I wouldn’t describe homemade croissants as an easy recipe, since there are multiple steps, and it does take a least half a day, but it’s really not that hard either; and certainly simpler than flying to Paris, which is the only other way to enjoy these amazing pastries.
Sure, some of you may live near an authentic French bakery, maybe even one of the few that still use pure butter, but for the sake of this post, let’s assume that you don’t. Besides, sitting next to a basket of homemade croissants raises your foodie street cred like few other things.
Despite taking a fair amount to time, this is actually the quick version, in that we’re not leaving the dough to rest overnight, before laminating with the butter. I don’t think there’s a huge difference, but I did want to mention in case you’d prefer to start the dough at night, and do the rest of the work the next day.
The technique is pretty straightforward, but be sure to pay attention to the temperature of your butter. If you’re slab is too soft, it will just blend into the dough, and you won’t get the gorgeous layering seen herein. And if it’s too cold in firm, it won’t spread between the layers of dough like it needs to. It should basically have the firmness of clay.
So, take your time, and when in doubt, pop the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to chill it down as you’re working. You’ll notice I didn’t serve anything on my croissants when I did the final shots, and if you make these, you’ll understand why. I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!
Makes 12 to 16 Croissants:
For the dough:
1 cup warm water (about 100 F.)
1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt (1 3/4 teaspoons if using fine salt)
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
6 tablespoons room temp butter for the dough
For the croissants:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted European-style butter for the slab
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash