There is nothing more decadent than a croissant, unless it's a homemade croissant.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 15–20 CROISSANTS
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 pinch kosher salt
- 4–6 cups bread flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
Beat butter with lemon juice and all-purpose flour until it is creamy and lump-free. Form it into a square 1″ thick. Refrigerate no longer than 1 hour.
Combine milk, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and set aside 10 minutes until foamy. Add 2 teaspoons salt and enough bread flour to make a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Wrap well and chill for 30 minutes.
Working on a floured surface, roll out dough into a square 2″ larger than the butter block. Place butter on top so than it forms a diamond inside the dough square. Wrap dough over, completely encasing butter. Dust with flour, turn over, and with a rolling pin, using short, light motions, roll into a rectangle, ½″ thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like a business letter, (called a single turn) and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Remove chilled dough from the fridge, place on a floured surface, and roll again, using short, light motions, into a rectangle, ½″ thick. Make another single turn and refrigerate. Repeat this process for a total of 4 single turns, chilling between each. After the last turn, roll to ¼ ″ thick. The puff pastry is now ready to be formed and baked. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or frozen for long term storage.
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Preheat oven to 400°F.
To form classic croissants, roll dough into a large rectangle, 12″ high and ¼ ″ thick. Rest dough for 5 minutes, then cut into two parallel rectangles each 6″ high. Cut every 6″ along the length, creating 6″ squares. Cut each square in half on the bias, creating 2 triangles. Roll up triangle from the wide side, and shape into crescents. Place on prepared pan.
Combine egg with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water, and brush lightly onto surface of croissants. Bake until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. Cool completely.
Croissant is a laminated dough, which means it contains two components, butter and dough (known as the “deutremp”), which are pressed and folded to created multiple layers. Other doughs in that category include puff pastry and Danish dough.