Easy, soft and delicious croissants.
1 cup water, room temperature
1/2 cup 2% milk, warm(40C)
5 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. Instant Yeast
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. room temperature butter
1 egg with 2 Tbsp. water for egg wash.
Place milk, yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a medium bowl. Mix and set aside for a few minutes to bloom.
In the bowl of a stand mixer place your flour and salt, combine well. Add the water and remaining sugar to the milk mixture and stir. Add to the flour mixture and knead for a minute with dough hook attachment. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and continue till it's all incorporated. Dough should be slightly sticky. Because of varying environment conditions, you may need more flour than I used. Add 1 Tbsp. at a time until your dough feels perfect. It needs to be silky and soft, not too firm.
Set aside on an oiled baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and loosely cover with cling wrap. Chill for 1 to 6 hours.
Arrange the butter on a sheet of cling wrap. Lay another piece over, and use a rolling pin to flatten it until you have a 20 x 20cm square. Put the butter, still wrapped in plastic, in the fridge until the dough is ready. Take the butter out about 20 minutes before the dough.
On a floured work surface, turn out the chilled dough and roll out to a square about 35cm across. Place the butter in the centerof the square, but rotated so that the points of the butter square fall at the middle of each flat side of the dough. Bring the corners of the dough together, wrapping the butter like an envelope and gently pinch the edges. Roll the dough out into a rectangle and fold the dough into thirds.
Return the dough to the baking sheet, cover with the towel and cling and chill for at least an hour, up to 6 hours. Repeat rolling and folding the dough 4 more times, rotating the dough 90 degrees each time before rolling and chilling the dough for at least an hour and up to 6 hours before each fold.
Let the dough rest for at least 10 hours after the final fold. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 5mm thickness. Cut the dough horizontally and then in triangles. Start from the wide side and roll up the croissant. Curve the croissant so that the point of the triangle is at the bottom and pointing the opposite direction as the curve in. Place these on a parchment –lined baking sheet, leaving enough space between each other to rise. Cover with a tea towel and then plastic. Let the croissants rise for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 190 C. Brush the croissants with the egg wash and then bake them for about 15 minutes until a rich golden brown. The croissants are best enjoyed the day they are baked.
Alternatively you can make braided ones and bake them in cupcake tins as pictured.