Yes, you CAN make croissants at home! You just need three days. More precisely, you need thirty minutes one night, ten the next morning and night, and an hour the following morning for shaping and baking. It is clearly best suited to a free weekend, HOWEVER I am fairly positive that an extra day of fridge-sitting wouldn’t hurt ’em. In other words, you can mix the dough on a Thursday night, ignore it until Saturday, and have oven-fresh croissants on Sunday.
If it sounds like I’m shelling for croissants, it’s because I have THE BEST RECIPE, but the whole extended time line throws some people off. This saddens me! It takes a couple day, but practically no labor. No kneading, I promise.
And the other thing holding you back, I’ve heard, is the assembly. We’re going to talk about that today. But first, please visit the original recipe to refresh your memory. As you remember, we start, of course, with flour, yeast, sugar, salt and milk and let this dough hang out in the fridge overnight. But the next day?
Dump it all out on a well-floured counter and roll it into a 6″ x 15″ rectangle. Smear some butter and flour on the top two-thirds.
Fold up the bottom third.
Then fold the top third over. Just like a letter! We do remember letters, right?
Rotate it counter-clockwise. The fold is now facing right.
Now roll it back out to 6″ x 15″ and repeat the letter-folding technique. To refresh your memory, this is half-way through:
No sweat, right? Shove it back in the fridge for the day. That night, take it back out and fold it, letter style, twice more. Refrigerate it for the night. The following morning . . .
Slap it down on a well-floured counter.
Roll it into a large circle, about a 16″ diameter — but hey, no need to break out the rulers.
Cut each quarters into thirds.
Ta-da! Now grab whatever totally optional fillings you choose. You can ALWAYS roll them plain, and they will be incredibly buttery, flakey, and delicious. But it’s hard for me to say no when there’s a jar of Nutella in the cupboard.
Roll the triangle a little thinner. If you’re adding filling, whether it be a streak of jam, a spoonful of Nutella, or a row of chocolate chips, shmear it along the base.
Then, filling or not, just roll it to the point! Arrange your finished croissants on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and preheat that oven to 400 degrees.
Brush them all with a little milk, a little egg, and let them rise another forty minutes. Then pop them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you pass out from how delicious they look. Eat warm! Enjoy! And never let a lack of time or know-how stop you again!