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Baking Croissants

Join me and bake these tasty croissants! I made this handy little video for you to enjoy. Head's up - it's easiest to give yourself three days to make these, they're worth the wait!

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To bake these croissants, you will need:

Whenever I think about posting a recipe, I'm reminded of my husband complaining about scrolling forever just to get past the person's story to read the recipe. I didn't want to do that...the story is, I make these croissants because my kids love them. They are the most buttery, flaky recipe I have found that come out reliably successful, without having too much butter. Too much butter leads to butter seeping out when the croissants are cooking, and nobody wants a leaky croissant!

I'm not going to post a story, but I do have some great tips, in addition to the video above. I'll walk you through the steps I take to make these croissants and you'll see that they're really something anyone can do, with a little love-of-dough and lazy baking.

First, cube your 3 1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter and put it back in the refrigerator while you prepare your flour and salt (in one bowl) and your water, milk, sugar, and yeast (in the other). Give the yeast mixture 5 minutes to activate the yeast, which is a perfect amount of time to get the cold butter mixed in the flours and salt, using a pastry blender, until it's about pea sized crumbs. Once you have all the flour ready and the yeast mixture is nice and foamy, make a well in the center of the flour (a hole that goes to the bottom of the bowl) and pour your yeast mixture in there. Stir the dough until it comes together and is shaggy, but don't mix it much beyond that point. Show it some love.

Cover the bowl and let that dough set on the counter for about a half hour before you deflate it (if needed) and stick in into the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, before you take the dough out of the refrigerator, pound the two sticks of butter into a 10" square. In order to pound the butter, I take two sheets of wax paper and slice each stick of butter lengthwise. I lightly dust around the sticks of butter and place them in a sort-of square shape in between the sheets of wax paper. Then I pound and roll out the butter using a rolling pin until it's roughly 10" square. Once the butter is in a thin sheet, put it into the refrigerator so that it hardens.

While the butter is getting a little more solid, take out the dough from the night before. Lightly dust your work surface and roll the flour into a rough 18"x20" rectangle. Take out the square of butter and place it caddy-corner in the rectangle, so it is diamond-shaped. If the butter is hard enough, you can sort of trim the edges, or make straight lines and fold the butter down, in order to make it sit better within the dough rectangle. Once the butter is placed, fold in all four corners and seal them so that the sheet of butter is now in the middle of the dough.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.

Lightly flour your work surface and take out the dough. Roll the dough into a rough 18"x20" rectangle and fold it like an envelope (fold the two sides into the center). Wrap the dough and place it back in the refrigerator. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.

Repeat the envelope folds at least two more times.

Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, take it out and cut it in half. Place half back into the refrigerator while you roll the other half into eight croissants. To do so you can either cut the rectangle down the center and cut each side into 4 rectangles, placing optional chocolate batons into each square for chocolate croissants or pan au chocolates, or you can cut it into four rectangles and cut each one into two triangles (in half diagonally) for the classic croissant shape.

Once the croissants are all rolled into shape, cover the tray and refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight, and up to three days. When you are ready to bake the croissants, heat the oven to 425° F and prepare your egg wash (one egg, one tablespoon of water, and a pinch of salt). Lightly brush your croissants with egg wash and bake them at 425° F for 10 minutes, then turn the heat to 350° F for 10-15 minutes longer. Cool slightly before eating.

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