A buttery, flakey, pastry- usually associated with France but in actual fact had its origins in Austria.
Usually served with coffee for breakfast in many countries around the world.
Due to mass production and the use of deep frozen, unbaked, preformed croissants, it is possible to have them freshly baked by unskilled labour.
The croissant that is now available, mass produced and sold in most supermarkets and coffe shops in the UK. has, in our opinion, no comparison to the original artisan made product that it started out as.
This recipe/method will produce a truly traditional end product. Do not expect, or try to make it, the same as the mass produced modern day product. Yours will be made with only 6 ingredients + of course lots of T.L.C.
The volume and flakieness is achieved by the combination of Biological (yeast) and Physical (lamination, steam) Aeration Basicaly ,croissant dough, is a puff pastry with added yeast. Great care has to be taken in the making of this product to ensure that the maximum volume and lightness is achieved. A dilemma is created because of this. On the one hand the yeast needs warmth to functioin but the large amount of fat (butter) must not be allowed to melt/oil before it finally arrives at the oven. It is for this reason that a cool dough is used but given a long time to ferment the yeast,technically known as a: cool,slow dough. Some traditional recipes will be left to fermnet 8-12 hours before processing and then given a long slow,cool prove.
The recipe below is for only 30 minutes fermentation so great care must be taken in the handling and processing stages with regard to temperature. Follow the instructions carefully and we are sure you will produce melt in the mouth Croissants.
300g (10oz) Strong white flour(bread flour)
16g (1/2 oz) Fresh Yeast or ( 8g dried active yeast)
8g (1/4oz) salt.
30g (1oz) sugar
240g (7-8oz) cold milk. (approx 1O-12C)
138g (4 3/4oz) Butter
- Sieve the flour and salt together into a mixing bowl.
- Place the yeast and sugar into the milk and stir until dispersed.
- Add the milk,yeast ,sugar mixture to the flour and with a spatula/spoon mix together to foirm a dough.
- When all ingredients are combined, tip out onto the clean work surface and continue mixing to a clear developed dough.(Gluten that was formed when the flour came in contact with the water, has to be developed. This is known as Kneading (mixing).Using the heel of one hand and a tearing action with the other, start to stretch and pull the dough apart, bring it back to a mass and then repeating this action.
- When a clear, well mixed dough is formed, wrap in cling film or place in a freezer bag and place in the refrigerator for 30 mins. This allows the Gluten to rest and relax and will avoid shrinking during baking.
- After the dough has had 30 minutes standing/rest, roll out to a rectangle aprox 8mm (1/4 in) thick. The length of the rectangle needs to be about 3 times the width.
- Cover 2/3 rds of the dough with the butter and fold as in the English method of making puf pastry.
3 Proceed to give three half turns allowing a rest of at least ten minutes between each turn.
4 After the last rest , roll out the pastry to about 2mm (1/10 in ) thick, 46cm (18in) x 60cm (24in) and using a knife or pastry cutter (a pizza cutter is ideal) cut into 2 strips 23cm (9in) wide
5 Cut the two strips into a series of triangles, the base of which should be approx half the height of the triangle. Each triangle will be 23cm high with a base of 12 cm. Click on thumb nails above for greater detail.
6 Starting at the base roll up to the point of the triangle, shape into a cresent and place onto a lightly greased or baking parchment lined baking tray.
7 Any trimmings can be used up by adding to the centre of a triangle before rolling.
8 Carefully egg wash and prove in a warm humid atmosphere (place in a large bin liner making sure the liner does not touch the croissants at any stage) but not hot area until doubled in size. This is a critical stage in the making of these croissants, too much warmth will start to melt the fat but at the same time the yeast needs a little warmth to encourage it to breed and help to give the final volume. Our advice is to allow the yeast as much time as is needed., 30-40 minutes at least, do not be afraid to give it longer if it is required.
9 Bake at 235C, Fan 215C, 455F, Gas 8 for 10-15 minutes.
10 On removal from the oven, allow to set for 2-3 minutes before placing them onto a cooling wire.
This recipe will produce 18-20 croissants. It is possible to freeze half of the pastry before rolling out (4) for use another day or form all the pastry into croissants but freeze half of them all ready formed. Do not egg wash ,place on a tray in the freezer for 30 minutes and then place into freezer bags to continue freezing taking care not to damage or misshape them. When required, remove from the freezer and place onto lightly greased or baking parchment lined tray and egg wash immediately , they will de-frost and then start to prove, this will take a good hour. Prove until double in size. Carefully egg wash again taking care not to damage/deflate the product and then bake as above.