These buttery, flaky pastries are a delightful treat for breakfast or any time of day.
For the Dough:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (about 110°F or 43°C)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
1. Prepare the Dough: a. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes foamy. b. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. c. Pour the yeast mixture and milk into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. d. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until it’s smooth. e. Shape the dough into a rectangle, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Prepare the Butter Layer: a. While the dough is chilling, place the cold butter between two sheets of parchment paper. b. Roll the butter into a 7×7-inch square, then refrigerate it to firm up.
3. Laminate the Dough: a. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface into a 10×10-inch square. b. Place the butter square diagonally on the dough, then fold the corners of the dough over the butter to encase it completely. c. Roll out the dough into a 10×20-inch rectangle. d. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, to create three layers. e. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. f. Repeat steps c to e twice more, chilling the dough between each fold.
4. Shape the Croissants: a. Roll out the laminated dough into a 10×20-inch rectangle. b. Cut the dough into triangles, about 5-6 inches wide at the base. c. Make a small slit at the base of each triangle and gently roll it up towards the tip, shaping it into a crescent.
5. Let Them Rise: a. Place the shaped croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. b. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise for 1-2 hours, or until they double in size.
6. Preheat and Bake: a. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). b. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. c. Brush the croissants with the egg wash. d. Bake the croissants for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and flaky.
7. Enjoy: a. Allow the croissants to cool for a few minutes, and then serve them warm. They’re best when freshly baked.
These homemade croissants are a labor of love but are well worth the effort. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or tea for a delightful breakfast or snack!