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Before starting this Croissants recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Tip the flour in the stand mixer recipient.
Add the yeast on one side of the bowl.
On the other side, add the salt...
... and castor sugar.
The sugar and salt should not come into direct contact with the yeast, as it would lose its rising properties.
Add the warm milk (30°C) and the butter at room temperature.
Knead the ingredients with the dough hook...
... for about 10 minutes at medium speed.
Important: If you're using a home mixer such as Kitchenaid, stay close to the mixer while kneading dough, in case it moves around on your kitchen worktop. You won't have this problem if you're using a professional mixer.
Stop the mixer and lift the motor unit.
Remove the dough stuck on the hook.
Divide the dough into two balls weighing 900 grams each.
Place the dough balls into two separate bowls...
... then cover the surface of the dough with cling film.
Let prove at 25/30°C for 45 minutes. I did this operation in a warm oven. I recommend using a digital thermometer with probe to monitor the temperature inside the oven.
When the dough has risen, remove the cling film.
Knock the dough back with your hand.
Using your hands, spread each dough ball into a rectangle...
... and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with cling film.
Wrap it in cling film...
... and store in the freezer for 45 minutes.
After 20 minutes, flip the dough rectangle and freeze for a further 25 minutes.
Folding the dough: Take the dough out of the freezer. The dough should now be firm.
Remove the cling film...
... and roll out the dough lengthwise.
Soften the dry butter with the rolling pin.
Give the dough a quarter-turn...
... and arrange the butter in the centre of the strip of dough. The width of the exposed dough parts should equal the width of the butter piece in the centre.
Fold both sides over the butter. Start with the left side (it should cover half of the butter).
Fold the right side over. Both edges should meet in the centre.
Fold the dough rectangle in half, lengthwise.
The first part of the folding operation is now done.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take the dough of the fridge and remove the cling film. Place the dough on a floured surface.
Roll out the dough lengthwise...
... to create a long strip.
Give the dough a quarter-turn (anticlockwise). Fold the dough into thirds, starting with the right side, then the left side.
Wrap the dough rectangle with cling film...
... and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the croissant shapes: Place the dough on a floured surface.
Roll it out to a large rectangle, to a thickness of 4mm.
Ideally, the dimensions of the dough should be 40 x 56cm.
Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise.
Open it back; the centre should be clearly marked.
Dive the dough into two equal portions, using a ruler and a knife.
Cut triangle shapes to make the croissants. The use of a dough cutter will facilitate this operation. The triangle shapes should have a base of 12cm and a length of 25cm.
Use the dough cutter to measure the base of each triangle.
Mark the sides of each triangle with the knife.
Repeat the operation for all triangles, using the 12cm base of the dough cutter as a guide.
Mark the triangle shapes on all the dough strips.
When all the triangles have been drawn...
... cut the shapes with a sharp knife...
... working in a vertical motion. Slide the knife blade to cut the dough to ensure you do not damage the laminated layers.
Stretch one triangle to make it 2 or 3cm longer.
Using the dough cutter, cut a small notch (2cm)...
... in the centre of the base.
Roll the croissant from the base to the tip...
... using your thumbs...
... and rolling it towards yourself.
Repeat the operation with all the triangles and arrange them on a non-stick baking sheet.
Glaze the croissants with a beaten egg yolk.
Up to this stage, this recipe can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer for several weeks. Whenever you would like to enjoy fresh croissants, simply take them out of the freezer and follow the method below, bearing in mind that the proofing time, shown in step 63, will take longer (about 3 hours).
Leave to prove at a temperature that doesn't exceed 25°C (to prevent the butter from melting), for about 2 hours.
If you prepared your croissants in advance, I recommend taking them out of the freezer at night, then transfer them on a baking sheet and leave them to rise at room temperature overnight. Simply glaze and bake your croissants in the morning to enjoy them hot for breakfast!
When the croissants have risen...
... brush them again with egg wash.
Bake at 170°C (gas 3) for 20 minutes in a fan-assisted oven.
When cooked, remove the croissants from the oven and leave to cool before serving.
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