Classic Croissants

DSC_1336DSC_1358DSC_1366Huge thank you to My Diverse Kitchen for making homemade croissants possible.

Servings: around 20 croissants
For the croissant dough:
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups (21 1/4 oz or 602g) all-purpose flour (King Arthur preferred)
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz or 50g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the butter layer:
  • 12 oz (24 tbsp) unsalted European-style-butter, cold (european butter recommended)

DAY ONE:

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from the pan and immediately add the milk. Whisk in the instant yeast and transfer the entire mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
2. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Knead on low speed for 2-3 minutes until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for another minute.
3. Flour a pie dish or flat plate and drop in the dough. Use your fingers to spread the dough out slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

DAY TWO:

4. Cut out 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper into 10” squares each. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Place these pieces on one piece of parchment/ waxed paper so they form a 5- to 6-inch square. Cut the butter further into pieces as required to fit the square. Top with the other piece of parchment/ waxed paper.
5. Using a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to stick together, use more force. Pound the butter until it flattens out evenly into a square that’s approximately 7-1/2”. Trim the edges of the butter to make a neat square. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Return the butter to the fridge for another 30 minutes to harden up.
6. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Deflate it slightly with your fingertips and flour your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 10×10 inch square.
7. Take the butter slab from the fridge and unwrap it from the parchment paper. Place the slab in the center of the dough, but at an angle so the butter and dough look like a diamond sitting on top of a square. Make sure your butter is not too stiff that it cannot be rolled out or too soft that it will not hold its shape. Fold each corner of the dough over the butter slab and seal together in the middle so the butter is fully encased.
8. Roll out the dough into an 8×24 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and make sure to brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Cover in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the butter to harden again.
9. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn the dough 90 degrees so the longer side of the dough is vertical to you. Roll the dough out to another 8×24 inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Return to the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat this step (turn, roll, fold) again one more time. After all three turns, cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it back in the fridge to rest overnight or for 24 hours maximum (overnight is best).

DAY THREE:

10. The following day, remove the dough from the fridge. Cut the dough in half and place the second half back in the fridge until ready to use. Roll out the first half of the dough into a 8×15 inch rectangle.
11. Use a knife to make small cuts in 3 inch increments down the longer side of the dough. Cut the dough into 3×8 inch rectangles, then cut rectangle in half at an angle to create a triangle-like shape.
12. Roll the triangles up starting from the larger side, making sure to keep one side flat as you roll. Place the croissants onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the croissants with a kitchen towel and let proof for 2-3 hours. The croissants will not double in size but be significantly larger.
13. After proofing, preheat your oven to 400F and place a rack in the middle position. Create an egg wash by whisking one egg and a splash of milk together. Brush the egg wash on top of the croissants. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until completely browned.

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