Yield: Yields 20 croissants.
A “laminated” pastry dough—with less butter than you’d expect—gives this classic pastry its irresistibly flaky texture.
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Let the dough rest for 1/2 hour, then roll it into a 19×25-inch rectangle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Trim ragged edges and slice the dough in half horizontally, leaving both halves in place.
On the upper edge of the top strip, measuring from the left corner, cut small notches every 4-1/2 inches. On the lower edge of the bottom strip, do the same thing. With a pizza cutter and a ruler, connect the upper left corner of the top strip to the first notch on the bottom strip. Continue, making parallel diagonal lines. Now connect the lower left corner of the bottom strip to the first notch on the top strip to cut a triangle; continue until you end up with 20 triangles and some scraps.
Make Ahead Tips
Shaped, unbaked croissants can be frozen on a baking sheet, then wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. To bake frozen croissants, take them out of the freezer the night before and defrost them, uncovered, in the refrigerator. The next morning, let them rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk (1 to 2 hours) before baking.
I love this recipe and challenged my Dad to make them, and now, as the first reviewer's technical note commented on, he has sealed his fate to make these for Christmas morning every year. My notes--the recipe in the magazine is a little hard to follow but is laid out better in the online version. The recipe is not so much difficult as time consuming. The second reviewer notes she didn't follow the recipe strictly and this is not a good recipe to be loose with--I generally am *not* one to follow the recipe exactly, but until you have made these a few times, I wouldn't recommend straying from the recipe as written. You will need a good heavy duty stand mixer or a bread machine with a good dough setting. A hand mixer will not work well on this. READ CAREFULLY, because there are short comments like "repeat this step" when it's really several steps that you need to repeat. We would advise making this a three day event--pre-ferment the first evening; dough, folds and shaping on the second day; pull out and bake on the 3rd morning. Again--READ CAREFULLY and consider the time. You need to allow plenty of time to chill the dough between folding and rolling to get the flakiness in the final product. One year I didn't allow enough time for the butter layers to chill enough and the end product was a nice crescent roll. The other thing is that if you are like me and you keep your frig and freezer full, make sure you have enough room before you get started. You'll need enough room to chill the dough and butter and you'll be unhappy if you are trying to figure out how to make enough room with a tray of warming butter dough in hand. However, the end result is really amazing and you will find them well worth the effort!
This recipe is not for the faint of heart. But the results are fantastic! The downside: you will get many, many requests and not have the time or endurance to fill them all. This has become a "special request" with my family and friends. Note: This is not a quickie recipe. Plan this as a two day project. That way, the longest rest (for the dough - 12 hours) will be overnight.You have to love to bake for this recipe. The results are so, so good.Two technical notes: 1. One of my pre-ferments didn't foam well (may have been the yeast). Worked fine anyway, just missed that deep flavor. 2. Use the best butter. It's more malleable. Besides, when you put in this kind of work, you want to use the best ingredients.
Definitely not easy and not quick. It did not turn out for me but I did not follow the recipe exactly thinking that I have lots of yeast dough making experience. For the ferment I added more liquid as I thought the dough was way too thick. It was too much for my hand mixer to handle so next time I would use a food processor. This dough is different than any other yeast dough I have ever made. I had realized this some time in mid-recipe making so I wasn't surprised it did not turn out the way it should. But we ate it OK, actually my son loved it. I made one for him in a shape of a bun with chocolate chips inside. It tasted good when warm from the oven as the one left for later lost its crispiness and buttery flavor.I will try this recipe one more time just to try to correct mistakes I think I made and if doesn't turn the way it should, forget it, I'll buy ready croissants from a store. Oh, and next time I will make more chocolate filled either croissants or form them into buns.
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