I love Croissants. I do not find Croissants in my area. So 3 days ago, I decided to make myself those fabulous pastries.

I put the dough 2 overnights in the fridge, It's why it's a long preparation. I said "oh no it's too long! It's the first and the last time that I made Croissants." My son of 14 years old told me : " mom, your croissants are delicious! Could you make croissants another time!" I said "yes". So I am sure finally to do again this recipe, because we love Croissants!!!!!!!  We just need patience for this lovely recipe:)

Croissants

  Recipe adapted from "The Best of Fine Cooking" Magazine # 60.

Serving : 15 croissants

For the dough

  • 4 cups (1 lb.2oz) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs (5 oz) cold water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs (5 oz) cold whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs (2 oz) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs. plus scant 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
For the butter layer
  • 1/4 cups (10 oz) cold unsalted butter
For the egg wash
  • 1 large egg
Make the dough
Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once if necessary. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured 10-inch pie pan or a dinner plate. Lightly flour the top of the dough and wrap well with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out. Refrigerate overnight.
 
Make the butter layer
The next day, cut the cold butter lenghtwise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Arrange the pieces on a sheet of waxed paper to form a 5- to 6-inch square. Top with another sheet of waxed paper. With a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to adhere, use more force. Pound the butter until it's about 71/2 inches square and then trim the edges of the butter. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Refregirate while you roll out the dough.
 
Laminate the dough
Unwrap the dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 101/2-inch square and brush off any excess flour. Take the butter out of the refrigerator - it should be pliable but cold. If not, refrigerate a bit longer. Unwrap it and place it on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough. Fold one flap of the dough over the butter, stretching it slightly so that the point just reaches the center of the butter. Repeat with the other flaps. Then press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough.
 
Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, firmly press the dough to elongate it slightly and then begin rolling instead of pressing, focusing on lengthening rather than widening the dough and keeping the edges straight. Roll the dough until it's 8x24 inches. If the ends lose their square shape, gently reshape the corners with your hands. Brush any flour off the dough. Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it back over the dough, leaving one-third of the dough exposed at the other end. Brush the flour off and then fold the exposed dough over the folded size. Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
 
Repeat the rolling and folding,this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends until the dough is about 8x24 inches. Fold the dough in thirds again, brushing off excess flour and turning under any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover and freeze for another 20 minutes. Give the dough a third rolling and folding. Put the dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic wrap under all 4 sides. Refrigerate overnight.
 
Divide the dough
The next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, "wake the dough up" by pressing firmly along its lenght. Roll the dough into a long and narrow strip, 8 inches by about 44 inches. If the dough sticks as you roll, sprinkle with flour. Once the dough is about half to two-thirds of its final length, it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back. If this happens, fold the dough in thirds, cover, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes; then unfold the dough and finish rolling. Lift the dough an inch or so off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both sides - this helps prevent the dough from shrinking when it's cut. Check that there's enough excess dough on either end to allow you to trim the ends so they're straight and the strip of dough is 40 inches long. Trim the edges of the dough.
 
Lay a yardstick or tape measure lenghtwise along the top of the dough. With a knife, mark the top of the dough at 5-inch intervals along the length (there will be 7 marks in all). Position the yardstick along the bottom of the dough. Make a mark 21/2 inches in from the end of the dough. Make marks at 5-inch intervals fom the point all along the bottom of the dough. You'll have 8 marks that fall halfway between the marks at the top. Make diagonal cuts by positionning the yardstick (or a ruler) at the top corner and the first bottom mark. With a knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough along this line. Move the yardstick to the next set of marks and cut. Repeat until you have cut the dough diagonally at the same angle along its entire length-you'll have made 8 cuts. Now change the angle of the yardstick to connect the other top corner and bottom mark and cut the dough along this line to make triangles. Repeat until you end up with 15 triangles and a small scrap of dough at each end.
 
Shape the croissants 
Using a paring knife or a bench knife, make a 1/2-to 3/4-inch-long notch in the center of the short side of each triangle. The notch helps the rolled croissant curl into a crescent.
 
Hold a dough triangle so that the short notched side is on top and gently elongate to about 10 inches without squeezing or compressing the dough-this step results in more layers and loft. Lay the croissant on the work surface with the notched side closest to you. With one hand on each side of the notch, begin to roll the dough away from you, towards the pointed end. Flare your hands outward as you roll so that the "legs" become longer. Press down on the dough with enough force to make the layers stick together, but avoid to excess compression. Roll the dough all the way down its length until the pointed end of the triangle is directly underneath the croissant. Now bend the two legs towards you to form a tight crescent shape and gently press the tips of the legs together. Shape the remaining croissants in the same manner, arranging them on 2 large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Keep as much space as possible between them, as they will rise during the final proofing and again when baked.
 
Proof the croissants
Make the egg wash by whisking the egg with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl until very smooth. Lightly brush it on each croissant.
 
Bake the croissants
Shortly before the croissants are fully proofed, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat it to 400°F. Brush the croissants with egg wash a second time. Put the sheets in the oven. After 10 minutes, rotate the sheets and swap their positions. Continue baking until the bottoms are an even brown, the tops richly browned, and the edges show signs of coloring, another 8 to 10 minutes. If they appear to be darkening too quickly during baking, lower the oven temperature by 10°F. Let cool on baking sheets on racks. 
 
Enjoy :)