by Heather Harris Brady
I’ve attempted croissants a few other times and I’ve always been disappointed. But I decided to give them another go, thanks to the beautiful cookbook I got for Christmas – The Art of French Pastry. Apparently a large part of the problem is that I had been using American butter, which has a higher water content compared to European butter.
You can use Plugra but I found that Kerrygold also works. (This isn’t a sponsored post, I just happened to buy it because it was on sale – probably for St. Patrick’s Day.)
This is a two-day project – good for a cool weekend, so if you start tomorrow you can have fresh croissants for Sunday brunch. To save room I’m not giving you instructions for the poolish temperatures, because most yeast is flexible and most houses are warm enough these days that rising dough isn’t a problem.
Kerrygold Croissants, Makes about 10 large croissants
- 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. minus 1 t. water, lukewarm
- 1-3/4 t. dry yeast
- 1-3/4 c. plus 1 T. bread flour
- 2-1/2 T. granulated sugar
- Scant 1/4 c. water
- 2 medium eggs, well beaten
- 1 t. sea salt
- 1 oz. European style butter (82% fat)
- 5-3/10 oz. European style butter (82% fat) – set aside
Make the poolish. Combine the yeast and and the water in a dish. Cover with the flour and let stand until you see cracks in surface.
Combine the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and put on the dough hook. Stir for a minute or so on medium, make sure all the dry flour from the bottom gets picked up.
Then mix for another 45 seconds.
Set the dough in a cool-lish place to rise.
Let the dough double in bulk.
Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Take 5-1/3 oz. of butter, cool but pliable and position it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the wrap over the top.
Roll the butter out to a 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Chill it for 20 minutes.
Roll the chilled dough out to a 10″ x 20″ rectangle. Position the butter on the left side. Fold the right side of the dough over to completely cover the butter.
Roll 1: Roll the dough back out to a 8″ x 20″ rectangle. Work quickly, and make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the counter.
Fold 1: Fold the right side to the middle and then fold the left over, like so. Brush off the extra flour.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put the book into the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Repeat roll 1 and fold 1.
Take the chilled dough book out of the refrigerator. Repeat roll 1 and fold 1 for the last time.
Roll it out into a rectangle about 10″ x 20″.
See the layers of butter and dough?
Cut the dough into 10 V shapes, give them a tug to stretch them out, and roll them up starting with the wide end.
Let rise for 90 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. You can add an egg wash if you like, but I think it seals the flakiness down a bit.
Preheat the oven to 375 and bake until brown.
These are best fresh, but will keep several days at room temperature if covered.