Croissants, the word itself makes me drool. Actually i tasted my first croissants the next day i landed Paris, this happened almost before 18years. This buttery flaky viennoiserie bread roll is quite famous as like the french macarons in France, you wont miss this flaky bread rolls if you live in Paris. Each and every corner of the street will have a bakery and each bakey will have this buttery bread rolls definitely with different variations, you may get them with chocolates as pain au chocolat, while some makes a almond pastry cream and call it as almond crossiants. Obviously atleast once a month for a sunday brunch we will get our crossiants from the nearby bakery. My kids love this bread rolls, i never thought of making these bread rolls until Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen challenged these crossiants for our this month's We Knead To Bake challenge.
Mini croissants brushed with milk
Croissant dough sounds exactly like a puff pastry dough but these croissant doughs are yeast leavened dough and the dough is layered with butter,which are rolled and folded several times and this technique is called laminating.This laminating technique gives that layered and flaxy texture to this bread roll. Croissants in french means crescent, since this bread roll is rolled like a crescent, these bread rolls are called croissants.
French croissants are well known and french peoples even prepare croissants as savoury version using cheese and ham in it, its one of their favourite food and this stuffed croissants are quite often served during the lunch in most of the canteens or served in xmas dinner tables.Coming to this croissants, it took 3days for us to prepare, the first day i simply prepared the yeasted dough with the flour and instant yeast, the 2nd day, i did the lamination and the third day, i finally baked these croissants. I got 7numbers of large size croissants and 7nos of mini croissants. Thanks to Aparna for suggesting croissants and i truly enjoyed preparing and baking myself. Everyone at home enjoyed thoroughly and gonna make croissants myself at home atleast once a month, as mine turned out exactly like the bakery bought croissants.
Croissants with egg wash
Recipe Source: Jeffrey Hammelman's Recipe at Fine Cooking
For the dough:
4cups All purpose flour+ extra flour for dusting & rolling
1/2cup + 2tbsp Cold water
1/2cup +2tbsp Cold milk
40grms Softened unsalted butter
1tbsp + 1/2tsp Instant yeast
For Butter Layer:
250grms Cold unsalted butter
1/4cup Milk or 1egg
Take all the ingredients given for the dough in a bowl, mix everything gently,by scraping the sides of the bowl until you get a soft dough, dont knead to much as we do for the breads.
Lightly flour a pie pan and place the dough.
Gently shape dough as flat ball by pressing it down before storing in the fridge, as this helps a lot for rolling the next day, dont make a tight ball as they may strengthen the gluten which we dont need for croissants.
Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and wrap well with a plastic,so that they wont dry.
Keep in fridge for ovenite.
Next day, take 2parchement papers, cut the cold butter into half thick slabs, place these pieces on the parchement paper to form a 6inch square.
Cut the butter into pieces to form a prefect a square, top it with an another parchement paper,roll it well giving much pressure so that the pieces begin to stick together.
Pound the butter until it flattens well and form a even square, trim the edges to make a prefect neat square,put the trimmed butter on the top of the square and pound them lightly with the rolling pin.
Refrigerate this for a while.
Laminating the dough:
Unwrap the dough and roll it out as 10inch square,brush the excess of the flour.
Take the butter out of the fridge,butter should be cold but pliable. Unwrap the butter and place it in the centre of the dough, so that its forms a diamond shape on the dough.
Fold the sides of the dough over the butter, stretch it slight so that point of edges will reach the middle of the butter square.
Lightly press the edges together to seal completely the butter inside the dough, ensure the butter shouldnt escape from the dough while rolling.
Gently start rolling the dough without pressing too much, dust the dough gently,roll the dough as a rectangle dough,dont forget to shape the corners with ur fingers in case if they lose their square shaped.
Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it back over the dough, leaving one-third of the other end of dough exposed.
Brush the flour off and then fold the exposed dough over the folded side.
Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
Repeat the rolling and folding, this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends until the dough is about 8 by 24 inches.
Fold the dough in thirds again, brushing off excess flour and turning under any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover and freeze for another 20 minutes.
Give the dough a third rolling and folding. Put the dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic under all four sides. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough.
With the rolling pin, “wake the dough up” by pressing firmly along its length.
Slowly roll the dough into a long and narrow strip, 8 inches by about 44 inches. If the dough sticks as you roll, sprinkle with flour.
Once the dough is about half to two-thirds of its final length, it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back. If this happens, fold the dough in thirds, cover, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
Lift the dough an inch or so off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both side,this helps prevent the dough from shrinking when it’s cut.
Check that there’s enough excess dough on either end to allow you to trim the ends so they’re straight and the strip of dough is 40 inches long. Trim the dough so that they are straight.
Divide the dough:
With a knife,mark the top of the dough with 5inch intervals along the length,now place the tape measure along the bottom lenght of the dough.
Make a mark 2-1/2inches in from the end,make marks at 5inch intervals from the point along the bottom of the dough.
Make diagonal cuts by positioning the yardstick at the top corner and the frist bottom mark,use a pizza wheel and cut the dough along this line with connects each top of mark to the next bottom mark.
You will get 7 triangles.
Shape the croissants:
Work with a pieces of triangular dough at a time.
Using a rolling pin,lightly roll the triangle to stretch a little, this will give your croissants height and layers.
With a sharp knife, make a 1/2inch long notch in centre of the short side of each triangle,this helps rolled croissant curl into a crescent.
Place the triangle on a work surface and with one hand on each side of the notch,begin to roll the dough away from you towards the pointed ends.
Roll the dough tight enough,brush the croissants with milk or with egg whisking an egg with a teaspoon of water.
Brush the croissants lightly, place the croissants in a cool place for proofing about 2hours.
Croissants are ready to bake if you able to see the layers of the dough from the side, if you shake the sheets slightly the croissants will wiggle.
Mini croissants brushed with milk
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F, brush again the croissants one more time and place you baking sheets in the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust turns golden brown,cool the croissants completely.