alright, i am ready to cross croissants off the list of things i didn’t think could be made at home. and i can’t believe i didn’t know sooner – homemade croissants are so, so good! they are super flakey and buttery, with an incredibly light crust on the outside. basically, they are just as delicious as a croissant you’d buy at the store, only better.
i know most people aren’t going to believe me when i say this, but making your own croissants is actually quite easy. it does require some time and planning – you can’t just decide to make these on a whim and have them out of the oven in an hour. but if you are able to plan ahead and put in the time, you will be rewarded with a pastry that is so good, you’ll think you’ve developed super powers.
the basic process goes like this: you make the dough (this part takes just a few minutes) and let it rest in the fridge overnight. the next day, you encase a bunch of butter inside the dough, and roll it out, fold it over on itself, and let it rest… then do that a couple more times. the actual rolling and folding really only takes a couple of minutes, so most of the time spent is just waiting for the dough to rest – think of all the other things you could get done in those pockets of time! finally, you shape the croissants, let them rise, and bake them. then, ta-dah! fresh, homemade croissants! that’s not so bad, right? and trust me: it sounds like a lot of work, but it is totally worth it. i can’t describe how satisfying it is to open the oven and see real, authentic, totally legitimate croissants. i also can’t describe the smell of cooking butter filling your house. it’s unreal.
light, flakey croissants with a slightly nutty whole wheat flavor.
- 1¼ cups bread flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅔ cup of milk, slightly warmed
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- another pinch of salt
- in a small bowl, combine the flours. in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and milk. mix about ⅓ of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture and let it sit for about 15 minutes, until it is foamy on top.
- mix in the rest of the flours and the salt - knead everything very lightly until it just barely comes together in a ball (don't overknead!).
- cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- the next day, take the butter out and set it between two pieces of plastic wrap. use a rolling pin to pound and roll the butter until you have a solid square that is about ¼- to ½-inch thick. cover the square in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- on a lightly floured countertop, roll the dough out into a large diamond. put the square of butter in the middle of the diamond, and fold the corners of dough over the butter to enclose it completely. seal the edges so that the butter is completely encased by the dough. for pictures of what this means, click here.
- gently roll the butter-filled dough into a large rectangle. fold the rectangle into thirds (like if you were folding a letter). this was your first "turn" of the dough. wrap the folded dough rectangle in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for about 45 minutes.
- take the dough out of the fridge and again, gently roll it into a large rectangle. fold it into thirds just like you did before, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it back in the fridge for another 45 minutes. this was your second "turn" of the dough.
- again, take the dough out, roll it into a large rectangle, fold it into thirds, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it back in the fridge. this was your third and final "turn" of the dough. let the dough chill in the fridge for an hour.
- line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick. cut this rectangle into three smaller rectangles, then cut each of these on the diagonal to make two triangles. this should give you six triangles (check david's original post for pictures).
- take one triangle and, starting at the wide end, roll it up toward the point. set it point-side-up on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the triangles.
- cover the croissants with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffed up and almost doubled, about 1½ to 2 hours.
- towards the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 400ºf. mix together the egg and pinch of salt, and brush this mixture on top of the croissants. bake them in the oven for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 350ºf and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until they are nice and golden.