Fruit and veg and healthy grains might do you good, but so does a little bit of what you fancy, and after the week I've had I fancy some croissants. Warm, buttery, homemade croissants. Plain or filled with chocolate or jam, these traditional french breakfast pastries are divine. So, if you're feeling like a little treat, why not have a go at making some of these beauties.
This recipe is from Paul Hollywood's, How to Bake.
500g strong white bread flour
300g chilled unsalted butter
300ml cool water
10g fast action yeast
80g caster sugar
1 medium egg
Put the flour in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook attached. Add the sugar and salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Pour in the water and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, and then on a medium speed for approximately 6 minutes.
Pour the thick, sticky dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Put into a clean plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 20cm x 60cm. Flour the butter on both sides and bash with a rolling pin until big enough to cover two thirds of the dough. Fold over the uncovered third of the dough leaving half of the butter exposed. Trim off the exposed half of the butter without cutting the dough underneath and place on top of the folded dough. Fold the newly exposed dough over the butter. You should now have a little dough and butter tower - dough, butter, dough, butter, dough. Pinch the sides to seal the butter. Lightly flour and place back in the plastic bag to chill in the fridge for another hour.
Remove the dough from the bag and place on a lightly floured surface with the narrower end facing you. Roll out into a long rectangle and fold the top third of the dough down towards the centre. Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the throe you just folded - this is called one turn. Place bag in the bag and chill in the fridge for a further hour. Repeat this process twice more and leave the dough in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly a 30cm x 42cm rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthways (you should have 2 rectangles 42cm x 15cm). Now cut 6 triangles from each rectangle - each needs to be roughly 12cm across the base and15cm high from base to tip.
Roll each triangle tightly from base to tip. If you want to add a filling, place it on the triangle of dough before rolling. Put you rolled croissants onto prepared baking trays, cover with cling film or a clean plastic bag, and leave to prove at room temperature until doubled in size. This should take 2 to 3 hours.
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Make an egg wash with an egg and a pinch of salt and brush over the croissants. Bake int he oven for approximately 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!
NOTE: Chocolate croissants are wonderful glazed with apricot jam and spindled with flaked almonds. Otherwise, these are beautiful filled with cheese and tomato and cracked black pepper.
LOVE | Hannah