Croissants

Well it has taken quite a few weeks but I have finally recovered from a nasty illness. Apologies for my absence, but I haven’t been well enough to cook let alone blog. But I’m feeling a lot better so it is time to start catching up on the cooking, baking and blogging.

Week 7 of The Great Australian Bake Off (GABO) had the bakers making croissants. Traditionally croissants take a couple of days to make, however this simplified recipe only required half a day (about 4 hours). The results aren’t quite the same, but they were certainly recognisable as croissants and between rehearsals and work, I don’t have time to try the more traditional recipe at the moment. I made both full sized croissants and some smaller ones from the leftover dough. I think my larger ones needed a few more minutes in the oven, however the smaller ones were perfect…although I think the recipe needs a pinch of salt (I used unsalted butter).

Jerome’s verdict? Not bad for a first attempt.

However, they aren’t something I am going to make very often. Not because of the time involved, as most of that is waiting time when you can do other things, but because it is too dangerous having that many freshly cooked croissants in my house waiting to be eaten!

Just one more GABO challenge to go – La Religieuse

GABO Breakfast Croissants

Makes approximately 6 – 8 croissants (with extra mini croissants)

You will need two baking trays for this recipe

Ingredients 

Starter

  • 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 75ml warm water (should feel neither hot or cold)
  • 50g white bread flour

Dough

  • 75ml cold milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50m cold double cream
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 300g white bread flour – sifted
  • 250g cold butter – cut into 1-2cm cubes (make sure the butter is very cold) – I used unsalted
  • 1 extra egg for egg wash – beaten
  • A pinch of salt – optional, I think it needs it though.

Method

  1. To make the starter, place the flour and yeast in a small bowl and add the water. Mix to dissolve the yeast then cover and set aside in a warm place until the mix is bubbling (approximately 40 minutes).
Starter - bubbling and ready to be used

Starter – bubbling and ready to be used

  1. Once the starter is bubbling, combine in a larger bowl with the dough ingredients (except the extra egg that you use for the egg wash). Working quickly (and with cool hands) bring the mix together to form a dough and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. You don’t want to work it so much that the butter starts to melt.
  1. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1cm thick and then fold into thirds. That is, 1st third over the middle third, then final third over.
Folding first third over middle third.

Folding first third over middle third.

Folding final third over to form a rectangle.

Folding final third over to form a rectangle.

  1. Turn the dough rectangle around on the work surface by ¼ (so the long end is now towards you), roll out to the same thickness and then fold in thirds again. You want to be turning the dough by a ¼ after each fold so that you are rolling and folding it in opposite directions. Cover in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Dough before 1/4 turn

1/4 turn before rolling

1/4 turn before rolling

  1. After 30 minutes, remove from the fridge, turn by ¼ again from where it last finished and then fold again once. Cover and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  1. Repeat a final time and then return to the fridge to rest for a final 30 minutes.
Final fold step 1

Final fold step 1

Final fold step 2

Final fold step 2

  1. While the dough is resting, prepare a triangular template to cut out the dough to make the croissants (12cm across the base, 24cm high). After the final rest in the fridge, roll out the dough (on a lightly floured surface) to form a rectangle of 24cm x 50cm, 3mm thick. Trim all the sides to straighten them up and then using the template, cut the dough into long triangles.
Cutting out the triangles

Cutting out the triangles

  1. Once cut, place the base of the triangle so it is closest to you (with the smoothest side down). Use a knife to make a slight cut in the middle of the triangle base, about 1cm deep, and then gently pull the ends to stretch the base across slightly. Then gently roll from the base to the tip to form the traditional croissant shape. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough.
1cm cut in base

1cm cut in base

Rolling the croissant - I may have done it a little bit too tight

Rolling the croissant – I may have done it a little bit too tight

  1. I used the scraps from cutting to make smaller croissants by trimming them to form smaller triangles as well as a few scrolls, and these turned out really well.
  1. Once you have formed all the croissants, place the baking trays in a warm and slightly humid place (I covered mine with cling wrap) and leave until they have approximately doubled in size (about 40 minutes, although it will depend on the temperature – mine didn’t rise much however it was a cold day).

IMG_3531

  1. Part way through the rising time, preheat the oven to 150C fan forced (170C). When they have risen, brush the croissants lightly with egg wash and then bake for 12 – 16 minutes (I found the larger ones needed a few minutes longer than the original recipe states).
  1. Serve warm with whatever topping or filling you like.

Croissants

Adapted from – GABO Breakfast Croissants