Okay I know these take a bit of time to make but they are so worth it! When you taste a fresh crescent and understand that this is what real croissant are like. You will find yourself dreaming about them too.
Sometimes on a weekend morning when I have extra time I like to dream about having breakfast in France in a small café. The smell of coffee and croissant rolls drifting through the air. Wait that smell is coming from my kitchen! and I definitely don’t live in France I’m still right here in good ole Texas. Although I would love to see France someday I will have to settle for my kitchen. This is where the coffee flows and the wonderful smell of fresh-baked croissant comes from.
Years ago I decided that I would teach myself how to make these delicate treats. After trying the disappointing one in the grocery and even the local bakery was a bust. At first I thought that they surely must be difficult to make but after a little research on the first try i achieved SUCCESS!! I have over time developed a rhythm of rolling and folding. I have also continued to crank them out regularly with request often. Even peeking the interest of my dear baby sister. Whom I was grateful not only to have her visit but also was given the opportunity to teach her how to make them herself. Needless to say she was a wonderful student and pass with flying colors or should I say flour dust. Now she too makes them for her family and they are delighted. But in the words of my dear sweet brother-in-law not often enough.
Now it’s your turn dear reader to take a trip
if only in your mind and visit your own cafe′ in your kitchen and enjoy a coffee and croissant like you have never tasted before.
croissant∼ laminate dough, pastry, sweet, crunchy, buttery softy on the inside and super flaky.
You will need plastic wrap, baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper and French rolling pin or regular will do.
- 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water no hotter than 115 degrees
- 3 Tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup cold whole milk (yes it needs to be whole you want the fat these are crescent rolls)
- 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
- 2 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks of cold unsalted butter sliced in two long ways (as shown in picture at bottom)
- approximately 2 Tablespoons flour for dusting plastic wrap
- 1 egg white
- 2 Tablespoons ice-cold water
Whisk together and using a pastry brush cover rolls all the way down to the silpat mat or parchment.
Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water then sprinkle the sugar on top. let the yeast proof for 10 minutes in which time the yeast will get bubbly. Add the milk, butter and salt mix on low-speed at first then medium just until all the flour is wet and the dough is smooth. This takes about 4 minutes. Gather the dough and for a round ball place it in an oiled bowl and cut a plus symbol on the top scoring about 1 inch deep into the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
While the dough is chilling prepare your butter packet. You’ll need 2 sheets of plastic wrap sprinkled with flour and 2 sticks of unsalted butter sliced in half lengthwise. Fold the ends of plastic over leaving the butter in the middle of the plastic fold the ends over and leave empty space on the sides all around so you can pound the butter into shape the roll it into a square. You will need to loosen the plastic and adjust the side to fit as the butter becomes more pliable. Don’t get discouraged this takes a little practice and you will get the hang of it as you work with the butter and get a feel for it. Just be sure to keep the butter cool and if it seems to soften just stick it in the freezer for a 15 minute break and start again you can do it!
Now that your dough and butter are ready time to marry the two. Roll the dough out on a well floured counter top to a 12 X 12 square. Place the butter packet in the center turned opposite the square. Fold each corner over go clockwise as pictured. Roll the dough into a 12 X 16 rectangle and fold your first business letter fold. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. If you go over the hour mark that’s okay it doesn’t change anything and your ready for your next roll and fold.
Do two more roll and folds with resting periods. After the last chill period your ready to shape. Roll your dough out to a 12 x 16 rectangle and cut using a pizza wheel into triangles the roll as pictured.
Brush the rolls with egg wash and let rise in a cool oven or counter top.
Let rise for 2 full hours at room temperature don’t be tempted to place in a warm place or all your hard work will be for nothing. This dough cannot take the heat.
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
Slice two sticks of unsalted butter in to four pieces lengthwise.
Sprinkle the top and bottom of the butter with flour but you don’t want to uses more than a two tablespoons.
Now if you had a long day or heck week for that matter you get to beat something up and not have people look at you like your crazy. You need to beat the butter to make it pliable it will feel just like the dough. Then flatten and roll it into a square being sure not to let it get too warm. If you need to stop and place it back in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm it up that’s fine. This can happen if your kitchen is to warm of you don’t have stone counter tops.
Place the butter in the refrigerator while you work with the dough. Roll the bough flat about 12 by 12 square is what you’re aiming for. place the butter square in the center and turned opposite the direction of the corners.
Fold each corner going in a clock wise direction over on the previous corners.
Now you have a nice neat package. If your dough and butter seem soft place it in the freezer for 15 minutes then do the first roll. Be sure to dust the counter top as you go to prevent sticking.
This will be your first roll and fold roll out to 16 by 12 inches. Always make sure to dust the counter and the top of the dough to prevent sticking. But never dust the rolling pin it will surely cause sticking because you don’t get coverage over all the dough.
Fold the ends over like a business letter. Place 2 sheets over lapping plastic wrap on a flat surface and dust with flour then place your dough business letter on it. Cover the top wrapping the dough tightly. Place on a flat tray cookie sheet or cutting board and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
You got this all wrapped up now! Now you need to turn and roll 2 more times in the same way. Folding and rolling in the same direction. You will find the dough has a natural direction the seems to roll out easier. This will be your long side and when your ready to bake it will be easy to determiner the direction to cut the dough.
Starting a stretch and roll.
Rolling you want to roll the wide end to you and hold on to the point careful not to tear and you gentle stretch.
Let the rolls rise a full 2 hours to get the greatest rise from the dough. This will result in rolls that are lighter and look like the would be much heavier when you pick one up and supper flaky.
This is a petite size batch of croissant for a brunch.
Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.
~W. Earl Hall