Croissant dough

Croissant dough

By
From
How to Cook Bread
Makes
1 quantity
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

The détrempe, or base dough, should ideally be made 12–24 hours in advance to let the flavours develop, and the fully prepared dough can be rested overnight before shaping and baking your croissants or pastries.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
50g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast
125ml tepid water
1 small egg
125ml cold milk
oil, to grease
200g cold, but pliable butter

Method

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Mix the yeast with 60ml of the tepid water in a small bowl until dissolved. Mix the egg, remaining water and milk together and add to the flour along with the yeast mixture, to create a smooth dough that feels soft and slightly tacky.
  2. Knead the dough lightly for about 6 minutes until smooth and slightly elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled, large plastic bag. Exclude all the air and tie a loose knot at the top. Leave the dough at room temperature for about 1 hour to ensure the yeast is working (the dough will increase in size), then place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Take the dough from the fridge and remove from the plastic bag. On a lightly floured surface, reshape the dough into a ball, without working it excessively or it will become too elastic. Try to ensure there are no folds or holes in the ball of dough.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross in the top, halfway through the dough.
  6. Now stretch each corner of the cut dough away from the dough ball and roll into a thin flap. Place the butter between 2 sheets of baking parchment and lightly bash it using a rolling pin, to ensure it is pliable, but not greasy. When it is similar in consistency to the dough, shape it into a square (still in the parchment) the size of the centre of the dough.
  7. Place the butter in the centre of the dough.
  8. Fold over the flaps to encase the butter completely. This is important to stop the butter ‘squidging’ out of the dough.
  9. Lightly re-flour the work surface. ‘Ridge’ and then roll the dough into a rectangle, 3 times as long as it is wide, and about 5–7.5mm thick. To do this, lightly tap the dough with a rolling pin over the entire surface, holding the rolling pin loosely in both hands, then turn the dough 90° and ridge again, then roll, until it has reached the correct size and thickness.
  10. Neaten the sides and corners, brush off the excess flour and fold the dough into 3, so the bottom third folds up over the middle third and the top third comes down over the 2 layers.
  11. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest, ensuring it has enough time to relax to prevent too much elasticity but checking the butter doesn’t harden or it may break through the dough. Repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 until you have completed 3 'roll and folds', making sure that the folded edge is to the side before starting to ridge each time.
  12. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, 4mm thick, and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight on a very lightly floured tray and covered with very lightly oiled cling film.

A note about the butter...

  • To ensure the butter will be incorporated in fine, even layers it must be worked (step 6) until it is the pliable and able to be folded in on itself without cracking, but not greasy.
Tags:
bread
Leiths
baking
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