Friday, 23 May 2014

Homemade Buttery Croissants from Scratch | Recipe

I absolutely adore fresh croissants- there's nothing better than the crispy exterior against the soft yet chewy, hot, steaming interior on the first bite. Now I know there are many people out there who are intimidated with idea of making homemade puff pastry/croissant dough, but I can re-assure you now- they're really not at all that hard to make! The lovely nature of recipes like these is that you can double the recipe and keep half of the final dough in the freezer, so they are ready to be baked whenever you need to satisfy that irreplaceable 'fresh-croissant' craving reminiscent of the ones from Paris patisseries.
I've seen far more complicated recipes for croissants, so I have decided to create my own which is just as great, if not better. (Yes, I said it!) They key thing about these croissants is the use of high-quality, fresh ingredients that add to the utmost superior end result- so with that in mind, please don't use margarine in those tubs which are heavily diluted with about 70% of water for its spreadable consistency, because they just don't work! Enough talking, here comes the recipe:

Buttery Croissants Recipe                                                                               Recipe by iSaamuel 

2 Cups of Bread Flour,
2 Teaspoons of Fast-Action Dried Yeast,
1/2 Cup of Sugar,
1/2 Cup of Milk,
2 Tablespoons of Butter,
1 Teaspoon of Salt,

3/4 cup of cold, cubed, unsalted Butter.

1. In a large bowl, sift the bread flour and then add the dried yeast, sugar, milk, salt and the 2 tablespoons of butter.
Knead well until a rough dough forms.
2. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for around 5-10 minutes, until a smooth and elastic dough is achieved. Try to avoid the incorporation of too much extra flour despite seeing the dough being sticky, or else you will end up with tough croissants- so don't panic- just slowly knead until the desired consistency is reached.
(Feel free to use a stand-mixer to do this if one is available.)
3.  Shape the ball and then flatten it into a rough disc on a plate, and cover it with plastic wrap to let it rise overnight in the fridge.
4. Get your 3/4 cup of cold, cubed butter and place it on a piece of parchment/baking paper to form a 7x7 inch slate of butter. Take another piece of parchment paper on top, and use a rolling pin to whack and to roll out the butter to get it even. Put this in the fridge overnight with the dough to harden.
5. The next day,  take the dough out from the fridge, peel off the plastic wrap and it should have doubled in size. Punch the dough to release the air.
6. Lightly flour a surface/table and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into an even 8x8 inch square.
7. Peel the cold butter taken from the fridge off the sheets of parchment paper, and place it in the centre of the dough.
8. Fold the dough over the butter to seal it. Roll the dough into an 8x23 inch piece of rectangular dough. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush.
8. Fold the dough over itself into 3 layers (watch the video) and place in the fridge for 30 minutes for the butter to harden.
9. After 30 minutes, take it out from the fridge and roll the dough out into another 8x23 inch piece of dough. Fold the dough over itself again (working quickly so the butter doesn't melt) and place this into the fridge again.
Repeat this 'rolling-folding-resting' process for a total of 8 times/ more for even more layers.
10. After doing this for a total of 8 times, let the dough rise in the fridge overnight.
11. The next morning, cut the dough in half with a sharp knife. With one half of the dough, roll it out into a final 8x23 inch dough. With the vertical dough, divide it into 3 horizontal parts. Cut each piece diagonally in half.
Cutting the dough for it to be rolled into croissants

12. You should be left with 6 isosceles triangles, to which you'll then roll them tightly from the wide end to the point to form croissants. Repeat this for the rest of the dough.
13. Leave the croissants to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, covered with a plastic wrap.
After 1 hour, mix 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water to make a egg-wash, and brush this onto
each croissant with a pastry brush, unless you would want to freeze half of the batch for future use.
14. Bake at 200c for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and well risen. That's it! Serve these warm for breakfast with ham and cheese or as a dessert with powdered sugar and fruits. Enjoy!

I know what you're thinking- that this seems like a long hefty recipe, but it's actually really simple- perhaps the hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise and rest, but that's it. It'll be so worth it, so do give this a try to impress your family and friends- enjoy!

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