Homemade Croissants 7.07 French Twist
“This is wonderful, you didn’t have to do it, you know.” “I wanted to.” “I would have been happy with a croissant.” “Or a park bench. I know.”
For the dough:
4 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 packet (2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast)
¾ cup lukewarm water
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the butter packet:
3 sticks unsalted, quality butter, room temperature.
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 egg yolk, beaten
*Note: this recipe takes 3 days to make, so prepare accordingly. This recipe was also adapted from the New York Times Cooking Section.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, add the yeast to the water and milk and stir gently to combine. Let the yeast activate for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become foamy.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a smooth ball of dough forms. It’s best to use a dough hook for this step if you have one.
Add the butter to the dough and mix and knead for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should become stretchy.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. And score an X across the top. Allow to rise for 1 hour before transferring to the fridge to rest for an additional 12 hours.
Create the butter block by placing the sticks of butter side by side on a piece of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the butter so that it sandwiches the butter between parchment paper.
Use a rolling pin to flatten out the butter and fuse the three sticks together. Be patient, this takes time. You will eventually flatten the butter to form an 8 in x 8 in square that is ½ in thick.
Wrap the butter and place in the fridge to chill for at least 12 hours.
Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough with your hands, using the corners from when you scored the top of the dough to guide you to form a 16 in x 8 in rectangle.
Remove the butter block from the fridge and place in the center of the rectangle with 4 inches of exposed dough on the top and bottom of the butter.
Fold the top of the exposed dough over the butter to reach the middle of the square of butter. Then fold the bottom of the exposed dough to cover the other half of the butter square to meet the first flap of dough.
Pinch the seams all around the edges to make sure no butter is exposed.
Rotate the square 90 degrees.
Roll out the dough to form a 24 in x 8 in rectangle. Be sure not to press down too hard while rolling out the dough. You can use a wheel cutter to trim the dough and keep your lines straight. If the butter seems to be melting, place the dough in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm back up.
Take one of the short sides of your rectangle of dough and fold it over to reach the center (like you did when adding the butter). Then take the other short side and also fold it over to reach the center so that both ends meet.
Then take the entire rectangle and fold in half along the shorter side.
Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for 90 minutes.
Repeat steps 6-9 two more times.
Allow dough to chill in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.
3 hours before removing the dough from the fridge, you will turn your oven into a proofing drawer (unless you have one). Fill a large skillet with water and place over high heat until the water begins to simmer.
Allow the oven to become a proofing temperature at 70-75 degrees F. If your oven becomes hotter than this, allow to cool down further so the butter in your dough does not melt. This will take about 3 hours.
Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to form a 16 in x 14 in rectangle.
Using a wheel cutter, slice the dough rectangle in half to create two 8 in x 14 in rectangles. Then slice each rectangle in half again to create four 4 in x 14 in rectangles. Finally, slice all 4 rectangles diagonally to form 8 triangles.
Roll the triangles to create the croissant shape by starting with the long edge and rolling towards the point.
Place the croissants on a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, making sure to leave room for the croissants to expand.
Remove the skillet of water from the oven. Place in the humid oven to proof for 2 hours.
After proofing, remove from the oven and remove plastic wrap and place croissants in the fridge while your oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Before placing the croissants in the oven, brush with the egg yolk, making sure to get into the crevices.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes then rotate the baking sheet and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes so the croissants become a dark golden brown color.
Whew, that was a doozy! I think the reason I got behind on my blog (again!) is I knew it was going to be an undertaking to write out all of the steps to get perfect flaky croissants. When I first shared this dish on my blog, I also shared a photo of me on a trip to Paris that was exactly 10 years ago (with a croissant)! I can’t believe it’s already been that long since I was there. I’m planning to get fully caught up to where I am in season 7 (7.12) this weekend, so thank you for being patient with me!
Happy cooking from the Hollow!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!