Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving was my birthday. Usually, I am super excited about my birthday and can’t wait for it to get here. I’m like a little kid. I think that we should get a whole week to celebrate. Well, maybe not everyone but my birthday always falls on or around Thanksgiving so if the celebration is not spread out in small increments it just falls by the wayside. I know those of you with birthdays near holidays know what I am talking about. So, like I was saying, I am usually very excited about my birthday and I was again this year too until about a week before it. Then it hit me! Oh my God! I was going to be 39!!! My final year in my thirties was about to start. Next year I will be facing the big 4-0 and I realized something… I am NOT looking forward to that one! So rather than do a big fancy schmancy cake like I had been planning I skipped that and decided to make myself a carby, buttery delight for breakfast instead. I wanted fresh-baked croissants to take me into my 39th year. I mean end the day with cake when you can start it with mass quantities of butter and carbs instead? It made perfect sense to me and so I ran with it and it was perfect!
Now this is not the first time that I have made croissants. In fact, I have made them several times and since my family is big on brunchs for holiday gatherings they are perfect for them. My family just loves them right out of the oven and they make the whole house smell amazing! Coincidentally, they make the best breakfast sandwich addition ever! They do take some time to make. I started mine the day before so they would be ready to go in the morning but they are not that difficult.
So before we go to the recipe I thought I would share a fun fact with you all about croissants. Did you know that croissants that are formed into a curve (circle) are made with margarine and straight croissants are made with butter? Well, at least that’s what it means in France. Here in the U.S. who knows. It’s probably just preference. So if you ever visit France now you know some useless little bit of information.
- 1 1/4 cup milk, warmed to 110-120F
- 1 tbsp. instant yeast, leveled
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1c. bread flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 sticks + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add the warm milk and sprinkle with the yeast. Let this sit for 10 minutes and then add in the flour, sugar and salt. Knead the dough until it forms a ball. This should take a few minutes. Then add the 2 tbsp. of butter in small cubes and continue kneading the dough until all of the butter is incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap about 20 inches long. On one half sprinkle 1/2 tbsp. flour and then place the three sticks of butter side by side and sprinkle with the other 1/2 tbsp. of flour. Fold the other half of the plastic wrap over it. Using a rolling pin pound the butter until it is about 1/2 an inch thick. Wrap in the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Remove the dough and butter form the refrigerator and roll out the dough to a 12" square. Place the butter packet in the center and fold the dough over the butter packet so that it is completely covered and the edges of the dough are pinched together. Working form the center out, pound the dough until the dough is easier to work with and then roll it out to a 14" square. Fold the dough in thirds left to right and then fold in thirds again top to bottom. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
- Repeat that again after the two hours and then wrap and refrigerate for two more hours.
- Cut the dough in half and roll out each half to 10"x20". Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut each half into three equal rectangles. Then cut each rectangle diagonally so each half ends up with six triangles. Stretch each triangle so that you get the long sides even. Cut a small 1" slit in the bottom of each triangle and then roll the croissants gently stretching as you go.Place the croissants on parchment lines baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour at room temperature or place in the refrigerator if you are making them in the morning. If you refrigerate them, let them come up to room temp and then sit for an hour before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400° and brush the croissants with the beaten egg. Bake for 18-22 minutes and then cool for 15 minutes before eating.
- Store in an airtight container or wrap and freeze.