Happy National Croissant Day everyone! Who doesn’t like a warm, sweet, buttery pastry for breakfast every once in a while. I actually made my first batch EVER of from-scratch croissants this week. Now if you’re looking for an easy and quick pastry to make, croissants are probably not the thing you are looking for. They take serious time and effort, but I promise you…they are totally worth it.
- 2 1/4 cups organic pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup organic milk, at room temperature
- 16 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup organic pastry flour
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten well, for brushing
*optional: chocolate chips
- First, make the dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, yeast and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the butter and milk, and mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour by the half-teaspoonful if necessary to bring the dough together. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle the top very lightly with more flour, and roll into a 9-inch round. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the butter packet.
- To prepare the butter packet, sprinkle a piece of unbleached parchment paper with 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of the flour, and place all 16 tablespoons (preferably in 2 whole sticks) of butter on top and press together. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, and cover with another piece of unbleached parchment paper. Pound the butter with a rolling pin until it flattens and melds together. Uncover and fold the flattened butter in half, cover again with the parchment and pound again until you have a 5-inch square butter packet. Cover the butter packet completely with parchment, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 5 minutes or until firm.
Next, wrap the butter packet in the dough: Remove the 9-inch round dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Place the chilled butter packet directly in the center of the dough and score the sides of the dough lightly to represent the exact size of the butter. Remove the butter and set it aside. Using a rolling pin and sprinkling the dough lightly with flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking, begin at the site of each of the four scorings and roll the edges of the dough away from the center to create 4 flaps, leaving the center of the dough intact. Return the butter packet to the intact center of the dough, and wrap the flaps of the dough around the butter packet like you would a present.
- Roll out the dough with the butter and complete the first “turn.” Sprinkle the dough-and-butter-packet lightly with more flour, and roll out into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold the rectangle over on itself in thirds, as you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour. With the length of the 3-layer rectangle of dough running parallel to your body, roll the dough away from you into rectangle that is again about 1/2-inch thick. Turn the left and right sides of the 1/2-inch thick rectangle over on themselves again, as you would a business letter. You have just completed the first “turn.” Wrap the folded dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Complete the remaining 4 to 5 “turns.” Once the dough has finished chilling after its first turn, repeat the process of rolling the 3-layer dough out into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle, then refolding the dough like a business letter, at least 4 more times, and for good measure 5 more times, wrapping and chilling the 3-layer rectangle of dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or the freezer for 10 minutes) in between turns.
Shape and proof the croissants. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. Roll out the prepared 3-layer croissant dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a pastry wheel or pizza wheel (or very sharp knife—well-defined edges are essential here), square the edges, then cut out as many 4-inch x 6-inch rectangles as you can. Slice each rectangle diagonally into two triangles and separate the shapes from one another. Sprinkling lightly with flour as necessary to prevent sticking, roll each triangle out to elongate it to about 8-inches from base to tip. Add several chocolate chips (if using) to each triangle. Roll each triangle into a coil from base to tip, turning the edges slightly away from each other as you roll. Place on the prepared baking sheets, seam side down, about 2-inches apart from one another. Cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location until nearly doubled in size. You will see the individual layers in each fold begin to separate slightly from one another once the croissants are fully proofed. Uncover the baking sheets and brush the tops and sides of the croissants with the egg wash. To avoid glueing the coiled layers of each croissant together, brush with the egg wash by beginning in the center of each pastry and brushing out to the sides in one motion on each side, with the “grain” of each coil, not against. Place the shaped and proofed croissants in the refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes or until mostly firm.
- Bake the croissants. While the shaped croissants are chilling, preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the chilled and proofed croissants in the center of the preheated oven, one baking sheet at a time, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until deep golden brown all over and firm to the touch. Allow to cool briefly before serving.
-Adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring