Homemade croissants recipe - step-by-step guide on how to make your own croissants.
A croissant is a gorgeous, flaky and buttery pastry roll, shaped into a crescent - hence its name - that is often eaten for breakfast in France and other southern European countries, and that also forms part of a traditional Continental breakfast.
It is made from a leavened form of puff pastry that is rolled, layered with butter and chilled several times before baking. Its creation is time-consuming yet well worth the effort. Nowadays, most croissants that are sold in cafeterias, bakeries and shops are frozen before baking, yet if you take the time to make your own, the chances are that you will stick to this method after seeing, tasting and enjoying the fruits of your own labour.
The ingredients that make up a croissant are plain and simple but the result is magical! They basically consist of flour, egg, butter, water and yeast and are topped with a glaze of egg and sugar. Croissants can be filled with chocolate or almond paste or cut open and stuffed with a savoury filling such as ham and cheese or egg mayonnaise with lettuce and tomato.
In the UK croissants are often cut open and spread with butter and jam, however, as the croissants already contain plenty of butter, adding more butter is not entirely necessary - not to mention the addition of more calories already present in highly calorific pastry. Croissants are delicious but should be eaten in moderation!
Below we offer you a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make your own croissants and you won't be disappointed. The instructions are long and possibly a bit daunting but once you have made your first batch of French croissants, you won't look back. Remember that the dough can be frozen, so you do not have to make a whole batch of 24 in one go.
Homemade buttery croissants recipe
- 450g (1lb) of strong plain flour
- 300ml (½ pint) of warm water
- 175g (6oz) of butter
- 30g (1oz) of lard
- 30g (1oz) of fresh yeast
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 level tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt.
- Cut up the lard and quickly rub it into the flour until a breadcrumb mixture forms.
- Mix the yeast with the water and blend together.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast and water mixture.
- Add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly until a dough forms.
- On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth.
- Roll out to a thickness of ¼ inch and 20 inch by 8 inch, making sure that the edges are straight.
- Soften the butter slightly with a knife and cut into three pieces.
- With one piece of butter, break it up and scatter it over the top two-thirds of the dough.
- Fold the dough. First bring up the un-buttered third (bottom) and then fold over the top third. Turn the dough so that the seal is on the right and firmly seal down the edges with the rolling pin.
- Roll into a long strip and repeat the butter and folding process twice more until the butter has been used up.
- Place the dough into a polythene bag greased with oil (will prevent dough from cracking) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out again to a long strip and repeat the rolling and folding process three more times but without adding any butter.
- Return the dough to the oiled bag and place in the fridge for an hour.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 21 inch x 12 inch and cut in half lengthways with a knife.
- Cut each strip of dough into 6 triangles. Roll each triangle up from the base so that a crescent is formed and place onto a baking tray.
- Glaze the croissants with a wash made by mixing the second beaten egg with the sugar and leave to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
- Brush again with the egg glaze and bake in the oven for 15-20mins until the croissants turn golden brown.
- Serve warm on their own, cut open with jam or with a savoury filling of ham and cheese.