The staple of every French bakery or continental breakfast, the croissant is made with yeast-risen dough layered with butter, cut into triangles then rolled and twisted into the characteristic crescent (or beaming pastry smile, as I like to think of it). Just add coffee, jam and your favourite newspaper.
25g dried yeast
150g cold diced unsalted butter
375g flat pastry butter
For the dough
- Place the flour, sugar salt and yeast into a mixing bowl.
- Slowly add the milk and water and bring together to make a dough.
- Knead using a kitchen mixer with a dough hook attachment for around 5 minutes on a high speed.
- Cube the butter and slowly add to the dough beating in the butter until it is all incorporated. The dough should be silky smooth and elastic.
- Remove from the mixing bowl and roll into a ball. Clingfilm and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preparing the butter
- Take the 375g of butter and place between two pieces of clingfilm.
- Using a rolling pin flatten the butter to an even sheet roughly the size of an A4 piece of paper, then place in the fridge to cool.
For the turning
- Remove the dough form the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll a large rectangle, twice the width of the prepared butter, but the same height.
- Place the butter in the middle of the dough and fold over the excess dough on either side of the butter to encase it.
- Turn the dough by 90 degrees and roll it back to its original size.
- Then fold each end of the dough towards its middle overlapping so the dough now had 3 layers. Clingfilm again and return to the fridge for 1 hour.
- After the hour remove the dough and turn it 90 degrees from the direction that you last rolled. Roll again into a large rectangle and repeat the three layers folding process.
- Repeat these stages two more times.
shaping the dough.
- Before cutting the dough it must be completely cold in order to maintain the layers of butter.
- On a floured surface roll the dough into a large rectangle around 5mm thick and 40 cm wide.
- Cut this rectangle in half, length ways into two strips and then cut long thin triangles along the length of each strip.
- The triangles should be around 12cm wide at the base and 20cm high.
- Roll up each triangle from its base and place on a baking tray with parchment paper, leaving a good bit of space between croissants.
- Let the croissants prove at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Egg-wash the croissants with 1 egg diluted in the same amount of water and a pinch of salt.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.