Recipe is almost completely based on this one by Anna Olson.
For schedule (say you want to eat them for Sunday breakfast), the easiest is to make the détrempe batter on the evening of day 1 (Friday), mix in the butter and do the 3 folds on day 2 (Saturday), and get up early on day 3 (Sunday) to shape the croissants and proof them. You can make the détrempe Saturday morning, and in principle, you could even do the croissant Saturday evening.
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk (mix with water so that the combination is room temperature)
- 5 Tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 instant dry yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 30g butter (2 tbsp)
Mix flour, yeast, sugar in the stand mixer, then mix in the salt. Add liquid, while stand mixer is on slow. Add butter. Knead on slow for about 4 min (not enough to make a lot of gluten).
Roll the dough into a rectangle, and cover with a tea towel and loose sheet of plastic. Let sit a room temperature for 90min, then refrigerate over night (or for at least 1 hour).
- 285g butter (room temperature)
Line a 8″ square pan with plastic, and use plastic to flatten out room temperature butter into a square. Refrigerate until it has the same consistency as the détrempe dough. If making ahead and refrigerating, then take out of the fridge about 45min before the détrempe.
Mixing butter and the three folds:
Roll the dough out into a square with a side about 1.5 times the side of the butter square. Rotate the butter square 90 degrees relative to the dough, and place it on the dough. Fold the 3 corners of the dough over the butter (see the video!).
Roll out the dough into an elongated rectangle, being careful to push outwards from the middle to squeeze the butter layer out uniformly. The fold the layer over itself (envelope fold), cover with towel and plastic and refrigerate. Wait at least one hour before the next fold
Do the second fold perpendicular to the first one, cover with towel and plastic and refrigerate. Wait at least one hour.
Do the third and final fold perpendicular to the second one, cover with towel and plastic and refrigerate. Wait at least one hour. Ideally, this last fold is done in the evening, so that the dough stays in the fridge over night.
Shape the croissants , proof and bake!
The above quantity will make 24 croissants. Divide the dough into 2, and replace half in the fridge.
Roll the dough out into rectangle so that it is about 5mm thick. This should make a rectangle about 16″x12″. Divide the rectangle into 2 lengthwise and make croissants (see video! do make the notch!). Brush egg wash on the croissants (1 egg + 2 Tbsp water), and reserve egg wash in fridge.
When you trim the edges to make the croissants, use the trimmings! For example, brush them with melted butter and then with brown sugar + cinnamon and roll them up! Or brush them with jam and roll them up!
Let the croissants proof, with some distance between them, in a warm environment for 2 hours.
Brush egg wash on again and bake at 375F for 15min (when they are a nice dark golden rod). There might be puddles of melted butter around the croissants…
If croissants are to be frozen instead, then freeze them after shaping (before first egg wash). Freeze them on a tray, then place them in a bag. Thaw + proof by leaving them at room temperature over night.