Saturday’s French Croissants

French Croissants

Yesterday I had a really unpleasant flight back home. A one hour and a half trip became sort of a modern odyssey. Nevertheless, the bad experience didn’t break my baking plans. In the late evening I prepared the dough and early this morning I started working on the “folds” for our French Croissants..

The recipe

What do you need?

  • 500 gr all purpose flour (I use Manitoba flour)
  • 140 ml cold water
  • 140 ml cold milk
  • 60 gr sugar
  • 40 gr softened butter
  • 20 gr fresh yeast
  • 10 gr salt
  • 275 gr butter (cold) for the butter “brick”

Day one (evening)

Mix all the ingredients in the stand-mixer bowl and mix until smooth (on speed 2). Use the dough hook.

Dough Hook

Dough Hook

Do not knead too much to avoid a full gluten network development (it would make difficult to work the dough).

Flatten the dough to create a disc (20 cm Ø), put it on a disk and cover with cling film. Store in the fright overnight.

 

Create the butter “brick”

Using a sheet of baking paper, create sort of a squared envelope (18-19 cm). Put the butter taken from the fridge inside the paper and beat it using the rolling pin until the butter is evenly distributed inside your paper envelope. Using the rolling pin flat the butter to a uniform thickness. Put it in the freezer for 2 hours. Then put it in the fridge overnight.

The butter "envelope"

Day two (morning)

Lightly sprinkle your working surface with flour and flatten the dough until you get a square 27 by 27 cm. Put the butter “brick” on the dough and fold the dough to close the butter inside this kind of an envelope.

Butter “envelope”

Using the rolling pin flatten the dough until you get a 20 by 60 cm rectangle.

Croissants dough 20×60

Fold #1

Fold it over to get three layers (see picture).

The three layers fold

Cover with cling film and store in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Fold #2

Using the rolling pin flatten the dough until you get a 20 by 60 cm rectangle.
Fold the dough as in the previous step.
Cover with cling film and store in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Fold #3

Using the rolling pin flatten the dough until you get a 20 by 60 cm rectangle.
Fold the dough as in the previous step.
Cover with cling film and store in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Create the croissants (or Pain au Chocolat)

Using the rolling pin flatten the dough until you get a 20 by 120 cm rectangle (I find easier to flatten the dough in both directions to get a 45 by 55 cm rectangle). It’s your take, the only important thing is to get a 5-7 mm thick dough.

Trim the dough edges using a pizza cutter, to reveal the layers, then cut the dough in triangles. As for the size, there isn’t a general rule. Cut the dough on the short side of the triangle (2 cm cut) and gently roll the dough to form the Croissants. Put the Croissants in the baking tray (on a baking paper sheet) and pay attention to leave some room between the Croissants. They will grow during the proofing phase.

Create an egg wash using an egg and 1 teaspoon of milk or water; whisk until smooth. Give a first coat of egg to the Croissants and then let them proof for 2 hours at a constant temperature 24-27°C. The butter starts to melt at 28-29°C so you should stay below that threshold.

I put the Croissants in the oven, keeping the oven light on. The warmth provided by the oven light is enough to keep the oven at a constant temperature.

French Croissants

Proofing phase

Baking

After 1:40h of proofing get the Croissants out of the oven and preheat the oven to 190-200°C. Just before baking the Croissants, give them a last coat of egg wash. Bake for 10-15 minutes, based on your oven. Keep constantly an eye on it.

When cooked, take the Croissants out of the oven and move them to a cooling rack.

You can freeze the cooled Croissants. To have a “just baked”-like experience, preheat the oven at 160°C and put the frozen Croissants (taken directly from the freezer) in the oven for 5-6 minutes.

Enjoying

 

Saturday’s Croissants

You can use the dough’s leftovers (and a pinch of imagination) to create something new..

Minced almonds and cinnamon

 

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