the dough. Continue to knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth. The dough should form a ball and begin to clear the sides of the bowl, about 5-6 minutes more. The dough should be sticky but if the dough sticks more to the bowl than itself, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour a small bit at a time as needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the butter square, toss together the butter pieces and flour on a clean work surface. Smear the butter back and forth using a bench scraper against the work surface until they have combined into a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Wrap the butter mixture in plastic wrap and use the edges of the plastic to form it into a 7-inch square. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.
Dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough into an 11-inch square . Place the chilled butter square diagonally onto the dough. Fold the corners of the dough up over the butter square so that they meet in the middle and pinch the edges of the dough together to seal them.
Using a rolling pin, gently tap the dough starting from the center of the dough and working outward, until the square becomes larger and the butter begins to soften. Start gently rolling the dough into a 14-inch square, being careful to make sure the work surface stays well floured and the dough is not sticking. Fold the dough into thirds to form a long rectangle. Starting from the narrow ends, fold the rectangle into thirds again to form a square. (This completes two turns of the dough.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Repeat this entire process again, tap the dough starting from the center of the dough and working outward, then rolling out to a 14-inch square. Fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle and into thirds again to form a square, completing two more turns. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 more hours.
To shape the croissants, line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Place the chilled dough onto the floured work surface and gently roll into a 20-inch square. (My pastry mat does not fit this size, so I worked with half of the dough at a time and made a 10- by 20-inch rectangle.) Cut each half into three rectangles and then slice each rectangle diagonally to yield 12 triangles. Working with one triangle at a time, gently stretch the dough so that the two long sides are equal in length. Cut a 1-inch slit in the base of the triangle. Fold the two corners of the slit outward and begin rolling the triangle up, gently stretching the dough as you roll. Leave the last ¼-inch of the tip unrolled. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and fold the ends toward each other to make a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until puffy, about 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Brush the shaped croissants lightly with the egg wash. Bake until the croissants are golden brown, 18-22 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Allow to cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or wrap well and freeze. Reheat in a 300˚ F oven for 5-10 minutes.