I have such fond memories of eating croissants as a child, sitting on a country wall in France alongside my siblings. We used to holiday in France quite often when I was young, and I always loved the French pastries and cuisine. Croissants were always a treat whilst on Summer holiday at home here in Ireland, probably because they were quite expensive, relatively speaking back in the day. To this day I still treat myself now and then to a croissant but had never really considered making them. I always had the impression croissants were tricky and and time consuming and I can now report that my impression was pretty accurate. Being quite the croissant novice I had to follow an expert on this one and so this recipe is adapted from Mary Berry's complete cookbook. Allow yourself plenty of time as the recipe has quite a few steps and requires a little patience.
500g string white flour
1/2 tsp salt
300g butter (at room temperature)
7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
150ml very hot water
Sunflower oil for greasing
Beaten egg or milk for glazing
1. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Then add 60g of the butter and rub with your
fingertips until the mixture is breadcrumb like. Next add the sugar and then the yeast. Create
a well in the centre of the bowl and add the water and milk. Then bring the mixture together
with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is formed. Cover the dough in the bowel with
oiled cling film and place in the fridge for approximately 2 hours.
2. On a sheet of baking parchment, smear the remaining butter into a rectangle (12 x 20cm).
Cover with baking parchment and chill.
3. Next roll out the dough on a floured surface into an 18 x35cm rectangle. Place the chilled
butter onto the rectangle so as it covers the top 2/3 of the rectangle. Then fold the bottom
third of the dough upwards over the middle third and the top third covered in butter
downwards over the middle third until a neat parcel is created (as pictured). Seal the edges
of the dough using your hands and place back in the fridge to firm for another 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough parcel again into an 18x35cm rectangle and repeat the folding and
sealing process. Place the dough into the fridge for a few hours until firm enough to roll.
5. Roll the dough out again into a rectangle of 35x53cm and cut first into 6 squares, and then
divide each square into 2 triangles. Roll each triangle from the long side inwards. Then
shape the roll into a crescent shape.
6. Shape the croissants and place on a baking tray in a warm place for 30 minutes or until
almost double in size. Lightly brush with beaten egg or alternatively milk and place in the
oven at 200C (fan) for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- The word 'Croissant' means crescent in French, and so these pastries are pretty aptly named.
- I like to serve my croissants warm with a little strawberry jam for something sweet or filled with
ham and brie cheese if I'm serving them for lunch.
- This recipe yields 12 croissants. I added a little milk chocolate to 4 of these croissants before
completing the final roll and shaping. Simply chop up a little chocolate and enclose in the
dough to create beautiful chocolate filled croissants.