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Croissants

Croissants

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Makes 36.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe I had in college.

Like any fine pastry or bakery item, croissants are a labor of love. There are many steps and plenty of waiting time along the way. The end result is a delicate and flaky breakfast or dinner roll that is delicious when eaten warm, especially spread with a little extra butter or some jelly. They are also a starting place. You could roll them up with small chocolate chips for Chocolate Croissants, or roll in dried chopped berries. Be creative.

Ingredients:

¾ cup (170g) butter; preferably at room temperature
3 cups (16 ounces/450g) all-purpose flour; more for dusting
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast; active dry or instant okay
¾ cup (175ml) milk
¼ cup (60ml) water
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
Optional garnish:
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

Directions:

Cut together the butter and ¼ cup (35g) of flour to form a paste. Place between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper and press into a rectangle 10 by 4 inches (25 by 10cm). Refrigerate 1 hour.

Combine the milk and water; heat to 110-115°F (43-46°C). Sprinkle the yeast and a little sugar on top of the warmed liquid and stir to dissolve. Allow to rest 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Place about 1 cup (150g) flour and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and combine. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, with the salt. Mix to form a moist, soft dough. (This step can be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook.) You might need to add more or less flour, as needed, to form a dough. Knead 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to a floured surface and roll into a 12-inch (30cm) square. Place the chilled butter in the center and fold over the two sides to enclose. Roll again into a 12-inch square and fold as before. Repeat this three more times. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Divide chilled dough into three equal portions, working with one portion while the others remain refrigerated. Roll a portion into a 12-inch (30cm) circle. Cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Combine the two eggs and the 1 tablespoon of milk to make an egg wash. Brush the points with egg wash.

Roll each wedge of dough, starting with the wide end, toward the point. Place on a lined or greased baking sheet with the final point underneath. Shape into a crescent.

Brush the croissants with egg wash. Garnish with poppy seeds, etc., if desired. Let rest about 30 to 45 minutes to rise. Bake at 375°F (190°C) 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool or serve warm.