France – Easy homemade Croissants
Week 1 of our foreign cuisine project – France with their traditional dish of croissants.
Our project consists of studying one country a week and choosing a traditional dish and cooking/baking it. So our first country was France and we chose to bake croissants!
So croissants?! You’re probably reading this thinking ‘what?! With a 5 year old?!’. The answer is ‘yes’. We usually do all of our baking together so that if there’s a tricky bit Mummy can do it, phew!
Well the day came and we began to get everything sorted. We knew it would take all day due to chilling and proofing etc so had other fun things and activities about France planned in between.
Let me just start by saying it was actually easier than i thought.
You will find the recipe below but please read my advice here as well.Jump to Recipe
First things first, we decided to alter the complex ‘encasing of a butter square in the dough’ bit. I didn’t think Eve would appreciate the measuring and precise rolling of the butter and dough. Definitely a good call, as the croissants were delicious with this altered method. We simply just sliced the cold butter into thin slivers and mixing it right in with the dough. After it’s been chilled and folded, you’ll still have all the flaky layers you need for croissants.
Start by mixing the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a bowl. Then toss in the thin slices of cold butter. Make sure every piece of butter is coated in the flour mixture, then stir in the milk. If you need more milk don’t be afraid to add some in. Fold everything together until the dough forms a ball then wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Once it is chilled take it out of the clingfilm and roll it into a rectangle shape (it doesn’t need to be perfect at all). Then fold the dough like a letter, turn it round so the joins are facing you and then repeat the rolling and folding process. We did this 6 times as we still had some chunks of butter. But anywhere between 4 and 6 times rolling and folding is fine. Now wrap it up again in clingfilm and chill again for another hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. Roll one half into a rectangle, approx 10″ by 20″. Then carefully put a cut every 5″ down the length of the rectangle and then cut all the way across giving you 4 smaller rectangles. Now take each of these rectangles and cut it diagonally to give you 2 triangles. Cut a 1/2 inch notch in the middle of the wide end of the triangle and then you can start rolling. Make sure you roll from the wide end to the point and ensure the pint is under the croissant. You can try and pinch the 2 ends together to get that more rounded shape but don’t worry if you don’t want to or they come apart while proofing or in the oven, they will taste delicious anyway. Repeat all of the about with the other half of the dough.
Once rolled and shaped, place the croissants onto a parchment lined baking tray and cover loosely with clingfilm. Then place in a dark cupboard or similar for 2 hours to proof. Remove the clingfilm and place in a preheated over (approx 190 degrees) and cook for 15 minutes, or until the croissants are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and enjoy! You can eat croissants both warm and cold. You can enjoy them with both sweet and savoury toppings or simply as they are.
I hope this recipe has encouraged you to give croissants a try. If me and Eve can make them, then so can you. Share your results with us and let us know how you got on.
Easy Homemade Croissant Recipe
- 480 grams All purpose flour
- 40 grams Granulated sugar
- 4 tsp Active dried yeast
- 2 1/4 tsp Coarse salt
- 150 grams Unsalted butter
- 250 ml Milk
- Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix together until combined.
- Slice the butter into thin slithers and toss into the flour mixture to coat.
- Add the milk and stir to form a dough.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a long rectangle.
- Fold the dough into thirds like a letter and then turn 90 degrees and repeat the process. Do this another 4 to 6 more times until the dough has large streaks of butter in it but is also smooth and flat.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 1 more hour. Then divide the dough in half and roll each portion out into a long rectangle shape approximately 10 inches wide by 20 inches long.
- Cut the dough into long triangles of 5 inches at the wide end.
- Make a cut approximately 1/2 inch long at the wide end of the triangle then roll your dough from the wide end to the point. Make sure you tuck the point under the croissant and pinch the 2 ends together.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with clingfilm. Proof the croissants for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.