To be fair, absolutely no fast croissants. This process requires a lot of time and even more butter (also quite a lot of counter space), but this recipe as fast as they come.
The dough has some rest time that can stretch longer if necessary allow you to start stopping at your own pace! The dough is basically a shortcrust technique that is borrowed, cutting large pieces of cold butter into flour and skip the laminating process that intimidates, i.e., fold without stopping around the width butter plate. When cutting butter into flour, you want to keep the pieces big and flat. Not the size of the size of you do for crust pie. Rise up big butter, the more your croissants.
Stepping into the bakery is still faster, but the bite is smooth, the flakes make everything worth it. While your croissants relax make homemade jam batches to go together!
500 g plain flour, plus more for surface
70 g granulated sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 x 0.25-oz. packages instant yeast
335 g butter, cut into large pieces, cold
180 ml cold milk, plus more as needed
170 g chopped chocolate, for chocolate croissants
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast and whisk again.
- Add cold butter to dry ingredients and toss to coat well. Use your hands to cut butter into flour, making sure to toss and keep all butter coated in flour as you go. Butter should remain large and none should be smaller than a walnut halve.
- Add cold milk and stir with your hands until a dough starts to form. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just barely holds together when squeezed. (It’s better for the dough to be too dry rather than too wet.) Dump dough onto counter and fold it over itself a couple of times to bring it together and make sure there are no large dry spots, then pat into a large square and cover with cling film. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Dust counter with flour and roll dough into a rectangle roughly 40cm x 30cm. With the longer end parallel to counter edge, fold the right side into the middle, then fold the left side over. Dough should be folded into thirds much like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the seem faces you.
- Roll the dough out into a 40cm x 30cm rectangle again and repeat the same folds. Wrap back in cling film and refrigerate 30 minutes. Then roll dough out into 40cm x 30cm rectangle once more and repeat the same folds. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before beginning to shape. Dust counter with more flour and roll dough out into a 50cm x 35cm rectangle. If dough stretches back or doesn’t seem to be rolling easily, let it rest for a few minutes then continue rolling. (You may need to let the dough rest a couple times during this process). After dough reaches the desired length, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting, to prevent the croissants from shrinking too much.
- With the long end of your dough parallel to counter, cut dough in half lengthwise so that you have 2 pieces that are 50cm x 18cm.
- For traditional croissants, cut into triangles that are 12cm wide at the base. To do this place your ruler at the base of the croissant and with your knife or bench scraper at will be the point angle it down toward the 12cm mark on the ruler. Alternate making the base of the triangle at the bottom or top of the strip of dough.
- In the centre of the base of each triangle cut a 2.5cm deep slit and fan apart to create an exaggerated “V” in the cut. (This helps give the croissant a longer, better shape.) Gently tug and stretch the point of the triangle out a little. Starting at the base, loosely roll toward the tip, making sure the tip ends up completely under the croissant. This will help ensure the croissant holds its shape and rises tall during baking.
- For chocolate croissants, cut into 10cm wide rectangles. Place some chocolate about 3cm up from the bottom of the rectangle, then fold the dough over chocolate once. Place more chocolate right at the fold, then continue to roll croissant until seem is underneath.
- Place croissants on two large parchment lined baking trays. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise in a warm spot for 3 to 4 hours. Croissants may not double in size, but will look puffy. Dough should spring back slowly when poked with a finger.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (200ºC fan). Brush tops of croissants with egg wash and bake for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C (160ºC fan) and rotate baking trays. Continue baking 14 to 17 more minutes, or until croissants are deeply golden and puffed.
- Let cool 10 minutes before eating.