- April 24, 2018 at 12:13 am #385727mosParticipant
For the Starter Batter:
2 envelopes, about 4 1/2 teaspoons, dry yeast or 2 tablespoons fresh yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
For the Laminated Dough:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
12 oz of cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces
additional flour for rolling out the dough
egg wash made from 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water
Make the Starter:
Mix the yeast into the warm water, stirring until well 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 warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Prep the Flour and Butter:
While the batter is maturing, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
Add the cut-up butter (make sure it’s firm and cold) and stir gently to coat the butter with flour.
Use fingers to press and flatten the cubes of butter, but don’t try to incorporate them into the flour.
Chill the flour and butter mixture until the starter batter has finished maturing.
Make the Croissant Dough:
Add the batter to the chilled 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.
Ready to move on to laminating, or folding, the dough. It must be done a minimum 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.
Laminate the Dough for the First Time:
Turn the crumbly dough out onto a large, well-floured surface.
If the top of the dough is wet or sticky, sprinkle it with flour.
Press the dough with hands or tap it with a rolling pin to form a large elongated rectangle about 12″ x 18″. Use a dough scraper or hands to help shape the edges.
Sprinkle any exposed butter with flour, and then fold the dough into thirds like a letter. May find it a bit difficult to lift the edges of the rough dough to fold it.
The dough will smooth out, and the flour will be better incorporated after the next folding.
If the butter is still firm, continue 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 work surface to clean it, then dust it with more flour.
Roll out the dough into another 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Sprinkle flour on any exposed butter, brush off the excess flour, and fold the dough into thirds again.
It completes the second folding.
03Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour.
04Repeat the rolling and folding two to four more times, chilling the dough as necessary between sessions to keep the butter firm. After the 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:
With a long, sharp knife, 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″ thick. Use a 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 rimmed baking sheets.
(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 puffy.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Make the egg wash by beating together one egg with one tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash gently over the croissants, then bake one pan at a time 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.
Completely cooled croissants may be frozen until needed.
Reheat directly from the freezer in a 375° oven for about 10 minutes.
To Freeze Shaped Croissants for Later Baking:
Once shaped, the croissants may be frozen for later baking. Do not allow the croissants to proof.
Instead, cover the shaped dough with plastic and place the pan in the freezer for a few hours until the croissants are solid.
Transfer the frozen unbaked croissants to a freezer bag or plastic storage container and store in the freezer for up to two months.
When ready to bake, place the unbaked croissants on a parchment paper lined tray, cover loosely with plastic, and leave to proof at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
Brush with the egg wash and bake as directed above.
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