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How to make Croissants

Just baked croissants cooling on a rack

Golden, flaky, buttery croissants… There’s nothing quite like a fresh baked, straight out of the oven, still warm and steaming croissant to make your spirit soar.

They’re not easy to make. It takes time to get it right, but when you can’t get them in the shops and crave a croissant, this will help.

Ingredients for 16 croissants

500g / 3 ½ cups / 1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp (10g) salt
100ml / 1/2  cup milk/water
100ml 1/2 milk
60g / 1/3 cups / 1 ¾ oz sugar
14g /  ½ oz fast-action dried yeast
Oil, for greasing
250g / 1 cup
1 egg
1 egg beaten for glaze

How to make croissants

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Pour 100ml cold water into a jug, add the yeast and stir, then make a well in the flour and pour in the milk and the beaten egg.

Mix (it’s easy in a mixer with a dough hook), then knead on a floured work surface for 10 mins (or if in a mixer, use the dough hook for 5-7 minutes on a low speed). Form the dough into a ball by hand, put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and chill for at least an hour.

Place the chilled butter between two sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, pound it into a rectangle shape of about 20 x 15cm.

Lay the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 40 x 20cm rectangle. Place the slab of butter in the centre of the dough, so that it covers the middle third. Then fold one side of the dough up and halfway over the butter. Fold the other side of the dough up and over the butter in the same way, so that the two edges of the dough meet in the centre of the butter.

Fold the dough in half so that the point where the ends of the dough meet becomes the seam. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling process in exactly the same way a further two times. Roll the pastry while it’s still folded without adding more butter. Then wrap and chill for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, measuring about 60 x 30cm and trim the edges to keep it neat.

Cut the dough in half length-ways giving you two long strips. Cut 8 triangles from each strip, with two equal sides.

Starting at the base of each triangle, gently roll into a croissant shape, taking care not to squash the dough. Make sure the tip of each triangle is tucked under the croissant to hold the shape. Some people like to turn the ends inwards but traditional butter croissants are left straight. Place the rolled croissants on baking trays lined with baking paper. Space them well apart to allow for rising. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size (up to two hours).

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the croissants with a beaten egg glaze. Bake for 15-18 mins until golden brown.

Here’s chef Gordon Ramsay having a lesson on how to make croissants at a Parisian bakery:

Discover the history of croissants

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