Homemade Croissants

A few years ago I spent a week in Paris with my College’s Journalism Class, they were there to learn more about the culture of news and journalism in France, I was there for the food. We were given a substantial amount of free time to explore the city, which I took full advantage of. Wandering the streets of Paris I would pass boulangerie after boulangerie, making an occasional stop or two to grab my favorite form of carbs, croissants! And trust me when I say that they’re my favorite, this is the same girl who ran to the boulangerie the day she was leaving and bought 12 croissants to bring back to the states.

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Anyway, that’s where this post comes in–I have always wanted to make croissants from scratch, and figured why not now? After a lot of recipe browsing, and testing I think I finally nailed them. Which I guess is very dangerous for me, because carbs and butter do not give you a summer bod, but whatever–summers almost over. So follow the directions below EXACTLY as I have written them, please–and you will have wonderful results. If you have any questions please comment below.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon 2% milk, divided use
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons high-quality butter (European style)
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten

Instructions

DAY 1:

  • Heat 1/2 cup of the milk to 115-degrees Fahrenheit, and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the flour. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, remaining 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of the flour, and salt. Add the foamy yeast to the mixture, and knead until smooth with a wooden spoon, about 3-4 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but it will stick to itself and not the edges of the bowl. Refrigerate overnight.

DAY 2:

  • Let the butter come to room temperature.
  • Put all 6 tablespoons of the butter into a plastic sandwich baggie, close the bag, and evenly spread out the butter until it reaches the corners of over the square, put in the fridge to chill for two hours.
  • Once the butter has chilled, cut the side of the baggie to remove the butter square without disassembling.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge (it should have risen some and seem bubbly). Flour a surface, and roll the dough out into a 6 x 10″ rectangle. The 6″ side should be closest to you.
  • Place the chilled square of butter in the middle of dough, fold the dough like a letter sealing the edges so that it completely covers the square of butter. Roll the dough back into a 6’’x 10’’ rectangle. Fold the dough like a letter: fold the top one-third to the middle. Fold the bottom third up to the middle also. Refrigerate for two hours.
  • After two hours, roll the dough back into a 6 x 10″ rectangle. Fold the dough like a letter: fold the top one-third to the middle. Fold the bottom third up to the middle.Cover and refrigerate the rectangle of dough for 2 hours.
  • Repeat this two more times for a total of 4 folds, refrigerating for 2 hours between each roll and fold. After the last roll and fold, refrigerate the dough overnight.

DAY 3:

  • Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it on a floured surface into a 10 x 10″ square.
  • Using a knife, cut the rectangle into 4 evenly-sized triangles. Roll the rectangles up, starting at the wide end. Roll towards the skinny tip.
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat, and brush with the remaining tablespoon of milk.
  • Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. If your kitchen is cold, let them rise for longer–they really need to double in size before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
  • Brush the egg yolk generously over the croissants. Be sure to get it in the nooks and crannies of the dough.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until very golden brown. Start checking on the rolls at 10 minutes, and shield them with foil if the edges threaten to burn. You just spent 3 days making rolls, keep an eye on them in the oven so they don’t burn!
  • Let cool 20 minutes, and serve

 

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