This classic croissant recipe is just perfect for a simple and stylish breakfast served with coffee. If you’re feeling adventurous it’s worth having a go at making croissants at home. Croissants are made with a yeast dough enriched with butter, and the technique of buttering and folding the dough gives the classic light and crisp layered finished pastry.
Did you now that although croissants are traditionally associated with the French, the pastry actually originated in Austria? Named after its iconic crescent shape, make sure to curve your croissants for a classic look before popping them in the oven!
You’ll need to allow plenty of time to make them as the dough needs time to rest and prove. If you’re new to making croissants, don’t expect a texture quite as light and flaky as bought croissants!
- 225g strong plain white flour
- 7g sachet easy-blend or fast-action dried yeast
- ½tsp salt
- 2tsp caster sugar
- 90g unsalted butter, softened
- 100ml hand hot water
- 1 egg, beaten
- To glaze:
- 1 egg, beaten with 1tsp caster sugar
Sift the flour into a large bowl, stir in the yeast, salt and sugar and make a well in the centre. Mix together 15g of the butter with the water and egg and pour into the well then mix to a dough. Knead for 5-6 mins until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave the dough to risen in a warm place for 1hr or until doubled in size.
Re-knead the dough for 2-3 mins then roll out to a long strip about 30 x 15cm. Mark the strip widthways into three equal sections. Using a palette knife, dot one-third of the remaining butter on to the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough over the middle third then fold down the top third. Seal the edges by pressing down firmly with a rolling pin and give the dough a quarter turn. Repeat this rolling and folding process twice more, dotting with one-third of the butter each time. Wrap loosely in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 22 x 28cm rectangle and cut into 8 triangles. Roll each triangle up, from the long edge to the point. Form into a crescent shape and place on a large greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 30-40 mins until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Lightly brush the croissants with the egg glaze and bake for 20-25 mins until risen and golden. Serve warm
Top tip for making Croissant
To make chocolate croissants, sprinkle a little grated plain chocolate over each triangle of dough before rolling up.
You can eat both sweet and savoury with croissants. If you’re a savoury fan you could opt for serving croissants for breakfast or brunch topped with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or as a hearty sandwich packed with cheese and ham.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, jams such as strawberry, raspberry and blackberry work wonders. You could opt for marmalades be it orange or apricot. Or if you’re looking for a naughty treat how about a spread of Nutella?
If you’ve got leftover croissants that you’d like to serve the next day you’ll be glad to know that you can reheat them quickly in the microwave. You’ll only want to warm them up for about 10 seconds at a time though otherwise they’ll get a little soggy. If you want to try something different, add a spread of Nutella or a couple of cubes of chocolate in the middle of the croissant and warm in the microwave. The chocolate will melt and make a deliciously naughty filling.
If you’ve made a batch or two of croissants to keep for another day you can store them in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 2 days. You can store them in the fridge if you’d prefer but you may need to warm them in the microwave to add some moisture back into the pastry before serving again as the fridge can dry the pastry out.
You can also freeze croissants but its best to do this once your croissants have been shaped, before you cook them. You can freeze on a baking tray and then once fully frozen you can transfer the croissant dough shapes into a freezable bag and store in bulk.