- For the croissants
- 4 1/8 cups bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp dry active yeast
- 4 sticks butter, at room temperature
- Egg wash
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 ¼ cup of water and start the bread hook on low, until it’s all combined. Turn the speed up to medium and knead for 10 minutes until silky smooth. Shape the dough into a ball, put it into an oiled bowl and cover with cling film then put it straight into the fridge for 2 hours.
- Place the butter onto a sheet of baking paper (roughly 12 x 12). Spread it out roughly into a square, then put another sheet of paper on top, and use a rolling to knock it into a neat 8 centimeter square. Then put it into the fridge to firm up.
- Once the dough has chilled for 2 hours, take the butter out of the fridge. With it still in the paper, loosen it up slightly with your fingers so that it’s not completely solid - this will make it easier to roll. Dust flour on your worktop and roll the dough out into a 10 inch square. Unwrap the butter and place it, in a diamond shape, on the dough. Fold each dough corner into the middle of the butter square - then pinch all of the seams firmly together.
- Rolling and folding the dough: Use a rolling pin to roll evenly and gently all over the dough, so the butter and dough stretch out as one. Roll the dough out to a 16 x 12 rectangle. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim one short end of the dough, so that there is a layer of butter showing in the edge. Fold this end first in by one third, then the other end, to make a 3-layer sandwich. Wrap this tightly in cling film and put it back into the fridge.
- After one hour, take the dough out of the fridge and repeat the rolling and folding process. Chill for another hour, then repeat it once more. After this 3rd and final fold and roll, wrap again tightly in clingfilm and chill overnight.
- The next day: Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes, in its clingfilm. Dust the worktop, and carefully roll the dough out to 16 x 16 inch square. Cut a triangle with one side along the bottom edge, and the tip in the middle of the top edge. Put the scraps to one side. Gently pull the bottom two corners of the triangle to stretch and widen it, then roll this piece up from the long edge to the narrow tip. Place onto a flat baking sheet with the end point underneath, to secure it.
- Beat the egg wash together well, then carefully brush it onto the horizontal parts of each roll - taking care to avoid the vertical edges of pastry, otherwise the layers will stick together as it bakes. Cover the croissant with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) room for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. You can repeat this process with the two ‘scrap’ triangles to make 2 smaller, but still large, croissants.
- Preheat the oven to 400. Once the croissant has doubled in size, go over the glaze areas with more egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, then reduce it to 350 fan and carry on cooking for another 30 minutes.
- Let the croissant stand for 10 minutes, then serve!