Breads/ Breakfast

Homemade Croissants

So a few weeks ago I teased those of you who follow me on Instagram with a photo of Chocolate Almond Croissants. What I didn’t tell you is that I also whipped up a batch of plain croissants, so I thought today I’d show you how I made them. Don’t worry–I’ll reveal how I made that other variety in a later post. But to make chocolate almond croissants you need chocolate croissants and to make chocolate croissants you need some good old fashioned plain croissant dough… So here we are!

I love croissants. In our house we rarely eat them, but when we do we savor each blissful bite. But while I’d eaten some pretty good bakery croissants before, I’d never had one straight from the oven. If this is the case for you as well, get ready for your life to be changed… Because there is nothing–nothing–like a fresh, hot, flaky, oh-so-buttery croissant.

I’ve actually been wanting to make these for a while now, but I was always a little nervous about getting the dough just right. I guess I was mostly turned off by the fact that I would have to tackle laminating, a.k.a. the process of folding a thin sheet of butter into your dough so you end up with lots and lots of layers in the finished product. But everything turned out just fine! While time consuming, the making of this dough really didn’t require too many complex steps–if you can fold a letter, you should be good to go.

My first attempt was made even easier by Izy Hossack’s wonderful GIFs on her blog. If you’re at all confused by any of the following steps, just head on over there and check out her in-depth instructions!

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Start by pouring some milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Sprinkle in some yeast, then let it all sit for 5 minutes or until it gets nice and foamy.

Now just add in some flour and salt, then mix with your hands until it forms a shaggy mass.

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Transfer the dough onto a work surface and knead until it comes together into a ball and all the flour has been incorporated. Place this in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place 2 sticks of butter in the freezer.

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Halfway through the rising time, take the butter out of the freezer and grate it onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the butter into an 8″ by 5″ rectangle, fold up the plastic wrap and pack it as tight as you can. My one regret while making this recipe was that I could’ve pressed my butter together a bit more so I wouldn’t end up with little chunks in my dough. Place your butter block in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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When the dough is done with its first rise, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface…

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And roll it out into a 16″ by 10″ rectangle, with the longer side facing you.

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Unwrap the butter block and place it in the center of the dough, then fold the two sides in thirds like a letter.

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Seal the edges, then use your rolling pin to make indentations in the dough (the shorter end should now be facing you and you should be rolling away from you). Roll the dough out to 15″ by 10″, the rotate it by 90 degrees. Make another three-part fold before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating another hour.

Now you’ll need to make 3 more “turns”, bringing your total up to 4. This means you’re going to take the dough out, roll it, rotate it, fold, and refrigerate another 3 times. Yes, I know this means lots of waiting. But just think hot flaky buttery goodness and you should be okay.

Once you’ve completed your 4 turns, you can cut the dough into quarters and take a peak at those beautiful layers I’ve been jabbering on about. They really are there, I promise!

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Now you can probably see what I was talking about when I mentioned the butter chunks that resulted from my not-so-great butter packing skills. But, chunks or not, these croissants still turned out amazing.

Wrap each quarter of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. I know, I know–more waiting! But again, just picture the end result. Oh, and another great thing: you can freeze the dough at this stage for up to 3 months, which means that somewhere down the line you can have fresh baked croissants without all this fuss. If you do decide to freeze your dough, just let it thaw overnight before proceeding.

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Once the dough has chilled and you’re ready to shape your croissants, roll a quarter of dough out on a floured surface to a 16″ by 6″ rectangle. Cut this into thirds, then cut each third into two triangles so you end up with 6 (somewhat) identical triangles like this.

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To shape a croissant, take a triangle, pull gently at the dough so the short side is a bit more even, then cut a slit like this.

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Pull the edges of the slit apart a bit and roll all the way to the tip!

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Ta da! Place this guy and all his friends on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. This is another great spot to stop and freeze your dough if you’d rather wait to bake these up. Just freeze as many as you want on a baking tray, then place them in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, just defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed!

Next up is the final rise. Just cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set the tray in a warm place for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, you can let these rise in the fridge overnight for fresh croissants the next morning.

After that last rise, brush the tops with egg wash and pop ’em in the oven!

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20 minutes later, you can finally say hello to this. 

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And this!

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Slather with butter and jam and enjoy every last bite. Repeat as needed.

Homemade Croissants

from crumbsandnibbles.com, adapted from Top With Cinnamon

Makes 24 croissants

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast, then let it all sit for 5 minutes or until it gets nice and foamy.
  2. Add in flour and salt, then mix with your hands until it forms a shaggy mass. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and knead until it comes together into a ball and all the flour has been incorporated. Place this in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place the butter in the freezer.
  3. Halfway through the rising time (after 30 minutes), take the butter out of the freezer and grate it onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the butter into an 8″ by 5″ rectangle, fold up the plastic wrap and pack it as tight as you can. Place your butter block in the fridge for 30 minutes while the dough finishes rising.
  4. When the dough is done with its first rise, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a 16″ by 10″ rectangle, with the longer side facing you. Unwrap the butter block and place it in the center of the dough, then fold the two sides in thirds like a letter. Seal the edges, then use your rolling pin to make indentations in the dough (the shorter end should now be facing you and you should be rolling away from you). Roll the dough out to 15″ by 10″, the rotate it by 90 degrees. Make another three-part fold, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Make 3 more “turns”, bringing your total up to 4. This means you’re going to take the dough out, roll it, rotate it, fold, and refrigerate another 3 times.
  6.  Cut the dough into quarters and wrap each quarter in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Note: You can freeze the dough at this stage for up to 3 months. If you do decide to freeze your dough, just let it thaw overnight before proceeding.
  7. Once the dough has chilled and you’re ready to shape your croissants, roll a quarter of dough out on a floured surface to a 16″ by 6″ rectangle. Cut into thirds, then cut each third into two triangles so you end up with 6 (somewhat) identical triangles. To shape a croissant, take a triangle, pull gently at the dough so the short side is a bit more even, then cut a slit in the short side (it should be closest to you). Pull the edges of the slit apart a bit and roll all the way to the tip.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the triangles and place the croissants 2″ apart on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Note: You can also stop and freeze your dough here if you’d like. Just freeze as many as you want on a baking tray, then place them in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, just defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed.
  9. Cover the tray of croissants loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set the tray in a warm place for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, you can let these rise in the fridge overnight for fresh croissants the next morning.
  10. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Beat the egg.
  11. Brush the tops of the croissants with the beaten egg and place in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400 F. Bake 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F. Bake for another 8-13 minutes, or until the croissants are deep golden brown. Enjoy with lots of butter and jam!

Happy nibbling!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    gloasdfghjkl
    May 10, 2016 at 6:49 am

    It looks amazing! Thank you for the recipe 😀 love it

  • Reply
    Chocolate Almond Croissants – Crumbs and Nibbles
    August 12, 2016 at 2:22 am

    […] gonna keep this post pretty short and sweet, partly because I already wrote a much more detailed croissant post a few months back, and partly because as I’m writing this (on June 22nd) it’s the night […]

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