A couple of baking smells make my batman senses tingle….
Cinnamon sugar, freshly baked bread, brownies fresh outta the oven, oh and of course…
CROISSANTS filling the house with that ah-mazzzzz-ingggg buttery perfume.
You know what I’m talkin’ about.
The way you can almost smell the crispy outer layer of pastry, hugging the most delicious, fluffy, buttery goodness on the inside. (Yeah…. I think way too much about this….)
It brings back the absolute best memories of Sunday lunches in Winter that we use to have when I was just a wee little las.
We would drive to this purely croissant bakery (ohhh you should’ve smelt this place — bec, stop talking about smell) run by the sweetest couple and get our usual order of a 12 croissants (yep, we were just a family of 5, with 3 small kids, but we could down it like a dog downs dinner… ).
Where we would then sit by the fire, with just a coffee table complete with croissants, jam and hot chocolate.
~ A little deep note, don’t you just love how food just links us to so many memories? The best ever sensory memory trigger I can ever think of!
After making mega try-hard cheating croissants in my past (puff pastry rolled up to imitate a croissants… piffffff), I knew it was time to get down and dirty with ma butter and flour, and make some homemade croissants from da heart. boo yeah.
From doing so, I’ve come to the realisation that there is an unfair stigma against croissant dough (and puff pastry its self for that matter)… well there was a unfair stigma that I had created for myself….. pretty much thinking homemade croissant dough was only for the french pastry gods. and them alone.
Oh Bec, you were so young and naive (what’s new).
As it goes, I actually found the whole process extremely therapeutic, and something that I’m going to employ doing in the case sleepless nights. Yep, you’ll find me making croissant dough in the kitchen, with the moon by my side.
All that’s really needed in the process is a butter, and a pinch of patience. Oh and Top With Cinnamon’s ‘How to make croissants with gifs.’ She’s a genius. You’re welcome.
We’ve got a bit of fusion baking going on here don’t we. A lil’ bit of a baklava & croissant hybrid.
But after being to both Greece and France recently, my time zone messed up little head thought this idea was smashing.
For once, my tired brain got it right!
As a complete made baklava fan, and a croissant die-hard, this makes sense even in a sane world.
You’ve got your amazingly crispy on the outside, buttery on the inside croissant, combined with the spice, syrupy and nutty goodness that we all love in a baklava. It was a match waiting to happen.
Honey, I’m home.
Makes 24 croissants
1 cup (250 ml) cold milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
3 3/4 cup (500 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup + 2tbsp (9 oz/ 250 g) butter, frozen, then left at room temp. for 20-30 minutes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 strip orange zest
To make the croissant dough:
1. Pour the milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar, leave for 5 minutes until frothy.
2. Add in the flour and salt, incorporate it with your hands into a shaggy ball.
3. Tip the contents out onto a clean work surface and knead until you’ve incorporated all the flour (this should only take about 2 minutes). Place the dough into an oiled bowl, and leave in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
3. When your dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take your frozen butter (which has been left at room temperature for 20-30 minutes), and grate onto a piece of cling film.
4. Disperse the butter, and flatten into a rectangle, roughly 8″ x 5″. Fold up in the cling film and pat together well (seriously, like make sure it’s nicely compacted). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Once the butter has been chilling for 25 minutes, tip the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 16″ x 10″ rectangle.
6. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place into the centre of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter (like a business letter). Seal all the edges by pinching the dough together.
7. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, use the roiling pin to make regular indentations in the dough.
8. Roll into a 15″ x 10″ rectangle.
9. Fold into thirds like a business letter. Wrap the dough in cling film, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (steps 8+9 = ‘one turn’ of the dough)
10. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and complete 1 turn (i.e. repeat steps 8 + 9). Re-wrap in the cling film, refrigerate for 1 hour.
11. Repeat step 10, two more times, so you have done a total of 4 turns.
12. Cut the dough into quarters. Wrap the quarters tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months (if you freeze it, let the dough defrost in the fridge overnight before shaping).
To shape the dough:
1. Remove one piece of dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 16″ x 6″ rectangle.
2. Cut into thirds, forming 3 smaller rectangles. Cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally forming 6 triangles.
3. Take one triangle of dough, (It’s recommend to put the others in the fridge while you shape each one), pull on the corners of the shortest edge, to even up the base of the triangle. Then gently stretch the dough a little.
4. Cut a small slit in the base of the triangle, stretch it, liberally brush over the syrup using a pastry brush (syrup method below), sprinkle over a small handful of the coarse nuts, then roll the dough up.
5. Place it, tip side down, onto a lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the triangles, placing them 2″ apart.
(at this point you can also freeze the shaped croissants on the baking sheet, then once frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag and leave in the freezer for up to 3 months, then defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed as below).
To bake the croissants:
1. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a cool place for around 2-3 hours ( if you’re making these the night before, you can actually shape them and leave them to rise in the fridge overnight instead).
2. Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Brush the croissants with beaten egg using a pastry brush and put into the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 200 degrees C, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and puffy.
3. Once removed from the oven, immediately brush over more of the syrup over the top of the croissants, and sprinkle lightly with more nuts.
4. Leave to cool slightly, and to let the syrup sink in, then enjoy fresh out of the oven!! (ahhhh one of life’s simple pleasures)
For the syrup and nuts:
1. Place all the sugar, honey, cinnamon, orange, and 150ml of water in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
2. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by a third. Set aside to cool completely.
3. Grind all the nuts in a food processor until coarse, set aside.
Thanks for stopping by!