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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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