How to Make Homemade Croissants

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Being able to make buttery, warm homemade croissants takes you into the realm of super star in your kitchen.  I happen to have an extremely picky 6 year old who only eats, what seems like, a handful of things.  Croissants are one of those things so I wanted to learn how to make them for him.  

Two main things to remember: Croissant dough takes time and patience.  It is worth it in the end.  Also, using butter is the only option.  It is also worth it in the end.  

 

Croissants

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

5 tbsp. sugar

2 1/4 tsp. dry active quick yeast

1 1/2 tsp. salt (add after dough comes together)

2 tbsp. butter (for dough)

1 1/4 cup room temperature butter (for butter layer)

Time (This is the most important ingredient besides butter, because butter.  Have patience and this will pay off.  Don't rush it.)

 

 

1. Combine water, milk, flour, sugar and yeast in bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on low.  When dough starts to come together, mix in salt. Add 2 tbsp. butter and mix for a few more minutes.  The dough will be quite sticky.  Sprinkle with a bit of flour when you transfer it to the parchment lined pan.

 

2. Let dough rest for 1.5 hours at room temperature, on parchment lined pan, covered loosely with a tea towel and then cling wrap.

 

3. Line a 9x9 pan with cling wrap.  Press 1 1/4 cup room temperature butter into it making a flat, even square to the edges.  Chill in the fridge.

 

4. After the dough has rested at room temperature for 1.5 hours, put the dough, on the pan into the fridge, still covered with the tea towel and the cling wrap, for 1-8 hours.  The longer the better!

 

5. After the dough has rested in the fridge for 1-8 hours, roll out the dough on a  floured surface into a square shape.  Grab your chilled butter and remove from cling wrap, it should be a nice, cold square.  Place the butter on a 45 degree angle (like a diamond shape) on top of the dough, then fold over the corners of the dough so that the butter is completely encased. *Turn over and roll dough out into a rectangle approx. 18-20 inches in length, then fold into a trifold, outside in 1/3 and then the other side over 1/3. Place dough back on pan, with seam side down, tea towel and then cling wrap, into the fridge for 1-8 hours.  Repeat * 2 more times. Always turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling out again.  The longer you can leave the dough between folds, the better.  After final roll out and fold, let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

 

6. Finally, your dough is ready to make croissants.  Roll out the dough and cut into long triangle shapes (depending on how large or small you want your croissants to be).  I find a pizza cutter works best.  Score a small notch in the long (about 1 inch), starting side of the triangle.  Roll up from the long to the pointy end, slightly pulling the edge that is notched, and shape into crescent shapes, pulling the ends toward each other.  You can add topping such as cheese at this point, rolling it into the croissant.  Place croissants on parchment lined baking sheet and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Before baking, carefully spread an egg wash over croissants so they come out of the oven golden and shiny.  Baking time depends on how big your croissants are.  Count on anywhere from 10-15 minutes but keep an eye on them.  

I am using a 16x22 pan here to give you an idea of spacing.  This is before the final proof so they will double in size.  You can make your croissants as big or as small as you want.  This would be the point at which you would freeze them.

I am using a 16x22 pan here to give you an idea of spacing.  This is before the final proof so they will double in size.  You can make your croissants as big or as small as you want.  This would be the point at which you would freeze them.

 

To freeze croissants: After you have shaped the dough before proofing, place on a tray and freeze and then transfer to a freezer bag or container.  When you want to bake them, place on parchment lined baking pan for at least 5 hours before you want to bake them.  Egg wash (a beaten egg with a splash of water) and bake as usual.  I usually take them out the night before I want them and let them proof on the parchment lined pan in a cool oven overnight.  That way, they are ready to bake in the morning. Fresh baked, homemade croissants, from scratch.  A fantastic way to feed a large group over the holidays. 

Laura Reybroek