When Aparna announced this month's bread as "Croissant" I really don't have confidence n was worried h am going to make my own n about the result too. And the most imp thing was u cant do it last minute as its a lengthy process, requires 3 days n also its loaded with too much butter n u cant experiment just like that unless u r not worried about the calories n fat content.
Aparna has beautifully explained the recipe with detailed step wise pics n even shared a video demo on making croissants. It was really helpful but still worried that I can do it on my own?! I watched the video number of times, but still scared to start my own n keep on postponing, then after seeing Vardhini's n other group members pictures, really amazed n they are kind enough to share their experience, tips n suggestions which helped me.
Then On one fine day started the process, but Like most of others in the group when I mixed everything for the dough, it was too dry n was worried that I added extra flour or what?! Then soon sent a message to Vardhini n she replied me immediately that u can add couple of tbsp of water n no need to knead. After reading her message was ok n added lil' more water n mixed everything but still the dough was lil' dry n didn't get the smooth dough. So was worried lot n dunno h to handle the butter for day 2 process. Again pinged her n she patiently answered all my questions, thank u so much Vardhini for ur time on FB.
I wanted to make savory stuffed croissants with the other half dough, but becoz of sweet cream butter, the croissants were on sweeter side n also the butter flavor dominated more, So my H doesn't like it but my kids loved and they enjoyed it with fruit jam. So i baked the second batch as a plain buttery croissants. Poor man disappointed, since he was eagerly waiting for the baked croissants which he helped me on the Day 2 for lamination process. Though he doesn't like to eat the buttery croissants He too was happy with the outcome :)
Recipe Adapted from Fine Cooking
For a video on making croissants, click here
For the Dough
- All Purpose Flour 4 cups + as needed for dusting/ rolling out dough
- Cold Water 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp
- Cold Milk 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp
- Granulated Sugar 1/4 cup
- Soft Unsalted Butter little less than 3 tbsp / 40 gm
- Instant Yeast scant 1tbsp + 1/2 tsp
- Salt 2 tsp
- Cold Unsalted Butter 2 sticks + 1.5 tbsp / 250gm
- Cold milk or heavy cream 1/4 cup(for brushing)
- Or 1 egg for egg wash
I started making the dough by 8 pm and refrigerated the dough, then on day 2 i started lamination around 6.30 pm and 3 rd day, shaped the croissants around 9.30 am and let it proof till 12.30 pm then baked it.
Day 1 (Make the dough & refrigerate overnight)
- Combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl, then add butter rub gently and add cold milk and cold water and mix everything and make it to a dough(no need to knead the dough).
- Then lightly flour 10" pie plate or dinner plate and keep the dough ball and gently shape the dough into a flat ball by pressing it down, this makes rolling out next morning easier. Then lightly dust the top of the dough flour and wrap it with cling wrap so it doesn't dry out. And refrigerate overnight.
Make the Butter Layer
- The next day, cut out 2 pieces of parchment into 10” squares each. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Place these pieces on one piece of parchment paper so they form a square. Cut the butter further into pieces as required to fit the square. Top with the other piece of parchment paper.
- Using a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to stick together, use more force. Pound the butter until it flattens out evenly into a square that’s approximately 71/2”.
- Trim the edges of the butter to make a neat square. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Refrigerate this while you roll out the dough.
Laminate the dough
- Unwrap and lay the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to a 10-1/2-inch square and brush off the excess flour.
- Take the butter out from the refrigerator, it should be cold but pliable. Unwrap the butter and place it on the square of dough in the center, so that it forms a diamond shape on the dough.
- Fold one flap of dough over the butter toward you, stretching it slightly so that the point just reaches the middle of the butter square. Bring the opposite flap to the middle, slightly overlapping the previous one. Similarly repeat with the other two so that the dough forms an envelope around the butter.
- Lightly press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough to ensure the butter doesn't escape when you roll out the dough later.
- Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, firmly press along the dough uniformly to elongate it slightly. Now start rolling instead of pressing, focusing on lengthening rather than widening the dough and keeping the edges straight.
- Roll the dough into an 8” by 24” rectangle. If the ends lose their square shape, gently reshape the corners with your hands. Brush off the excess flour. Mark the dough lightly equally into three along the long side. Using this as a guideline, pick up one short end of the dough and fold 1/3rd of it back over the dough, so that 1/3rd of the other end of dough is exposed.
- Now fold the 1/3rd exposed dough over the folded side. Basically, the dough is folded like 3-fold letter before it goes into an envelope (letter fold). Put the folded dough on a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
- Repeat the rolling and folding, this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends (from the shorter sides to lengthen the longer sides) until the dough is about 8"by 24".
- Once again fold the dough in thirds, brushing off excess flour and turning under any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover once again with plastic wrap and freeze for another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Roll and fold the dough exactly in the same way for the third time and put it baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic under all four sides and refrigerate overnight.
Divide the Dough
- The next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. Cut the dough along the longer side into halves. Cover one half with plastic wrap and refrigerate it while working on the other half.
- Gently press the dough along its length with the rolling pin. Don’t widen the dough but simply begin to lengthen it with these first strokes. Slowly roll the dough into a long and narrow strip, approximately 8" by 22". If it stick, lightly sprinkle with flour.
- Once the dough is about half to two-thirds of its final length, it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back. If this happens, fold the dough in thirds, cover, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes; then unfold the dough and finish rolling.
- Lift the dough an inch or so off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both sides and prevent the dough from shrinking when it’s cut. Check that there’s enough excess dough on either end so that when you trim the edges to straighten them, you have a strip of dough that is 20’ inches long. Now trim the edges so they’re straight.
- I did not measure and cut the triangles properly i did by eye measurement and got about 8 triangles(but uneven). But if u want it to be done perfectly measure with tape n mark and divide the dough with equal intervals.
- Make diagonal cuts by positioning the yardstick at the top corner and the first bottom mark. Use a pizza wheel/ pie wheel or a bench scraper and cut the dough along this line which connects each top mark to the next bottom mark and then back to the next top mark and so on. This way you will have 7 triangles and a scrap of dough at each end.
- Now work with one piece of triangular dough at a time. Using your rolling pin, very lightly roll the triangle to stretch it a little(do not widen it), until it is about 10” long. This will give your croissants height and layers.
- Using a sharp small knife, make a 1/2- to 3/4-inch-long notch in the center of the short side of each triangle. The notch helps the rolled croissant curl into a crescent.
- Place the triangle on the work surface with the notched side closest to you. With one hand on each side of the notch, begin to roll the dough away from you, towards the pointed end.
- Now bend the two legs towards you to form a tight crescent shape and gently press the tips of the legs together (they’ll come apart while proofing but keep their crescent shape).
- Shape all the triangles like this into croissants and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet leaving as much space between them as they will rise quite a bit.
Proof the croissants
- Brush the croissants with milk or egg wash.
- Place the croissants in a cool and draft-free place (the butter should not melt) for proofing/ rising for about 2-3 hours. The croissants will be distinctly larger but not doubled in size. They’re ready if you can see the layers of dough from the side, and if you lightly shake the sheets, the croissants will wiggle.
Bake the croissants
- Just before the croissants are fully proofed, pre-heat your oven to 200C (400F) in a convection oven or 220C (425F) in a regular oven. Brush the croissants with milk or egg wash a second time.
- Bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes till they’re done and golden brown on top and just beginning to brown at the sides. Cool the croissants on the baking sheets on racks. Serve Warm.
Notes & Tips
The butter should be cold but pliable if not, when you roll out the dough with the butter in it, neither should it be soft enough to melt, or hard enough to break.(so refrigerate until use)
Do not knead the dough too much, too much of gluten will not help in the lamination process.
When you cover the butter square with the dough, make sure you seal the dough well, otherwise the butter will leak out when you roll out the dough. You will also end up with butter leaking during the baking.
During the lamination of the dough (rolling and folding repeatedly), chill the dough in the freezer(i kept in the freezer for full 20 minutes) and NOT the fridge. The overnight refrigeration is to be done in the fridge NOT in the freezer. Resting the dough is an important part of the croissant making process.
My first batch (preheated to 400 F) was started browning soon, within 5 minutes so i reduced the oven temp to 375 n everything was done within 15 minutes.
And on next day(croissants on black basket) i baked the croissants at 375 for 20 minutes which got even browning.
I used milk for brushing.