I love croissants but I've never thought of making them myself. It's one of those things that I know is done but never thought I could do it. For my niece's birthday my brother and his wife decided to have a morning tea for her birthday. Naturally, I had images of what I could make going through my head. Every year I do her birthday cake (a post about that to come) and this year I decided to try out homemade croissants. My fantastic book, which really is becoming my baking bible, Mastering the Art of Baking, had all the steps I needed to follow (with some handy photos). Of course, it's not as simple as getting some pastry and rolling them out, you have to make what is called leavened pastry (a type of puff pastry that involves a lot of butter). You will need to set aside at least half a day for this. I stayed home all day to get it finished!
Apparently the croissant originated in Austria (my Dad's birthplace!) and was introduced to France in the late 1900s.
First step is make the leavened pastry, which involves a lot of rolling out, folding and re-rolling.
What you will need for the leavened puff pastry:
60ml Warm Water
9g Dried Yeast
250ml Warm Milk
1 Teaspoon Sugar (I used white)
500g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
310g Unsalted Butter, softened but still pliable
|Yeast & Water|
Mix in the milk and sugar.
|Yeast & Milk & Sugar|
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in 60g butter with your fingertips facing upwards (to rub in butter simply mix the butter with the flour and rub between your fingers until a breadcrumb texture is created). Lift the flour mixture as you go to aerate.
|Rub in butter|
Make a well in the centre and the the milk mixture.
|Mixing wet & dry ingredients|
Gradually mix in the wet and dry ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1 - 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
|Dough after 1 hour|
Punch the dough once to expel the air, recover and set aside for another hour.
Knock back the dough one more time. On a lightly floured surface shape the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
|Rolled out dough|
|Butter encased in dough|
Carefully roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, retaining the rectangle shape. Repeat the folding process and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
|Rolled out dough|
Now to make the croissants!!!
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle that is 35cm x 53cm, with edges as straight as possible. Using a knife, trim the pastry down to a 32cm x 48cm rectangle.
|Cut pastry triangles|
|Crescent shaped pastry|
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