make 16 croissants
For the Starter Batter
2 envelopes dry yeast (or 2 tablespoons fresh yeast)
3/4 cup (175 ml) warm water
3/4 cup (about 100 g) flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
For the Dough
3 cups (390 g) flour
2 teaspoons salt
12 oz. (340 g) of cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2" (1.3 cm) pieces
Additional flour for rolling out the dough
egg wash made from 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water
Make the Dough
Mix the yeast in the warm water warm, stirring until it's dissolved.
Whisk in the 3/4 cup flour, the warm milk and the sugar to make a
smooth batter. Cover the bowl with plastic and leave the batter to
mature in a draft-free place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You'll notice
that the mixture rises and becomes bubbly during this time.
While waiting for the starter yeast batter to maturie, combine the flour and salt in a large
bowl. Add the cut-up butter (make sure it's cold) and mix gently to
coat the butter with flour. Press the butter pieces with your
fingers to flatten them a bit, but don't try to incorporate them
into the flour. Chill the flour and butter mixture until the starter
has finished maturing.
Add the starter yeast batter to the flour and butter, mixing with a rubber spatula
just enough to moisten the flour and make a crumbly dough. The
butter pieces should still be firm.
The croissant dough must be rolled out and folded a total of four
times. The first folding is a little tricky because the dough is
crumbly and the butter is chunky. After the first folding, the
process becomes easier.
Roll and Fold the Dough for the First Time
Turn the crumbly dough out onto a floured surface. If the top of the
dough is wet or sticky, sprinkle it with flour.
Press the dough with your hands or use a rolling pin to form an
elongated rectangle about 12" x 18" (30 cm x 45 cm). Use a dough
scraper or your hands to help shape the edges.
Sprinkle any exposed butter with flour, and then fold the dough into
thirds like a letter. You may find it a bit difficult to lift the
edges of the rough dough to fold it – I use two dough scrapers to do
this – but don't worry about appearances at this point. The dough
will smooth out and the flour will be better incorporated after the
If the butter is still firm, continue on to the second folding.
If the butter has softened and is starting to run, cover the dough
in plastic and chill it in the freezer for 15 minutes (or in the
fridge for one hour) before rolling out the second time.
Roll and Fold the Dough for the Second, Third and Fourth Times
Scrape your work surface to clean it and dust it with more flour.
Place the folded dough so that a short, open edge faces you (
turn 90 degrees from first fold so that the fold are left to right).
Roll out the dough into another 12" x 18" (30 cm x 45 cm) rectangle.
Sprinkle flour on any exposed butter, brush off the excess flour,
and fold the dough into thirds again. This completes the second
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes,
or in the fridge for an hour.
Repeat the rolling and folding two more times, chilling the dough
between times to keep the butter firm. After the fourth and final
folding, wrap the dough in plastic and leave to rest in the fridge
for at least two hours, or up to 24 hours.
Shape and Bake the Croissants
Cut the prepared croissant dough in half. On a floured surface, roll
out one portion of the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4" (6
mm) thick. Use a large, sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim straight
edges on the rectangle, and then cut out 8 elongated triangles.
Roll up the triangles from the base to the tip, and transfer the
croissants, tip side down, to ungreased baking sheets with rims.
(Use parchment paper for easier cleanup.) Leave ample room between
the croissants for expansion. Cover the croissants loosely with
plastic and leave to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough is quite
Preheat an oven to 400° F (200° C). Make the egg wash by beating
together one egg with one tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash
gently over the croissants, and bake in the middle of the preheated
oven until rich golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the croissants to a rack to cool for 10 minutes or longer
before serving. Frozen croissants can be reheated directly from the
freezer in a 375° F (190° C) oven for 10 minutes.
*If you want the buns to look more
attractive and appetizing, you can glaze them while they are still
hot with butter, margarine, apricot gel, egg white or sugar syrup.
( Cook 1part of sugar with 2 parts of water till boiling).
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