Butter Croissants

photo by Lara Ferroni

photo by Lara Ferroni

Epicurious shares their recipe for blue-ribbon Butter Croissants!

Ingredients

  • Special equipment: a ruler, a pastry brush, parchment paper, 2 or 3 garbage bags (unscented), a spray bottle with water

Preparation

Roll out and cut dough:
Cut dough in half and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll out other half on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and stretching corners to maintain shape, into a 16- by 12-inch rectangle. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush and trim edges with a pizza wheel or sharp knife.

Arrange dough with a short side nearest you. Cut in half horizontally and chill 1 half. Cut remaining half vertically into thirds, forming 3 rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally in half to make 2 triangles, for a total of 6 triangles.

Shape croissants:
Holding short side (side opposite tip) of 1 triangle in one hand, stretch dough, tugging and sliding with other hand toward tip to elongate by about 50 percent.

Return to work surface with short side of triangle nearest you. Beginning with short side, roll up triangle toward tip. Croissant should overlap 3 times, with tip sticking out from underneath; you may need to stretch dough while rolling.)

Put croissant, tip side down, on a parchment-lined large baking sheet. (Curve ends inward to make a crescent shape if desired.)

Make more croissants with remaining 5 triangles, then with remaining rolled-out dough, arranging them 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Repeat rolling, cutting, and shaping procedures with chilled piece of dough.

Let croissants rise:
Slide each baking sheet into a garbage bag, propping up top of bag with inverted glasses to keep it from touching croissants, and tuck open end under baking sheet.

Let croissants rise until slightly puffy and spongy to the touch, 2 to 2‚ hours.

Bake croissants:
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425°F.

Remove baking sheets from bags. Spritz inside oven generously with spray bottle and close door. Put croissants in oven, then spritz again before closing door. Reduce temperature to 400°F and bake 10 minutes without opening door.

Switch position of sheets in oven and rotate sheets 180°, then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake until croissants are deep golden, about 10 minutes more.

Cooks’ note: •Baked and cooled croissants keep 1 month: First freeze them, uncovered, on baking sheets until firm, then wrap them snugly in foil before returning to freezer. When ready to serve, remove foil and bake (not thawed) on a baking sheet in a 325°F oven 5 to 10 minutes.

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