Croissant

Croissants are synonymous with the French. There is nothing better than strolling along a colourful Parisian street, croissant in-hand and a box of fresh, large strawberries in the other. Delectable as they are, and as easy as it is to scarf down bite after delicious bite of this fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside pastry, we must concede that baking the perfect, flaky croissant can be a nightmarish ordeal for the untrained baker. Folding layer after layer of butter in between the dough causes it to rise and puff in all the best ways. If you're feeling up to the challenge, here's a great croissant recipe for you to try!

 

INGREDIENTS:

255 g French butter

500 g bread flour

7 g salt

65 g sugar

13 g buttermilk

40 g egg

213 g ice water

13 g instant yeast

 

FOR GLAZING

1 egg

1 tbsp water

 

METHOD:

1. Cut the butter into pieces, put between two sheets of plastic or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to pound the butter until it is soft enough to roll, then roll between the two sheets until it is a 19 cm square. Chill butter in the fridge.

2. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar directly over a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. In the centre of the well, add in buttermilk, egg, ice water and yeast. With the fingertips, bring the flour from the sides into the centre of the well so that the liquid is absorbed by the flour and does not spill over onto the work surface. With both hands work the mixture until it is well-blended yet still somewhat coarse. Do not overwork.

3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm area for about 30 minutes. Press on the dough to release the carbon dioxide, do not work the dough when pressing. Place in a plastic container and cover well with the plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator.

4. Roll the dough out until it is double the size of the butter sheet, 38 cm square in this case. Put the butter in the middle of the dough, fold up dough and seal in the butter. Pay attention to corners and edges or else the butter may leak out.

5. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes until it is cold and ready to be rolled out.

6. Sprinkle flour on the table and roll out the dough to 1 cm thickness, measuring about 30 cm x 60 cm. Brush flour off of the dough, fold of the dough in towards the middle and the other on top, and now you have a 3-layer dough. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Repeat this entire step 3 times. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then it is ready.

7. Roll out the dough to approximately 25 cm x 60 cm then cut it into 2 sheets measuring 12.5 cm x 60 cm. Cut each piece into 12 triangles.

8. Roll up the dough from the wide edge. Place the croissants on a baking sheet and allow them to rise for 4 hours in room temperature until they have doubled in size.

9. Make the egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Glaze croissants with egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack.

 

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Chef Guillaume Lejeune
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