Croissants are one of the most difficult things to make in pastry world. Today I tried to make them for the first time and see how the results of my first attempt look like, when strictly following the recipe I have. They were amazing - me and my husband loved them!! So crispy and light and flaky.... can't possibly describe them well enough to do them justice;)
for 8 croissants
330g bread flour
4g dry active yeast
155g room temperature water
20g room temperature unsalted butter
180g unsalted butter (for lamination)
Make sure the butter is room temperature.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients apart from the butter for lamination. Mix well and knead for around 10 minutes (or use a stand mixer) until you get a nice and smooth dough.
Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave in a warm place for around 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Prepare the butter for lamination. On the worktop place a long piece of cling film. Cut the butter into 4 smaller rectangles and place side by side on the cling film creating a small square (check video for instruction). Cover with a cling film creating a 20 cm wide rectangle open on two sides. Roll the butter through the cling film until it is 20x20 cm in shape. Cover the two remaining sides with cling film and place in the fridge .
When the dough is double in size you put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Take the dough and butter from the fridge. Sprinkle some flour on the worktop and knead the dough for around 1 minute just to make it softer. Roll out the dough into 40x40 cm square. Place the butter in the middle so the corners of the butter square are in the middle of the sides of the dough (check video). Cover the butter with the dough and roll in one direction only until double in length.
Fold one side to the middle. Then fold the other side to the middle. Then fold into a book - one side on another (video). Cover with a cling film a put in the fridge for 30 minutes or into a freezer for 10 minutes - before the next lamination the butter needs to set so it does not melt from overworking.
Take the dough from the fridge and roll mostly in one direction (in which it is longer) but a bit in the other direction as well just to make it wider. Then repeat the folding and again place in the fridge/ freezer.
Repeat the rolling/ folding process again and place in the fridge/freezer. then the dough is ready to make croissants.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll into a rectangle or circle around 0.5cm thick. Cut out triangles (easier when you roll out as a circle - then cut it as if it is a pizza). Roll each triangle from the wider part to the peak and place the very top on the bottom side of the croissant. After this step you can freeze them and bake in the future (defrost first in room temperature and let them prove for around 1 hour before baking).
Place the croissants on the baking tray and leave in a warm place to prove for around 30 minutes. Paint the top of the croissants with egg wash leaving the parts when lamination is visible (check video).
Heat up the oven to 170oC with fan. Bake the croissants for 25 minutes.