• Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 6h 10m

Makes 16 croissants

Few things in life are as delectable as flaky, buttery croissants, and they're even better when you dress them up with special fillings. Because this dough is similar to puff pastry, it needs to be rolled out on a well-floured surface before shaping.

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter
  • 4 3/4 - 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk

directions

Cut the butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the butter slices into the 3 cups flour till the slices are coated and separated. Chill the butter mixture while preparing the dough.

For the dough, in a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the milk, sugar and salt till warm (120 to 130 degrees F). Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, then add 1 egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chilled flour-butter mixture till the flour is well moistened (the butter will remain in large pieces).

Sprinkle a pastry board or pastry cloth with 1/4 cup flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. With floured hands, gently knead the dough for 8 strokes. With a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 21 x 12-inch rectangle. (If necessary, sprinkle the surface of the dough with up to 1/4 cup flour to prevent sticking.) Fold the dough crosswise into thirds to form a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Loosely wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the refrigerator or 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer, or till dough is firm but not excessively stiff.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a 21 x 12-inch rectangle. Fold the dough crosswise into thirds again and give the dough a quarter-turn. Roll, fold, and turn twice more, flouring the surface as needed. (It is not necessary to chill the dough between each rolling.) Place the dough in a plastic bag. Seal the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand. Chill the dough for 4 to 24 hours.

To shape, cut the dough crosswise into fourths. Wrap and return 3 portions to the refrigerator till ready to use. On a lightly floured surface, roll the portion of dough into a 16 x 8-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle crosswise in half to form 2 squares. Then cut each square diagonally in half to form 2 triangles. (You will have 4 triangles total from each rectangle.) Loosely roll up each triangle, starting from an 8-inch side and rolling toward the opposite point.

Repeat shaping with the remaining 3 portions of dough. Place the croissants, 4 inches apart, on 2 ungreased large baking sheets, points down. Curve the ends to form crescent shapes. Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly doubled (about 1 hour).

In a small mixing bowl, beat 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water or milk. Lightly brush the egg mixture over the croissants. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 15 minutes, or till golden brown. Remove from baking sheets; cool on a wire rack.

FOR RASPBERRY CROISSANTS:

Place 1 teaspoon of raspberry preserves on one 8-inch side of each croissant dough triangle and roll toward the opposite point. Proceed with the recipe.

FOR CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS:

Chop your favorite chocolate bar and place about 2 teaspoons along one 8-inch side of each croissant dough triangle and roll toward the opposite point. Proceed with the recipe.

FOR SAVORY CROISSANTS:

Roll up 1 thin slice ham and place on one side of each croissant dough triangle, or spread one side with 2 teaspoons of semisoft cheese with garlic and herbs, or 1 teaspoon cheese and 1 ham slice; roll toward the opposite point. Proceed with the recipe.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 521

nutrition information per serving

155 calories; 1g total fat; 15mg cholesterol; 51mg sodium; 31g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 5g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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