Patrick cooks

Croissants

Croissants
Preparation time:
6 hours (+ overnight proving)  
Cooking time:
18 minutes
Serves:
7

With a beautifully flakey shell and a soft centre, Patrick’s croissants are the perfect weekend treat to share with family and friends. A labour of love, these homemade pastries are delicious slathered with jam or chocolate spread.

  • Croissants

    Ingredients

    For the croissants:
    • 500g strong white flour
    • 50g sugar
    • 10g sea salt
    • 125g milk
    • 125g water
    • 15g fresh yeast
    • 50g butter diced
    For the lamination:
    • 250g butter
  • Method

    • The dough must be made the day before you intend to make the croissants, as it must be chilled overnight in the fridge.

    Day one

    Preparing the dough:
    • In the bowl of a mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, milk, water and fresh yeast and knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes. This is a stiff dough, so don't be concerned if the dough feels firm. Add the diced butter and knead for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

    • Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and leave to prove in the fridge overnight.

    Day two

    For the lamination:
    • Prepare the butter sheet. Using a rolling pin, flatten out the butter between two sheets of parchment paper to form a sheet approximately 16 x 24cm. For lamination, the butter needs to be around 15c. If the butter is too cold, it'll crack when rolled out, and if it's too warm, it'll start to melt. Getting the consistency of the butter right is important. The butter needs to be pliable and should hold an indentation when pressed with your finger.

    • The dough, on the other hand, needs to be as cold as possible, at least 4c.

    • Take the chilled dough from the fridge and roll the dough out into a rectangle the same width as the butter sheet but twice the length, 32cm x 24cm. Try not to use any flour on the dough at this stage, as it'll prevent the dough and the butter sheet from sealing together.

    • Place the prepared butter sheet into the centre of the rolled-out dough. Fold the excess dough on either side over the butter and pinch them together to seal in the butter. All the butter must be enclosed within the dough.

    • Use the rolling pin to press the dough and butter together gently. Before rolling out the dough, using a sharp knife, make a slight incision down the side of the dough. This will help to release the pressure within the dough as you roll out.

    • Roll out the dough to approximately 20 cm x 70 cm using as little flour as possible. Before folding the dough, brush away any excess flour that coats the surface of the dough.

    • The dough now requires a double fold.

    • From one end of the dough, fold approximately 5 to 10 cm of the dough inward.

    • Then bring the other edge of the dough to meet the folded edge. Then, fold this entire folded dough in half again like a book. You have now created four layers of the dough.

    • Transfer the dough to a tray, wrap and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. Getting the dough and keeping it cold is so important to protect the layers of butter which have just been created. If the dough isn't chilled enough, be patient and give the dough more time.

    • Patrick uses freezer blocks placed on top of the dough as it cools in the fridge to assist in chilling the dough. This helps to chill the dough faster. If the dough isn't chilled fast enough, you may find that the centre of the dough begins to prove before it's been adequately cooled.

    • Once the dough has sufficiently rested and chilled, it's time for the second fold.

    • Keeping folded seem to the side, roll out the dough, this time to approximately 20 cm x 80cm.

    • Before folding the dough, brush away any excess flour that coats the surface of the dough. The dough again requires a double fold. Repeating the process from earlier

    • From one end of the dough, fold approximately 5 to 10 cm of the dough inward.

    • Then bring the other edge of the dough to meet the folded edge. Then, fold this entire folded dough in half again like a book.

    • Transfer the dough to a tray, wrap and chill this time for a minimum of 1 hour. Once again, Patrick uses freezer blocks to help chill the dough.

    • Once the dough has sufficiently rested and chilled, it's now time to roll out the dough and shaping.

    Shaping the dough:
    • This time with the folded seam facing you, roll out the dough to approximately 25cm; this is done to make the dough a little wider. Turn the dough 90 degrees so the folded seam is to the side, and roll out the dough to approximately 80 cm in length. (25cm x 80cm)

    • As you roll the dough this time, you may feel more resistance in the dough. If you find the dough shrinking back in any way, stop rolling the dough, cover it with parchment paper and leave the dough to rest. This allows the gluten to relax if you try to force the dough when rolling, you'll damage the laminated layers.

    • As the dough rests to prevent the dough from warming up once again, Patrick covers the surface of the dough in freezer blocks to keep the dough cold. Bags of frozen peas could also be used. The dough will need to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.

    • Keep rolling the dough until the desired length is achieved. Rest and chill the dough with freezer blocks as many times as required. It's important not to force the dough and keep it as cold as possible.

    • Once the desired length has been achieved, rest the dough before cutting. Simply cover the dough in parchment paper and place freezer blocks on top. Rest for 5 minutes. If you cut the dough straight away, it'll shrink as soon as it's cut. Resting the dough prevents this.

    • Once the dough has been rested, mark out on one side 10 cm spacings down the length of one side. Starting at 0cm, 10cm, 20cm, 30cm and so on. On the opposite side, mark out initially a 5cm space to be followed by 10 cm spacings—Mark at 5cm, 15cm, 25cm, 35cm etc.

    • To cut the croissants, starting on the marked first side, make a diagonal cut across the dough until it meets the 5cm mark on the opposite side, then cut back from the 5cm mark to the 10cm mark on the opposite side and so on. This will create a series of cut triangles. You should've at least 12.

    • To roll the croissants, have the pointed end pointing away from you. Lightly stretch out the dough and roll it from the base of the triangle towards the tip. Don't roll the dough too tightly, as this may cause the dough to tear as it proves.

    • Arrange on trays lined with parchment and allow to prove for 3 hours. Croissants are ready to bake when they have more than doubled in size and jiggle when you gently move the tray.

    To cook the croissants:
    • Preheat the oven to 200c. Before baking, egg wash the croissants. A great way to do this is using a spray bottle, as it provides an even coating without touching the proven croissants.

    • Place the croissants into the oven, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees, and bake for 13 minutes. After 13 minutes, rotate the trays and bake for a further 5 minutes.

    • Once baked, transfer to a wire tray to cool.

Made with these products

More by Patrick Ryan