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Homemade Croissants from Scratch

March 21, 2011


Homemade Crossiants

Homemade Croissants

Have you ever had a craving so bad it almost hurt.  Thinking about it over and over until you can almost taste it.  I love croissants.  I get these cravings for them once in a while and when the cravings hit, oh boy, look out!  Usually, when I get hit with a terrible craving I look for a quick fix.  There is nothing worse than waiting to fulfill your wants.  When I want something, I want something NOW!

The other day was a little different.  I had a craving for fresh croissants.  Homemade croissants.  Bakery style croissants.  This is not something I normally do for a craving, I was torturing myself, making myself wait.  I guess deep down I really wanted to earn my craving.  I didn’t want to just go to the bakery down the street and by a croissant.  I wanted to do it myself.  Why?  Because I can.  I think that you definitely have a greater appreciation for things when you earn them and make them from scratch.

Croissants use a straight dough method.  This simply means that there is only one step.  The procedure for the straight dough method is simple, combine all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix.  Croissants are often referred to as rolled-in doughs.  Rolled-in doughs contain many layers of fat sandwiched between layers of dough.  Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it.  These layers create the flakiness of the finished product.  Rolled-in doughs are mixed only slightly because the rolling in procedure continues to develop the gluten.  Butter is the preferred fat for flavor and the melt in your mouth quality of rolled in doughs, don’t even think about using margarine.

Homemade Croissants

Ingredients and Directions for Croissants

Ingredients and Directions for Croissants

1.  Ingredients

1 cup milk

1 1/8 teaspoon dry active yeast

1/8 cup warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup butter, soft

2 cups flour

1 cup butter, soft

To prepare:

2. Scald the milk.  Cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve the yeast in the water.  Add the yeast to the lukewarm milk, set aside.  In the bowl of your electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the 1/4 cup butter, sugar, salt and flour.

3. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix into a smooth dough.

4. Be careful not to over mix the dough.  Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface.

5. Form the dough into a ball, place the dough into a lightly buttered bowl and cover with a lint free kitchen towel.  Allow the dough to rise for one hour at 80 F (27 C) in a draft free area.

6. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough.  Spread the dough out on a flat pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest the gluten in the dough.

7. After resting the dough, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out 3 times as long as it is wide and 1/2″-3/4″ thick.

8. Smear the remaining cup of butter on the bottom tw0-thirds of the length of the dough, leave a margin at the edges about 1 inch wide.

9. Fold the unbuttered third down over the center third.

10. Fold the remaining third on top of the center fold as though you were folding a letter.

11. Press the edges firmly together to seal in the butter.  Place the dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

12. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured work surface at right angles to its position in step 11.  Take this step before each rolling out of the dough so that the gluten is stretched in all directions, not just lengthwise.  Roll the dough into a rectangle.  Fold again into thirds by first folding the top third over the center.  Brush any excess flour off the dough between the folds.  Fold over the remaining third.  This now completes your first turn or fold.  Refrigerate the dough for another 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.  Repeat the above rolling and folding procedures two more times, to make a total of three turns or folds.  Be sure to rest the dough in between each turn for 20-30 minutes.  After the third turn cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming, rest the dough in the fridge for several hours or overnight.  The dough will then be ready for make up.

13. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface, 10 inches wide and about 1/8 inch thick.  (The length depends on the amount of dough used.)  First mark the dough before cutting.  Begin by dividing the dough in half using a ruler. Then mark out 4 inch segments along the top and bottom.  Using the ruler again line up the marks to form triangles.  (There are special roller cutters available to do this quickly, they are not necessary, but handy)

14. Once you have marked the dough then cut the dough using the ruler to guide you and make straight lines.

Assembling the Croissants

Assembling the Croissants

Assembling the Croissants

1. Place a triangle on the counter in front of you.  Stretch back the corners outward slightly.  As an option you may add shredded cheese at this point or chocolate.

2. Begin to roll the dough toward the point of the triangle.  Stretch the point of the triangle slightly as you roll it.  Finish rolling the dough, the point of the triangle must be toward the inside of the crescent and tucked under the roll so that it will not pop up during baking.  Bend the roll into a crescent shape.

3. Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Allow to rise until double in size at 80 F (27 C).  Brush with an egg wash after proofing.  Bake at 400 F for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.

Adapted from Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen

Makes 24-28 Croissants

Homemade Croissants

Homemade Croissants

This is a very time consuming process.  If you have a killer craving for a croissant and have the time, make these.  Take two days off work and make croissants and then bring them to work and your boss will totally understand and forgive you for your absence.  I have to warn you, they are addicting and if you are not careful they will disappear quite quickly.  They are so delicious and delicate.  They are worth every second it takes to make them.

From our kitchen to yours, enjoy,

Sydney Jones

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Chocolate Croissants in 30 Minutes Flat ~ Joy the Baker

The Croissant Challenge ~ Cafe Fernado

Croissants ~ Annie’s Eats

Croissants ~ Brown Eyed Baker

Capturing Butter Heaven: Making Baker’s Croissants ~ King Aurthur Flour

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2011 5:46 pm

    Both the croissants and the photos look amazing.

  2. March 29, 2011 6:31 am

    Mmmmmm… Look great! I’ll make them with my kids. Thanks 🙂

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