Here's the thing. Croissants are a waiting game. They're not hard to bake, they're just time consuming. But the from-scratch version is loads better than the kind you can buy pre-made in a tube and whack on the countertop to open. These croissants are flaky on the outside, and chewy on the inside. While they may not be perfect French pastries, they are certainly good enough for a homemade breakfast on a weekend morning.
Recipe is for 8 butter croissants and 8 chocolate croissants. If you don't need 16 croissants, cut the recipe in half. The proportions still work just fine.
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
320g warm water
440g pastry flour*
220g all purpose flour
400g butter, softened (plant-based or dairy)
Dark chocolate chips (for chocolate croissants)
Plant-Based Egg Wash Ingredients
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 cup coconut or almond milk
Standard Egg Wash Ingredients
1 tablespoon water
1. Combine water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Whisk for a moment. Then sprinkle yeast on top. Whisk to mix slightly. Allow to rest to activate the yeast for five minutes.
2. Add flours to mixing bowl, 1 cup at a time, mixing between. There should be no dry dough. Next add 20g of softened butter. Mix. Cover and let rise 1.5-2 hours.
3. Remove dough and slice into 24 equal pieces. A kitchen scale is helpful here. Melt the butter in a microwave or over the stove top in a bowl and set aside. I use a pasta machine lasagna noodle attachment for the next step. You may also use a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface.
4. Roll one piece of dough very thinly into a 10x20" (approximate) rectangle. Carefully move to a piece of parchment paper. This is the base layer. Brush the dough from edge to edge with the melted butter. Repeat this step, rolling out each slice of dough and applying butter between until you have stacked 12 sheets. Do not brush butter on the top of the last sheet.
5. Repeat step four with the remaining 12 pieces of dough. This will create our second stack of croissants. Cover with a dish towel and allow all croissants to rise for 2 hours.
6. Roll each stack of dough into 12x24" rectangle. We are working to remove some of the air. Next make three horizontal cuts along the shorter width of the rectangle. We should have four sections in each stack.
7. Slice each of the four rectangle sections once in a horizontal line across the middle. We now have 8 triangles per stack.
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
FOR BUTTER CROISSANTS: To roll the croissants start by taking one triangle. Start at the wide end and tightly roll towards the slender point. Tuck the point underneath the croissant and set croissant, point side down, on the baking sheet. Repeat for all triangles.
FOR CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS: To roll the croissants start by taking one triangle. Place chocolate chips along the body of the triangle. I use about 10-12 chips per croissant. You can also melt the chocolate chips and brush onto the triangles before rolling. Start at the wide end and tightly roll towards the slender point. Tuck the point underneath the croissant and set croissant, point side down, on the baking sheet. Repeat for all triangles.
9. Cover the freshly rolled croissants with a towel and allow to rise 1.5 hours. You may also pause here and place the croissants in the refrigerator, allowing them to slow their rise and chill overnight. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 12 hours if desired.
10. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Create the egg wash by combining the plant-based ingredients in a small bowl (or the standard egg wash ingredients in a small bowl). Whisk to combine the wash ingredients. Gently brush the egg wash on top of each of the croissants. Bake for ten minutes. Lower the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 8 minutes more.
11. Remove the croissants when they are golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. To store the croissants, wrap in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator. Stores for 24 hours. If you wish to store the croissants longer, freezing is recommended.
*If pastry flour isn't available, you may substitute all purpose flour for this amount. Note that the texture of the pastry will be less flaky, and more dense... but still delicious.
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