I've been wanting to make croissants for a long time, months probably. But these things take time....and so I had to wait for a weekend that was fully open. I started these on Friday night and then on Sunday morning had a very flaky, buttery, and chocolatey breakfast in bed! It took about 20 minutes Friday night, about 4 straight hours on Saturday, and about on hour on Sunday. The back-breaking work is on the middle day. You need a lot of energy to roll these out! Luckily I was able to bribe someone into helping me for a little bit; but honestly I did most of the work.
This was a really fun weekend project that I would definitely recommend! Although after all the rolling out, my whole body was sore for 2 days! Also note, I usually like to roll things out with a bottle of wine (or a beer can on bad days) because I don't own a rolling pin. But you definitely need a rolling pin for this one!
• 1 1/4 cup warm milk
• 2 1/2 tea. instant yeast
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tea. salt
• 2 1/4 sticks butter
• 1 egg
• chocolate chips (optional)
1. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, yeast, and warm milk. Let the bowl sit for 20 minutes so the yeast can bubble.
2. Add the remaining 2 1/4 cups of flour, sugar, and salt, and stir until combined. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead for about 2 minutes by hand. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Once dough has rested in the refrigerator, prepare the butter. Cut cold butter length-wise, about 1/2 inch thick and lay them on parchment paper in a square about 7x7 inches.
4. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll into a uniform slab. Uncover and cut edges as needed, placing scraps back onto the top. Roll again, and continue until you get the 7x7 inch square of butter. Place it back into the refrigerator while you roll out the dough.
5. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 12 x 12 square on a floured surface.
6. Place the cold butter slab in the center of the rolled out dough, at an angel as shown.
7. Pull each corner of dough over the edge of the butter.
8. Press lightly to seal the butter in the dough and expel excess air.
9. Roll out to a rectangle about 12x24 inches. I enlisted a bit of help for this part!
10. Fold 1/3 of the dough over itself.
11. Fold the bottom third of the dough up.
12. Place the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Play with the cats during this hour.
13. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place on a floured surface so it is perpendicular to the rolling pin. Repeat steps 9-12 two more times.
14. Remove the dough from the fridge, and cut it in half length-wise. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge while you work with the other half.
15. Revel in all of your hard work that is now layers and layers of butter and dough!!!
16. Roll the dough out into an 8x15 inch rectangle. Cut into even triangular shapes.
17. Take a triangle, and very gently roll it out to about 10 inches. It's easy to squish or break the dough at this point so be delicate. If you want chocolate croissants, insert chocolate chips now at the bottom end of the triangle.
18. Roll the triangle from the wide end up until you form a crescent shape. Bend the legs inward to form the C. Repeat with remaining triangles.
19. Place all your croissants (12-14) on a cookie sheet (covered) and let them proof overnight in the fridge. 20. Remove the croissants 2 hours before you intend to bake to allow them to come to room temperature.
21. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk the egg and paint some on each croissant. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate, and bake for about 5 more minutes if necessary.