Plan Ahead · Unexpectedly from Scratch · Worth the Extra Effort

Croissants

Crossiant 4

If Saturday is a quiet day, Sunday can be a really fatty one. I went to a class to learn how to make croissants in a little upstairs kitchen in the back streets of Singapore’s Little India, and I loved it. Sadly, as keeping cool is the key to success with this pastry, I was never going to get them to work in our little flat, but now we’ve got granite worktops in our kitchen, they are going to be regular fixture on our casual weekend brunches.

 

Note – you need to do most of the work the day before you want to eat these, so make sure you have enough time to leave the pastry to rest over night!

 

Ingredients

625g strong white flour (plus more for dusting)

75g caster sugar

1tsp sea salt

40g fresh yeast

350ml cold water

500g chilled, unsalted butter (the best quality you can find)

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

Method

Day 1:

  1. Place flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the water and mix until it comes together as a soft dough (adding more water if required) until it makes a soft dough
  2. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and stretch. Return to the bowl to rest
  3. Place the butter between two sheets of grease proof paper and roll / bash out until around 30cmx20cm. Chill in fridge.
  4. Turn out the dough and roll into a rectangle around three times the size of your butter
  5. Peel the greaseproof paper from the butter and place centrally on the pastry, leaving an equal distance between the top and bottom of the dough rectangle
  6. Fold the top third of the pastry over the butter, then fold the bottom third over the top of this. You ought to now have the equivalent of three layers of pastry and one layer of butter.
  7. Turn this around so that the visible fold is on the bottom of the pile, and roll out to the original size again
  8. Once again, fold the dough into thirds, and then place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes. Any time the dough is in the fridge, be sure to cover in cling film to prevent it drying out. This counts as one turn done in the laminating process
  9. You need to complete three turns in total, so repeat the roll, fold and turn twice more, then wrap the pastry in cling film and return to the fridge to rest overnight

Day 2:

  1. Roll the pastry on a floured surface to around 50xmx40cm, and then cut length ways into two strips, around 50cmx20cm each
  2. Measuring the length of the pastry in 10cm increments, cut the pastry into rectangles, and then diagonally cut the rectangles into triangles
  3. Working with each of these triangles, with the narrow point pointing away, stretch the short edge of the pastry slightly, then roll up the pastry
  4. Slightly shape the roll into a crescent shape and place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper
  5. Repeat with the rest of the dough until you have around 12 croissants
  6. Cover the baking trays with a lightly greased sheet of cling film, place the croissants onto the baking tray and glaze totally with the beaten egg. Leave the croissants to rest for around two hours, and to increase in size
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 170c and bake the croissants for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown
  8. Cool very slightly on a wire rack once baking is complete, and then scoff
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