HOMEMADE CROISSANTS – FROM A-Z
Homemade Croissants. Check. That’s the check from my “I-definitely-want-to-make-this-at-home” list. I love replicating at home, restaurant specials that look really tough to make. Of course, croissant is not a restaurant special but I have wanted to replicate it ever since I tried it for the first time a couple of years ago.
My perfect buttery flaky yummy croissants
I have to be honest with you. It was a tedious process. Then again, every recipe I have made for the first time (specially baking and exotic desserts) has seemed tedious and has made me sigh, “Never again!”. Next Step, I make it again on another day. Call it determination or foolishness or gluttony (A rose called by any other name smells as sweet doesn’t it? :P). The second time round, the recipe does not seem tough at all! But with the croissants, the end product was so awesome that I was willing to make another couple of batches the very next day! If they looked and tasted awesome, why wouldn’t I?
Looks like Mr. Sun wants a bite off them!
The luxury you get to enjoy with homemade croissants is that you can have any filling you like. But of course! I am never going to pass up an opportunity to have dark chocolate.
Its OK to drool!
Here is the recipe for the perfect
Homemade Croissants from scratch
HOMEMADE CROISSANTS - FROM A-Z
For the dough: (Makes about 12-16)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup cold milk
For making the croissants:
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 -1cup flour for easy rolling of dough
- 1/2 cup heavy cream/olive oil (for glazing the croissants)
For the Chocolate Filling (for 4-6 of the croissants)
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (baking chocolate)
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
- In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, sugar and salt required for making the dough.
- Warm up 3 tbsp water, add in the yeast and let it stand for about 5-8 min until the yeast dissolves.
- If you still find un-dissolved yeast, warm it up slightly to help the dissolution process.
- In a mixing bowl, add the dissolved yeast, milk, melted butter and mix.
- Add the sifted flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix well. Continue the process until the resultant dough becomes a sticky ball. (A stand mixer can be used to make the dough too).
- Let the dough rest for about 1/2 hour. Meanwhile get the butter ready.
- Take the cold butter (keep it out at room temperature for a max of 15 min if you think the fridge cold butter is too hard to work with) in a zip lock bag / wrapped in cling wrap. Roll the butter out into a thin rectangle (the size of your two palms put together).
- Place the butter back in the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cover it with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge until chilled, about 40 minutes.
- The next process is called laminating the dough, a process in which the butter is folded into the dough and the layers are created making the croissant airy, flaky and yummy!
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. (just about half a cm thick; it’s going to be loooooong rectangle:D)
- Place the butter at the center of the rectangle and make a single turn with the dough i.e the butter occupies 1/3 of the rectangle. Cover the butter with 1/3 of the rectangle from your right and again fold the last 1/3 from the left like you are folding a business letter.
- Press the edges together to seal. Cover with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge for about 30 min.
- Take the chilled dough back on a lightly floured surface; roll it out into a rectangle and fold again like a business letter. Put it back in the fridge for 30 min.
- Repeat this process 3 more times.
- After the final turn, put the dough back in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- I baked my croissants in 2 batches. Cut the rectangle in half; put 1 half back in the fridge and work with the other half.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle (2/3 the size of what you were rolling out previously). Check the picture.
- Use a pizza cutter or a knife and cut the dough as in the pictures. One cut along the middle of the length, one cut along the middle of the breadth and one diagonal cut in each small rectangle.
- Cut a small vertical slit right into the middle of the straight end of triangle and roll the croissant as in pictures.
- Place on a baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart, cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours. The croissants will not double in size like other yeast doughs do.
- Meanwhile, finish preparing croissants from the other half of the rectangle from the fridge.
- Lightly brush the tops of the croissants with the oil/heavy cream.
- In a preheated oven, bake the croissants at 425°F for 15-18 min until golden brown (one pan at a time).
- Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool down. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- For the chocolate filling, melt the baking chocolate over a double boiler (for just a few croissants in this case, I was too lazy to set up a double boiler and melted the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl 10 seconds at a time :P).
- Let it cool a bit and mix in the heavy cream.
- To fill the croissants spread 1 tbsp the chocolate mixture onto each triangle. Roll each triangle up as directed before. The rest of the process remains the same as with plain croissants.
The croissants are actually glazed with an egg wash (whipped egg) but I was going for a vegetarian version.
Get creative; try different fillings like marmalade, peanut butter or may be some hot sauce! You can’t go wrong with croissants.