Monday, February 18, 2013

Classic Croissants

 A Croissant is a buttery flaky viennoiserie bread roll named for its well known crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of layered yeast leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession  then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry.
Croissants have long been a staple of French bakeries. It originated in Austria and created by August Zanq.

Croissants are the most well known item of the French food. The croissants remain popular in a continental breakfast.
Making of the croissants is a three day process , which consists of Day 1 – Kneading Dough
            Day 2 – Laminating
            Day 3 – Making and Baking

 By all these process we can get flaky, buttery croissants.

Recipe Source - Fine Cooking
Requirements :
(Adapted from Jeffrey Hammelman’s recipe @ Fine cooking)
 For the dough :
All purpose flour – 4 cup + for dusting and rolling out dough
Cold water – ½ cup
Cold milk – ½ cup
Granulated sugar – ¼ cup
Unsalted Butter – 40 g
Dry yeast – 1 ½ tbs
Salt – 2 tsp

For Butter Layer / Beurrage :
 Unsalted Butter – 1 cup (@ room temperature)
Maida / All purpose flour – 3 ½ tbs
To Brush the dough :
Cold milk – ¼ cup
Granulated sugar – 2 tbs


Day 1:

Kneading the Dough:
Heat the water to lukewarm, add a tsp of sugar and yeast, and let it undisturbed for 15 minutes.
In a bowl ,Mix the flour, sugar, butter, salt, milk and proofed yeast together.
Mix the dough for about ten minutes.
Cover the kneaded dough in the bowl with plastic ,  leaving space to proof.
Store in the refrigerator overnight.
I kneaded the dough by afternoon, kept in the air conditioned room. It proofed well , it came as the bowl full.

For Beurrage:
 As I used homemade butter , to make it into a square of 71/2’’ , I mixed it with the maida and freeze into a slab overnight.

Day 2 :

Laminating the Dough :
Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to a 10 ½ inch square . Take the butter out from the refrigerator – it should be cold but pliable.

Unwrap the butter and place it on the square of dough in the center , so that it forms a diamond shape on the dough.
Fold the ends of the dough over the butter toward the middle of the butter square.

Press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough to ensure the butter doesn't escape when you roll out the dough later.

I kept the dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough .
With rolling pin, firmly press along the dough uniformly elongate it slightly.

Press on lengthening rather than widening the dough and keeping the edges straight.
Roll the dough into an  8’’ by 24’’ rectangle. Always maintain the shape of the corners , it avoid wastage.

Mark the dough lightly equally into three along the long side.
Pick up one short end of the dough and fold 1/3 rd of it back over the dough , so that 1/3 rd of the other end of the dough is exposed.

Now , fold the 1/3 rd exposed dough over the folded side .
Wrap the folded dough in a plastic wrap with some flour  and freeze for 15 to  20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
 After the  15 minutes , roll and fold again. In this time rolling  in the direction of the two open ends ( from the shorter sides to lengthen the longer sides ) until the dough is about  8’’ by 24’’.
 Once again fold the dough in thirds as before , cover with plastic wrap and freeze for another 15 – 20 minutes.
Roll and fold the dough exactly in the same way for the third time and cover with the plastic wrap .

I repeated three more times of laminating the dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate in freezer overnight.

Day 3 :

Divide the dough :
I made this by afternoon , take out the dough from the freezer.
Cut the dough along the longer side into halves , I cut into a small and large half. 

Cover the large half  with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for later use.
Wake up the dough :
 Lengthen the dough with the rolling pin by dusting lightly.
Don’t widen the dough but concentrate on lengthening.
Slowly roll the dough into a long and narrow strip , approximately 8’’ by 22’’.

Once the dough reaches about half to two – thirds of its final length , it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back – stop at this point.
If this happens , fold the dough in thirds as on day 2 , cover and refrigerate for about 10 minutes , then unfold and roll to lengthen.
Lift the rolled dough an inch or so off the countertop at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both sides and this prevents the dough from shrinking when it is cut.
Trim the edges to make a straight line.
With a sharp knife cut the 20’’ layer of dough into triangles , we will get one on top and another on bottom.
Shaping the croissants :
Take a piece of the triangle. with the rolling pin / hand stretch it a little until it reaches 10’’ long.

With the knife , make a ½ - ¾ inch long notch in the center of the base of the triangle. This helps in getting a crescent when the croissant is rolled.
Take a triangle , hold the ends of the base of the triangle with the index nd thumb of the two hands.

Bend the two sides of the notch inwards and pull the ends outwards.

Roll towards the sharp tip , firmly but not so tight.

The sharp tip must be under the croissant to avoid opening while baking.

Bend the legs ( ends ) towards the middle to form a tight crescent  shape and gently press the tips of the legs together.
Shape all the croissants and place in the baking tray with space in between as they rise while proofing.

Proof the Croissants :
I use milk wash to brush the croissants. Mix the quarter cup of milk with 2 tbsp of sugar and brush on the shaped croissants.

Egg Wash – Whisk a egg white with a tsp of water , apply.
 Place the tray with the croissants in a cool and damp free place, by covering with a tall vessel. Let it be for about 2 – 3 hours .
The croissants may be large but won’t double. When we touch it will very soft  and can see the layers from side.

Bake the Croissants :
Preheat the oven to 220 degree Celsius @ convection mode , as my oven has fast preheat , I won’t set time .
Brush the croissants again with the milk wash.
Bake the croissants for 15 – 20 minutes or till they are golden brown on top and just beginning to brown at sides.

I baked for 15 minutes.
Cool the croissants on the rack.

Serve warm.
I got around 7 croissants with one third dough.

Note :
The butter used must be cold and pliable enough to roll smoothly.
Always work on a cold counter top and avoid doing nearby stove , oven or any hot object , as this will melts the butter.
While laminating when you feels there will be leak of the butter , refrigerate immediately.
When covering the butter square with the dough , seal the edges of the dough well , to avoid leaking of butter while laminating.
No need of wasting the trimmed ends , they can be baked in to any shape you like. No wastage in making croissants. 
check out my post on croissants with coconut filling
check out my previous Bread - Spinach pull apart Bread

 @ my Diverse  kitchen


  1. lengthy process...u really have a great patience dear. Very well explained...looks so delicious..

  2. lovely presentation dear...ur clicks explaining all about...looks so delicious saran..

  3. Delicious croissants, Love them a lot, you did very well.

  4. very well explained, simply loved it...

  5. Yummy, Thanks for linking this recipe to my event and using the logo. Expecting more recipes from you

  6. Ufffff...lots of work, but looks fabulous! :)

  7. Beautifully done and neatly explained...Loved baking it..