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Pastry Croissants Video Recipe

After many attempts, I have finally managed to make really good pastry croissants at home. It’s a very demanding recipe but ultimately very rewarding. If you want to start with an easier recipe, click here to try the recipe for Brioche Croissants

I got the basic recipe from Luca Montersino’s blog. He’s great and I wish to thank him once again.

Have fun and remember that the key to a good result is to work with passion and perseverance.

Pastry Croissants Video Recipe

Ingredients

Starter dough

  • 120 g Water
  • 250 g Flour 00 di medium strenght (12-13% protein)
  • 35 g Yeast (o 12g  dry yeast)

Main dough

  • 180 g Sugar
  • 500 g Flour 00, meduim strength (12-13% protein)
  • 20 g Malt or Honey
  • 220 g di Eggs (about 4)
  • 75 g Butter
  • 150 g Full fat milk
  • 12 g Salt
  • Half a Vanilla pod (or use a little essence)

If the flour you’re using is too weak (doesn’t absorb enough water or the dough is too soft) substitute 20 or 30% of the plain flour with Manitoba flour.

For the pastry

  • 375g good quality Butter

Method

Starter dough

  • Dissolve the yeast into the water at 30°c
  • Add half the flour and start mixing

  • Add remaining flour a little at a time
  • Mix for a few minutes

  • Don’t worry if the dough struggles to become nice and  thick, it’s a very tough dough.
  • If necessary, finish kneading by hand

  • Make a ball and place it in a bowl filled with water at 35°c

  • That’s the optimum temperature to activate the bacteria in the flour and in the yeast.The bacteria decompose the starch and the sugars in the flour, turning them into alcohol, acid and carbon dioxide which in turn expand, making the dough rise. When the ball starts to float in the water, after 10-15 minutes, the starter dough is ready for use.

Main dough

  • Mix flour, sugar, malt (or honey) and add the vanilla (pod or essence)
  • Start mixing

  • Add milk

  • Mix in eggs one at a time

  • When you take the starter dough out of the water, squeeze it well
  • Crumble it into little pieces

  • Add it to the main dough

  • Add salt
  • Mix well for about 5 minutes to allow gluten to develop

  • Add  butter  to the dough (75g in little pieces and at room temperature) a little at a time

  • Mix for about 15-20 minutes to get a very smooth, elastic dough

  • If the gluten has developed  nicely, you should be able to get a very thin dough just by stretching it gently between your fingers (as seen in the video)

  • Fold the dough a couple of times
  • Shape the dough into a rectangle
  • Take a cutting board or a tray and sprinkle the surface with flour
  • Lay the dough on it and sprinkle some dough on the surface too
  • Cover tightly in cling film so it doesn’t form a cuticle
  • Leave it in the fridge at 5°c for 2 to 12 hours

Making the pastry

  • Take the butter (at room temperature), shape in into a rectangle and place it on a piece of floured plastic wrapIf you want to get a lighter product you may use margarine, but apparently it’s less healthy than butter, so you decide.

  • Sprinkle the top with flour and cover with another piece of wrap

  • Gently beat down on the butter with a rolling pin to flatten it a little, keeping the rectangular shape

  • Turn it upside down and keep beating until your butter rectangle is about 22 cm wide
  • Put it in the fridge. The butter has to be kept cold during the whole procedure, so it doesn’t melt

  • Take the flattened butter out of the fridge to soften it a little
  • After 15 minutes take the dough out of the fridge and stretch it out to make a rectangle as wide as the longest side of the butter (about 22-24 cm)

  • Place the butter in the middle of the dough so that the sides of the dough match the edges of the butter.

  • Here’s how the butter should be placed on the dough

  • Wrap the dough around the butter without overlapping it

  • Like this

  • Turn the dough to one side by 90 degrees
  • Beating down on it with the rolling pin, start flattening the dough
  • This will help to form an even layer of butter without actually blending it into the dough

  • Try to maintain a rectangular shape

  • Flatten the dough with the rolling pin until you get a rectangle about  22×50 cm in size
  • Fold it three times along the longer side

  • Like this
    • Sprinkle flour on the top and on the bottom
    • Cover tightly so it doesn’t form a cuticle
    • Put it in the fridge for 40-60 minutes
    • The dough has to be placed in the fridge for two reasons:

    1-     To let it rest so it’s easier to stretch out in the following steps

    2-     To chill dough and butter so the layers remain separated

    This is the essential secret for puff pastry. During leavening the carbon dioxide generated by the bacteria in the dough will expand, colliding with the various layers of butter and making them separate. That’s what creates the typical flaky consistency of puff pastry products.

    Second fold

    Repeat the previous procedure

    Stretch the dough along the side that’s shown in the picture

  • Until we get a rectangle approximately 22 by 50 cm

  • Fold it again 3 times
  • At this point we will have obtained three layers of dough and butter

  • Sprinkle the top and bottom with flour
  • Cover tightly to prevent the formation of a cuticle
  • Let it sit in the fridge for 40-60 minutes

Third fold

  • Once again, Repeat the previous procedure
  • After this step, the pastry will have 27 layers of butter and dough
  • Let it sit in the fridge for 60 minutes

Making the Croissants (Cornetti)

  • Sprinkle your worktop with a generous amount of flour
  • Start by stretching te sough a little at a time
  • Watch the video carefully and you’ll find the tricks to avoid the dough sticking to the worktop and still keep its rectangular shape.
  • If the dough seems too elastic at this stage, you can cover it and let it sit on the worktop for 10 minutes before you start again

  • Keep stretching the dough until you get a rectangle about 38×80 in size and 8mm thick

  • Cut it along the middle

  • Now make triangles about 10×20 cm.  If you want plumper croissants, you’ll have to make the triangles a little longer (22-23 cm), if you want sharper ends, you have to make them wider (12-13 cm) and shorter (18 cm)

  • You may fill them with jam or chocolate. Don’t overdo it with the filling or it will leak out during leavening.

  • Moisten the edges of the triangles with a brush and a little water, so that when you roll them up they remain tightly closed

  • Wrap up the dough around the filling

  • Roll up the croissant…

  • …lightly stretching the dough each time

  • Here’s the finished croissant

  • You may also use this other method to get more pointed edges and, if you want, roll them inwards
  • Cut 3-4 cm at the base of the triangle

  • Fold the two parts towards the outside (watch the video carefully)

  • Roll upwards with your hands

  • Fold the edges back towards the inside

Freezing  your Croissants

  • Sprinkle a tray with flour
  • Place the croissants on the tray leaving a little space between each one
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap
  • Put the tray in the freezer for 24 hours
  • Now you may place the croissants in zip-lock bags and store them in your freezer (read about baking frozen croissants below)

Baking on the same day

  • Place the croissants on a baking sheet
  • Make sure to leave some room between them as they will rise during leavening
  • Cover them with plastic wrap to avoid the formation of a cuticle
  • Let them rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature (about 20-22°C, not too hot or the butter will melt)

  • Brush the surface with a mixture of egg yolk and water
  • Be very gentle so as not to jeopardize the leavening process

  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180-190°C for 15-20 minutes, depending on the oven
  • Some recipes suggest baking at 220° for 5 minutes and then at 180° for 10-15 minutes. Experiment which method works best with your oven

Baking frozen Croissants

  • Take the croissants out of the freezer

  • Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Make sure to leave some room between them as they will rise during leavening

  • Brush the surface with a mixture of egg yolk and water
  • Be very gentle so as not to jeopardize the leavening process

  •  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180-190°C for 15-20 minutes, depending on the oven

  • Let them cool on a grid
  • You can put over some powder sugar

Inside picture..

 Click here  for other recipes!

 

Vittorio

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