Although I regularly make different types of bread, as well as buns and rolls, croissants are something I had only made once and quite honestly they weren’t anything to write home about! I think because of that I had begun to get a mental block and to think I couldn’t make them. It’s not something you can do in a hurry, as the folding, rolling out, refrigerating and rising needs to be done slowly and carefully. However, current conditions mean this a good opportunity to master a new skill, so I had another go.
With no expertise in this area, I faithfully followed the recipe exactly. So thanks to Ruby Tandoh and her recipe book Crumb – The Baking Book, I made some very edible croissants.
Method for making Croissants
350g strong white flour
150g plain flour
7g instant dried yeast
1 teasp salt
2 tabs caster sugar
300ml skimmed milk
200g block of unsalted butter
Rub the butter into both flours mixed together. Stir in the yeast, salt and sugar. Pour in the milk and bring together with your hands. Don’t knead it. Cover and leave to rise for 30mins, then push down if it has risen. Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Sprinkle the block of butter with a good dose of flour, then put it between 2 sheets of baking parchment and pound it with a rolling pin, then roll it into a square about 25cm by 25cm. Put in the fridge.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a rectangle about 50cm by 30cm. Lay the sheet of butter over half of it and fold over to completely cover the butter. Smooth out to get rid of any air bubbles. Then seal the edges with your fingers or the rolling pin. Wrap up well and leave in fridge for 30 mins.
Gently roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, twice as long as it is wide. It should be rolled to a thickness approximately 1cm. Try to avoid the butter squeezing out the sides or forcing it through the dough. Fold into thirds. Wrap up and refrigerate for 30 mins. This is the first turn of the dough.
Give the dough at least 2 more turns. It does get harder to roll out each time.
After the third turn and chill, it is ready to be rolled and shaped. It should be smooth and taut. It is now time to shape into croissants.
Would I make Croissants again?
Yes! I have never been a big fan of croissants, as I have often found them a bit soggy and oily, but these were flakey, crispy, buttery and simply delicious – especially with home-made jostaberry jam. I think I have now conquered my fear of croissants and when I have time, I will definitely make them again.