In this weeks addition of “Around the World in 26 Breakfasts” we are heading to France, and the creation of the delicious all butter croissant.
I have it on good authority that in France breakfasts are usually very light and quick, yet still very delicious. Traditionally the French would enjoy a pastry, such as either an all butter croissant or a sweet brioche, along with a coffee, usually a Café au lait before beginning their day, with more emphasis put on lunch and dinner. That is not to say though that the croissant is easy or even humble, no no, it is a very delicate thing to master and extremely decadent to enjoy. 🙂
I found this recipe on the YouTube Channel of Sorted Food, I have linked the recipe from their website in their name there on the left, and I will include a link to the original video at the bottom of this article. It was an incredibly helpful and easy step by step guide to follow, although they most certainly made certain things look a lot simpler than they actually are. 😀
You will need:
- mixing bowls (medium to large)
- a scale
- measuring cups
- a glass
- a teaspoon
- a rolling pin
- baking paper (paper or silicone)
- cookie skeet/baking tray (not pictured)
- wooden spoon or spatula
- pizza cutter (it’s easiest, trust me)
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 250 ml whole milk
- 30 g melted butter
- 230 g cold salted butter
- 25 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 60 ml warm water
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 350 g plain flour
Place your yeast in a glass with 60ml warm water, and add a pinch of sugar. Stir and set aside.
Measure and melt your small portion of butter:
Now add your flour, remaining sugar, melted butter, milk and yeast into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until you have a (lump free) sticky dough.
Place your sticky dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to rise and while that’s setting, get on to preparing the rest of your butter. For this, you are going to want to place your stick of butter (room temperature) on a generous amount of wax/baking paper and then squish, squash and beat it until it’s an evenly shaped rectangle of butter, approximately 1 cm thick. (This is one of those steps that the video made look SIGNIFICANTLY easier; it took me almost 10 minutes and I had to do it on the floor…
It was not pretty… trying to get it into the right shape without having one end too fat or too thin and not having it triangular either, was actually quite tricky, but after a few experiments and some good use the wax paper as a guide, I got there in the end: a perfect slab of butter.
The slab of butter then also goes into the fridge to chill until your dough is done its full 30 minutes. Once the dough is ready, flour your baking surface and roll out your sticky dough into a large rectangle, of about 2 cm thick. You want it to be large enough to fit the slab of butter in the middle and have generous amounts of dough on either end to fold over the butter.
This is how Croissants get their layers. The yeast rises, but the individual buttery layers are created by the butter in the middle. Now, of course a single layer of butter won’t do, so we need to fold this several times; this process is called laminating.
You gently fold your dough into thirds, roll it out again, and repeat the process.
So at this point you will have folded the first rectangle into thirds, rolled it out again (carefully to maintain the shape), folded that into thirds, turned it 90 degreed and repeat again. (Math: you folded it into thirds three times.) I know this sounds confusing, but that’s why I’ll link the sorted video right here; because they showed it best: SORTED Croissants
It should look a little something like this when you’re done (the first time):
You then flour yourself a tray and pop your folded dough on there and into the fridge for 45 minutes. Once the time is up you repeat the laminating. You take it out of the fridge, roll it out, fold it thrice and do that 2 more times and pop it back into the fridge for another 45 minutes, before you repeat that process one last time. Meaning you will have laminated your dough 3 times in total. As you can imagine, this has now created countless layers of butter within that dough, which is why it is so important to fold and not “squish”.
From here you let your dough rise overnight.
First fold causes 3 layers of butter, then you fold again making 9, folding again making 27 layers of butter by the end of the first lamination. In your second lamination you are folding 27 layers of butter on top of each other 3 times (81 layers), before repeating the process a second time bringing your folds to 243. Your third and final lamination will as such first bring you to 729 and then finally 2,187 layers of butter. All of a sudden this makes sense:
The next day, you take your dough which should now look something like this:
Flour your surface and roll your dough out nice and evenly, until it’s about as thick as a one pound coin. From there, use your pizza cutter to trim the edges so that you have a nice and even square shape.
Then, cut the dough into long triangles, stretch the bottom corners out a little bit and cut out a tiny triangle at the bottom to avoid it getting too doughy. You immediately start to roll the triangle from the bottom to the top, holding on to the tip so that the dough is tight not loose. The finishing touch is to tuck the tip to the bottom of your roll and slightly bend the whole roll into a crescent shape… a croissant.
My lovely hubby helped me out with this part. 😀
Derek and I can’t stand wasting the left over dough, so we very gently laid it all next to each other, laminated them over and over again until they regained one smooth dough shape (to save the layers) and then we turned them into two, yummy, pain au chocolat.
Finally, you get all of this yumminess on a tray, add some egg wash and get it into your preheated oven, baking at 220°C for 15 minutes.
(Make sure to use the proper oven setting, otherwise they might get a bit doughy.)
Pull your croissants out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or cold, with a dollop of any jam that you like!
Voilà! You have French Croissants! 😀
There is no child proof recipe variation needed here, since it is easy and delicious for the entire family. 😀
Now, I did not have an opportunity to make a lovely café au lait to go with this, however I do want to show you the lovely massive French cups of coffee that you could expect to see with breakfast in France, since they are traditionally as large as bowls and beautifully presented.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy French Croissants? Please share down in the comments! Don’t forget to check out Sorted Food for more amazing recipes right along with the original of this one; they even have an app that you can get for your Apple device. 😀
As always, thanks for reading and take care. xoxo