Croissants | Fill em’ up

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

These pastries are a labor of love.  They are worth every single solitary second of effort and will hands down be one of the best, if not the best croissants you will ever eat!! {unless you live in France…}  They are light, chewy, buttery, salty, crunchy, and melt in your mouth.

The next best part? It doesn’t end here – we made some fun variations! Layering them up with meat & cheese, jam & chocolate, chocolate, almonds, etc.  Every single version, DELICIOUS!

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

Just a heads up though this is a long process of preparing, chilling, preparing, chilling, time to rise, and the oh so rewarding finale of baking.  Your house is gonna smell like a butter factory on fire. Which basically means awesome. Do it! Do it for house guests. Do it for your partner. Do it for yourself and I promise you will love it!

See all those layers of deliciousness? Seriously.
See all those layers of deliciousness? Seriously.

According to America’s Test Kitchen this recipe makes 22 croissants. Twelve croissants are baked first; the remaining 10 can be frozen. The croissants take at least 10 hours to make from start to finish, but the process can be spread over two days. We strongly encourage using high-protein all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur, and European-style butter (we like Plugrá). If the dough retracts or softens at any point, fold it into thirds, wrap it in plastic, and freeze it for 15 minutes. Do not make these in a room that is warmer than 80 degrees.

CROISSANTS

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • plus 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted European-style-butter, very cold
    {I use Kerry Gold**}
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 4-1/4 cups (21-1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
    For the egg wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Directions

{For step-by-step directions with pictures go here: Home Cooking in Montana OR ATK Blog!}

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and immediately stir in milk (temperature should be lower than 90 degrees). Whisk in yeast; transfer milk mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Add flour, sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt. Using dough hook, knead on low speed until cohesive dough forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for 1 minute.

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approvedHomemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature 30 minutes. {or… I just use the artisan dough setting on my bread machine… true story!!!}

Transfer dough to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet and shape into 10 by 7-inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Butter Block
While dough chills, fold 24-inch length of parchment in half to create 12-inch rectangle. Fold over 3 open sides of rectangle to form 8-inch square with enclosed sides. Crease folds firmly. Place 24 tablespoons cold butter directly on counter and beat with rolling pin for about 60 seconds until butter is just pliable but not warm, then fold butter in on itself using bench scraper. Beat into rough 6-inch square. Unfold parchment envelope. Using bench scraper, transfer butter to center of parchment, refolding at creases to enclose.

Turn packet over so that flaps are underneath and gently roll until butter fills parchment square, taking care to achieve even thickness. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes.

Laminate

Transfer dough to freezer. After 30 minutes, transfer to lightly floured counter and roll into 17 by 8-inch rectangle with long side parallel to edge of counter. Unwrap butter and place in center of dough. Fold sides of dough over butter so they meet in center. Press seam together with fingertips. With rolling pin, press firmly on each open end of packet. Roll out lengthwise into 24 by 8-inch rectangle. Starting at bottom of dough, fold into thirds like business letter into 8-inch square.

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

Turn dough 90 degrees counterclockwise. Roll out lengthwise again into 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Place dough on sheet, wrap tightly with plastic, and return to freezer for 30 minutes.

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter so that top flap opens on right. Roll out dough lengthwise into 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Place dough on sheet, wrap tightly with plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Shape
Transfer dough to freezer. After 30 minutes, transfer to lightly floured counter and roll into 18 by 16-inch rectangle with long side of rectangle parallel to edge of counter. Fold upper half of dough over lower half. Using ruler, mark dough at 3-inch intervals along bottom edge with bench scraper (you should have 5 marks). Move ruler to top edge of dough, measure in 1 ½ inches from left, then use this mark to measure out 3-inch intervals (you should have 6 marks). Starting at lower left corner, use sharp pizza wheel or knife to cut dough from mark to mark. You will have 12 triangles and 5 diamonds; discard scraps. Unfold diamonds and cut into 10 triangles (making 22 equal-size triangles in total).

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

Position 1 triangle on counter. (Keep remaining triangles covered with plastic.) Cut 1/2-inch slit in center of short side of triangle. Grasp triangle by 2 corners on either side of slit and stretch gently, then stretch bottom point. Place triangle on counter so point is facing you. Fold down both sides of slit. Roll top of triangle partway toward point. Gently grasp point with 1 hand and stretch again. Resume rolling, tucking point underneath. Curve ends gently toward each other to create crescent. Repeat with remaining triangles.
Place 12 croissants on 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets at least 2 ½ inches apart. Lightly wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 2 ½ to 3 hours. (Shaped croissants can be refrigerated for up to 18 hours. Remove from refrigerator to rise and add at least 30 minutes to rising time.)

TO BAKE: After croissants have been rising for 2 hours, adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, whisk together egg, water, and pinch salt. Brush croissants with egg wash. Place croissants in oven and reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then switch and rotate baking sheets. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack and cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Homemade Croissants | ATK Recipe & Method, Apronclad.com approved

To Make Ahead
After shaping, place 10 croissants 1 inch apart on parchment-lined sheet. Wrap with plastic and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake frozen croissants as directed from step 8, increasing rising time by to 2 hours.

VARIATIONS: Follow above through to shaping stage and when ready to roll then…

Pizza Croissant – layer on cheese and desired toppings like so: 

Pizza Croissants with House Marinara Dip | Think Buttery fluffy calzones or fantastic... think fantastic. Pizza Croissants with House Marinara Dip | Think Buttery fluffy calzones or fantastic... think fantastic.

After egg washing sprinkle with parmesan cheese – bake!

Pizza Croissants with House Marinara Dip | Think Buttery fluffy calzones or fantastic... think fantastic.
Serve with House Marinara Dip: 1 (9 ounce) container of crushed tomatoes; 1/2 Tablespoon herbs de provence; 1 tsp red wine vinegar; 1/4 tsp oregano; 1/4 tsp red chili flakes and 1/4 tsp salt – Combine all and Microwave for 1 minute before serving.

Dessert: layer on sugar/almonds; apricot jam & white chocolate chips; dark chocolate squares; etc.

Dessert Croissants | ATK Croissant dough gets  some sweet fillings for the perfect morning or dessert pastry Dessert Croissants | ATK Croissant dough gets  some sweet fillings for the perfect morning or dessert pastry

Continue to rising stage. Egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar crystals. Bake; Cool; Enjoy!!!

Waffle Iron Version:

Ultimate Wafflewich | Croissant dough + Your favorite sandwich fixins Ultimate Wafflewich | Croissant dough + Your favorite sandwich fixins

Cut dough into double sized squares the size of your waffle iron; layer with your desired toppings and sauces; egg wash; waffle iron – be prepared the buttery mess that comes out is overwhelming… 🙂  Serve these warm, outrageous, cheesy, luscious waffles. Swoon, eat, repeat!

Every single version was the bees knees.  But, it is hard to go wrong with America’s Test Kitchen recipes, croissants, and well anything with this generous amount of butter!

** Side Note – I’ve made these over half a dozen times – KERRY GOLD SALTED BUTTER MAKES THE VERY BEST VERSION! They recommend Plugra, which don’t get me wrong… quite delicious and fabulous, really.  However, if you use Kerry Gold it is other worldly good. Just my thoughts and preferences.

My house smells like a bakery/pizzeria,

Apronclad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: