Sunday Brunch, I was longing for this since Friday. Antoine had a busy week at work and I was tired out because of my allergies (yay). So when day dreaming about our weekend I saw us having a nice brunch on Sunday. I just still had no clue I’d go down this adventurous road.
While looking for inspiration for a quick and easy bake, I stumbled onto one of my baking heroes, Paul Hollywood. How he explains how a croissant should be and that you can also make it in your own kitchen, well let’s say: It got me hooked! On Saturday I started looking for croissant recipes, how to do it, how to fold this not so easy dough and I mixed the tips I got here and there and applied them to Paul Hollywood’s recipe.
Let me tell you this; it involves lot’s of time and work but damn! How amazing these croissant were is hard to describe. They were buttery, flaky, crunchy, soft, airy croissants of heaven! I was not only proud of myself for making this, I also felt like a giggling girl in a candy store. All the steps you have to follow to make this came with butterflies in my stomach. When I opened the oven when they were done, it just gave me this overwhelming amazing happiness.
So I’d say, find the time one weekend to prepare these. You can do other stuff while the dough is cooling down or rising so it doesn’t bound you to the kitchen all afternoon and morning. And it’s worth it!
Your turn; The Recipe
- 250 gr Strong white bread flour (extra for dusting)
- 5 gr of salt
- 40 gr caster sugar
- 5 gr instant yeast
- 150 ml cool water
- 150gr frozen butter (grated, see below why)
- 1 egg to glaze
These ingredients make about 12 croissants that are about 10 cm wide. You can double this or make bigger sized croissants. As long as the base of the process is followed, you’ll be fine.
You’ll need a large bowl, a rolling pin, a grater, a knife and flour to dust your surface with.
Put your butter in the freezer.
Put the flour into your bowl, put the sugar and salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other. Add the water and start mixing in with your hands until it forms a ball. Tip it onto your floured surface and work it for about 10 min. This dough will feel stiffer that a bread dough when you’ve worked it. Put it in a plastic bag (or cling film) and put in the fridge to cool down for about 1h.
In the meantime, take your frozen butter out and grate it into a bowl and put back into your freezer until you’ll need to incorporate it into the dough.
1h has passed, take out your dough and tip onto a lightly floured surface. Start rolling the dough out into a rectangle shape, it should be a 1 cm thick dough ( and yes, I measured with a ruler 😉 ). Put rectangle vertically in front of you. Take out the frozen butter and sprinkle it all over 2/3 of your dough so that the 1/3 top part isn’t sprinkled with butter. Try to do this evenly and to cover the entire 2/3 of the dough. This is important to have an even butter quantity into your croissant. (See video below)
The First Fold. Take the top part of your dough and fold it 1/3 down. Then take this folded part and fold towards you again. Spin the dough so that the folds are facing you. Take your rolling pin and press down the exterior folds to make sure the butter won’t escape. Place into your plastic bag again and put in your fridge for 30 min. (most recipe suggest 1h but here we’ve used frozen butter so the dough wouldn’t have heated up that much).
Folding of your dough: This step you’ll have to repeat 5 times to create the layers for your dough. Take out the dough and put the folds side towards you. Roll out to a 1 cm thick rectangle and fold the top 1/3 part to the 2/3 part and then to the 3/3 part. Put back in the plastic bag and let the dough cool for 30 min into your fridge. Repeat the steps.
When you’ve done the last fold, put it back into the bag and let it rest in your fridge for about 8h or overnight (what I did). Trust me, it’s worth it 🙂
Creating the Croissant. Take a small bowl, an egg and a brush. Whisk the egg to make an egg wash. Prepare two baking trays with baking parchment. Take your dough out of the fridge onto a floured surface. Start rolling your dough out into a rectangle until you’ve achieved a 7mm thickness. Put the rectangle in front of you horizontally. I made smaller sized croissant so I cut the rectangle in two pieces horizontally, but if you want bigger ones, leave it like it is. With the knife cut the rectangle up into smaller rectangles and then into triangles. I honestly didn’t measure at this point, I just made sure they’re about the same size.
To roll the croissant, you’ll have to repeat this step until you’ve done all the triangles. Put the triangle with the bottom side towards you and the tip furthest from you, take the egg wash and brush on the bottom and on the top tip. Take the bottom piece and roll it towards your top tip. To make sure your shape stays like this, take the top tip and pull it out a little to tuck it away under your croissant. To form the crescent shape, take both ends and fold them in front of your croissant and slightly push them together. Place onto your prepared baking tray, with significant space between them. Do this until they’re all done. Then store the egg wash into your fridge for later use.
Wrap the baking trays in cling film and leave them to rise onto a counter top at room temperature (18 to 24°C) for about 1h30.
*Pre-heat your oven at 190°C (200°C if your oven is kind of older or crappy heat distribution) 30 min prior to the end of the rising time.
When your dough has puffed up, unwrap your trays and brush some egg wash over the croissants to give them a nice shine when baked.
Bake for about 15 to 20 min in your oven. Mine took 18 min, the best way is to check them at 15 min to see if they’re all the way baked inside. They’ll be humid because of the butter, so don’t over bake them because you think they’re not baked. The best way to see if they’re ready is to pull one open and see all the different layers like on the picture.
Leave them to cool a bit on a wire rack but they are best eaten when still warm.
- Here’s a video that I like where they show how to fold and roll out the pastry. The technique is showed until the 0:41 seconds, after that it’s a technique for another recipe.