French Croissants

A lot of work, but worth the effort. —Keely

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (straight from refrigerator)
  • 1 beaten egg

Instructions

Heat milk in saucepan until it is very warm. Add grapeseed oil, yeast, and salt. Whisk together until yeast is dissolved. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl. Add flour to the milk mixture, combining little at a time until you have a smooth dough. Stop before elasticity develops. Do not try to force all of the flour into the dough, you may have some left over. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and leave until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

 

Punch down dough, knead briefly, then roll out on a floured surface to a 10″x16″ rectangle. Divide butter into quarters, and work first quarter until pliable with a metal knife. Dot first quarter of butter on top 2/3 of pastry, leaving a margin. Fold unbuttered 1/3 onto middle, then the top buttered 1/3 over this. Seal open sides with edge of hand. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Place open edge at right angles to table edge, roll out to same size rectangle and repeat until all butter added.

 

Roll out and fold again. Cut in half, then roll each half to a 1/8″ thick square. Cut each square into four, then quarter into two triangles. Roll each triangle loosely from the base and place on a greased baking sheet with ends curved inward to form a crescent, tucking the point underneath the croissant. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise (2-3 hours). Brush with beaten egg and bake at 425º for 10-15 minutes. The croissants will be risen and golden brown.

Tips

You can make the dough the night before, and begin with the final rolling and shaping of the croissants the next day. This makes it a bit more manageable if you have an early afternoon feast.