Croissants

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I have been attempting (key word, attempting) to make puff pastry for the past three months now. Each time, it has been a huge failure. Either the butter melted out of the pastry while baking or the dough failed to rise or the butter snuck out of the raw flour mixture while rolling. Once, I got so fed up that I stuck balls of ruined dough into a muffin pan and baked them. They turned out tasting like croissants, but looking like muffins. Muffants, anyone?

Okay. Muffants aside, I was on a mission. Make and bake real croissants. Being stubborn came in handy because at my fourth attempt, I made it.

 

The 2 keys to achieving puff pastry:

  • Keep all ingredients very cold.
  • When you incorporate the butter disc into the dough, pinch the sides to lock the butter in and don’t over-roll.

 

 

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Ingredients

1 ½ tsp granulated yeast

2 tbsp sugar

1 + 2 tbsp cup warm water

 

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tbsp salted butter, melted

3 cups flour, plus more for working

1 cup cold unsalted butter

 

1 large egg, beaten

 

 

 

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the salt and the melted butter to the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of the flour, and mix until blended. Gradually add the remaining flour and beat until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
  • On a clean, floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes.

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  • While the dough is chilling, put the remaining cup of cold butter in a Ziploc and pound with a rolling pin until flat and rectangular (1/3 of the size of the rectangular dough). Place the butter in the fridge to harden (about 40 minutes).

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  • Take your dough out and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Put butter disc in the middle of the dough. Fold one side over the butter, then the other and pinch the sides so that the butter is locked in.
  • Roll it out into another rectangle and place in the fridge 30 minutes to harden.
  • Take out of fridge. On a lightly floured surface, fold the sides up like a letter again and, with the short side facing you, roll out into another 16 x 10 inch rectangle. Fold the ends up like a letter.

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  • Turn dough again so the short side is facing you, and use the rolling pin to press down into a third 16 x 10 inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

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  • To form the croissants, cut the dough in half and place one half in the fridge while working with the other half. Roll out into a long but not wide strip. Using a sharp knife, cut into triangles.

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  • Using both hands, roll starting at the wider side and tuck the ends together to form the crescent shape. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the croissants on the baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart, cover with a kitchen towel and set to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

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  • Preheat to 425 degrees F or 200 C. Whisk the egg and with a pastry brush, brush the shaped dough. Bake 18 minutes or until golden brown.

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Optional: To freeze the croissants, after shaping them and placing them on the lined baking sheet, cover and freeze for 2 hours. Remove the pan and place the croissants in a freezer safe bag and seal. Immediately place back in the freezer. To bake, allow the croissants to thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed.

Comments

  1. They look beautiful! I only attempted croissant-making once and it was an indescribable disaster! I might try again…

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