For a long time I’ve been searching for a croissant recipe that will suit my taste. I’ve tried many recipes and they were all good, but still not what I was looking for. I really like a rustic kind of croissant, that’s crispy outside and has nice, textured layers inside. If you like the same, look no further because this recipe from the Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook is the right one for you.
This baking book is SO good, I absolutely love every single recipe inside of it. There are also step by step directions and pictures for making bread, croissant dough, danishes dough, etc. If you didn’t get the book yet, please do, you will be inspired, mesmerized and if you are not already in love with baking, you will definitely be after going through this book. Please read David Lebovitz impression of The Bourke Street Bakery – Sydney, AU.
This recipe might seem a bit too long and complicated, but in the end it’s just repeating one same process three times. Once you start making it, it is really simple and the results, oh the results are exceptional! Give yourself plenty of time. I usually start making the dough in the late afternoon or evening. There is a lot waiting and resting. I do the final two steps the next morning when I plan to have croissants for breakfast.
This quantity of dough will make about 18 large croissants. That was way too much for the four of us, so I divided the dough in half and made bear claws the next day. Making pain au chocolat would be an idea too.
My Favorite Croissants
(Recipe from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook)
Makes approximately 18 large croissants
For the ferment
(Ferment is a small amount of dough that needs to be made first and will help your croissant dough develop and rise):
- 100 g plain flour, chilled (3.5 oz)
- 55 ml whole milk, chilled (1 ¾ fl oz)
- 5 g (or 1 tsp) brown sugar, chilled
- A pinch of salt, chilled (1/2 tsp)
- 5 g fresh yeast, chilled (1/8 oz)
- 20 g unsalted butter, softened (3/4 oz)
Make the Ferment:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a ball. Knead it for about 10 minutes until becomes elastic and smooth. If using electric mixer, use dough hook and mix on low speed for 3 minutes.
Put the ferment in a bowl covered with plastic and leave at room temperature for 2 hours to ferment. After, store the pre-ferment in the fridge overnight (this can be kept for few days in the fridge).
For the croissant dough
(Chill everything in the fridge before you start making the dough, including the flour and sugar):
- 935 g strong white flour (2 lb 1 oz)
- 550 ml whole milk (19 fl oz)
- 60g brown sugar (1/3 cup)
- 15 g salt (3 tsp)
- 35 g fresh yeast (1 ¼ oz)
- Plus 500 g unsalted butter (1 lb 2 oz) for laminating (the rolling and folding process for the dough)
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 80 ml (about 1/3 cup) milk
- Pinch of salt
Make the Dough:
Divide the ferment into 8-10 small pieces, mix it together with all other ingredients, except butter, in a mixing bowl until a dough ball is formed.
Transfer the dough ball to a bench and knead for 10 – 15 minutes (by hand) until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, and doesn’t tear when stretched gently. If using electric mixer, using dough hook, mix on low speed for 3 -4 minutes, followed by high speed for another 2 minutes.
Put the dough in a bowl covered with plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Laminate the Dough:
Before starting the dough laminating (i.e. incorporating butter into the dough) remove the butter from the fridge. Pound the butter with rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper into 20 cm (8 inches) flat square. If the butter becomes too soft, store it in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.
Take the dough out of the fridge, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 20 x 40 cm (8 x 16 inches). Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over the top. Seal the edges of the dough together to ensure the butter is completely enclosed in the dough.
Gently and carefully roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 20 x 90 cm (8 x 35 inches) (approximately 3 times longer than the piece you started with). Mentally divide the rectangle into three equal sections, top, middle and bottom. Fold the top section over the middle, and fold the bottom to the middle, like folding a letter. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Take the dough out of the fridge and rotate the dough 90 degree so that the dough will be rolled in opposite direction from previous fold. Repeat the rolling, folding, and resting process as above two more times. There will be three foldings and rollings (the term is “three turns”) altogether and you need to rotate the dough 90 degree with each rolling.
After the final rolling and folding, store the laminated dough in the fridge for 20 minutes before shaping into croissants.
Make the egg wash by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Take the laminated dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle about 25 x 100 cm (10 – 40 inches) with 5 -8 mm (1/4 inch) thickness.
Trim the edges of the dough so that it becomes a neat rectangle.
Cut the dough into triangles with 9-cm (3.5 in) base and 21-cm (8 in) height. Stack triangle sheets on baking sheet/papers and chill for 10 minutes.
Shape the Dough:
Take the chilled triangles out of the fridge and shape into croissants. Gently pull the tip of triangle to make the triangle longer. Working from the base, roll it towards the tip. Make sure that the tip is tucked underneath the croissant.
Place shaped croissants on trays lined with baking sheet or paper.
Shaped croissants can be kept in the fridge overnight and baked the next day. Take them out of the fridge next day and follow the proofing and baking steps as below. Brush the surface lightly with egg-wash. Cover the tray with tea towel. Let it stand at warm room temperature for 2 hours until it almost double in size. Croissants are proofed and ready for the bake when the layers become visible and the croissants are very soft and wobbly.
Bake the croissants:
Preheat the oven to 240 C (465 F)
Brush the surface of croissants with egg wash before baking. Put the croissants into the oven, then immediately reduce oven temperature to 190 C (375) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until deeply golden brown.
Adding ferment to the dough mixture
Rolling butter into 8X8 inch square before putting in the fridge to chill
Croissant dough up close – notice all the layers!
Almost ready for the oven
Fresh from the oven!
Layers of goodness!