Croissants

The weather’s getting cold, which means it’s laminated dough season!

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I’ve tried making croissants before in Singapore but it was an absolute nightmare. The butter just melts the moment you take your eyes off it, and wrecks the dough you’re working with (and your heart).

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Luckily London in November is cold enough that I can just stay next to the window and the dough remains nice and workable.

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This recipe is going to take time to make, but most of it’s just waiting. It’s a good recipe to accompany a television show marathon (or in my case ANIME).

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The result is a beautifully flaky dough, super buttery and decadent. Every gram of fat from the 300g of butter used is worth it. This recipe also gives a slightly sweeter croissant (very subtle), which I personally prefer.

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Check out that lamination! Got this recipe from Paul Hollywood. I think I could improve on my shaping a little, but the dough itself is pretty good.

Ingredients (makes 12 smallish croissants)

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 300ml cool water
  • 300g chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Method

  1. Add the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the yeast is on the opposite side of the bowl from the salt or sugar or the growth of the yeast will be retarded.
  2. Add the water and mix. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and put into the fridge for an hour.
  3. Meanwhile cut out a bit of baking paper to about 60 x 20cm. Put your butter onto the baking paper. Then cut out a bit of baking paper that’s the same size and put it on top of the butter to make a butter baking paper sandwich. Using a rolling pin, bash out the butter until it’s about 40 x 19 cm. Put into the fridge.
  4. Lightly flour a surface. Roll out the dough to a rectangle, about 60 x 20 cm (about 1cm thick).
  5. Take the sheet of butter out of the fridge and put it onto the dough, leaving some space around the edges.
  6. Fold the first third of the dough (the left end) over the butter. Then fold the right end of the dough over the bit you just folded down. Pinch the edges to seal in the butter. Cover and put the dough back into the fridge for an hour to harden the butter.
  7. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface with the short end towards you. Roll it out into a rectangle about 60 x 20cm. Fold it the same way as before. Cover and put back into the fridge and chill for another hour.
  8. Repeat step 7 two more times, placing the dough into the fridge between each turn.
  9. Let the dough sit in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to let it rise slightly.
  10. About 2-3 hours before you’re ready to serve the croissants, line two baking trays with baking paper.
  11. Take the dough out of the fridge and onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about 42cm x 30cm, 7mm thick. Trim the edges to neaten them.
  12. Cut the rectangle lengthways to form 2 strips. Then cut triangles along the length of each strip, about 12cm at the base and 15 cm high. About 6 triangles per strip.
  13. To shape, cut a little notch into the base of the triangle. Then hold down the wide base of the triangle and pull the opposite thin end to create tension in the dough. Starting from the thick end, roll it up into a croissant, pulling on the tip as you go along to maintain the tension. As you roll, spread the two ends of the wide part of the triangle away from each other, to create a longer croissant.
  14. For a traditional shape, turn the ends in together to form a crescent shape (yeah my croissants weren’t long enough for that because I suck at shaping).
  15. Put the croissants on the prepared baking trays, leaving some space for them to expand. Cover and let rise at room temperature until at least doubled in size (about 2 hours).
  16. After the croissants have doubled in size, whisk an egg and brush the egg wash over the croissants. Bake at 200°C for 15-20 mins until golden brown.
  17. Let cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • To cover the dough, I like to lightly flour a piece of cling film and then cover the cling film with a moist tea towel.
  • The timing listed for the final proof is a rough guide. Follow the visual instructions (ie doubled in size) rather than the actual timing.
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2 thoughts on “Croissants

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