Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Easy Croissants from Scratch! - A Cheat Recipe

After baking the most precise kind of Bouchon Bakery croissants, I am asking myself...

Is there an easier or quicker way of baking croissants? With no nightmares of oozing butter???

Is there really a cheating or express way of baking croissants?

I can't tell you a firm YES or NO because the answer depends on how fussy are you with your croissants.

This recipe from Super Golden Bakes is definitely an easier way of baking croissants but not exactly quicker because you need at least two hours or overnight to rest the dough in the fridge and also at least another three hours to prove the croissants before baking. It is definitely easy because there are less freezing, refrigerating, rolling and turning involved and best of all, there is NO handling of a huge block of butter!!! I can promise or even triple promise that there won't be any meltdown in you and the block of butter that you handle!!!

To maximize the success of this recipe, it is important that the butter should not be over-mixed into the dough and the last proving step has be long enough for the croissants to be puffy. However, I have noticed that the bits and pieces of butter embedded in the croissants seem to be melting off when I left the croissants in the room temperature for too long and wonder if this is the reason why my croissants are not layering enough.

If you are fussy with your croissants, I have to honestly say that this easy recipe won't make the most ideal type of croissants (like what I have mentioned in my previous post) with ALL 1) shattering crust, 2) feather-light with distinct stretchy layers 
interior, 3) buttery flavour and 4) overall enjoyment being good enough even on its own. To me, these easy croissants have passed at least three out of four areas with the mentioned assessment. They do have shattering crusts, buttery flavour and overall enjoyment of an ideal croissant but obviously, they don't have distinctive flaky interior. Not too bad for a cheat recipe!

easy croissants
Easy croissants from scratch
Start by preparing this yeast mixture.
It is important that the mixture has to be completely cooled before using it in the next step.
Important - Do not over-process mixture!
Important AGAIN - Do not over-process mixture!
This is so easy.
Obviously, this will not create layers that are distinctive like the ones made with a block of butter.
Rest the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Shaping the croissants 
The dough is so easy to handle.
Place croissants onto a prepared baking tray and allow them to prove for at least 3 hours.
After proving: The croissants look puffy but I have noticed that the butter is melting off from their base.
In regardless, these really smell and taste like croissants...
... but only lacking the distinctive interior layers!

Here's the recipe from Super Golden Bakes with my slight modification in blue.

Makes 8-10 small or 6 large croissants
250g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting and rolling
150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
120ml (1/2 cup) warm milk
50g (4 tbsp) sugar
7g (2 tsp) dry active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk to glaze

Warm your milk until it is body-temperature. Add the sugar and yeast and whisk to combine. Let it stand until the yeast is frothy and milk has cooled completely. If it's too warm, it will melt the butter and undo all our good work.

Put your flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the cubed butter and briefly pulse a few times until mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs.

Put the flour/butter in a large bowl and add the milk/yeast mixture. Gently combine using a spoon or pastry scraper until the dough just comes together. You want the butter to remain in pea-sized pieces so don't be too enthusiastic when mixing the dough!

Turn the dough out of a lightly floured work top and press together to form a square. Wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 30 mins (I did this) or in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Lightly dust your worktop and rolling pin with flour. Roll your dough out to a rectangle roughly two to three times longer than its width. Initially the dough may be quite brittle but it will come together as you roll and fold. Fold the short sides of the dough into the middle (see above pic). Rotate the dough by a quarter turn. Roll out slightly to lengthen. Fold the short ends towards the middle (see above pic). Flip the dough over so the seams are underneath. Repeat rolling and folding steps three more times. The dough will become more elastic as you are rolling and folding it. If the dough is too soft, pop it in the freezer to firm it before continuing with rolling and folding. The dough should be formed into a smallish rectangle. Wrap it twice with cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight.

Roll the dough out to a rectangle three times longer than its width and at least 4mm thick. Using a knife, trim the edges.

Cut the dough into triangles about 30cm/12in long and 8cm/3in at the base. Score a small slit in the centre of each triangle base (see above pic). Any scraps and cut-offs can be layered on top of each other, rolled out again and used. Gently stretch the corners and tip, then loosely roll the dough up. Place, tip side down, on a large tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing the croissants a few inches apart on the tray.

Cover loosely with greased cling wrap and let the croissants rise for at least 3 hours at room temperature - sorry, there are no shortcuts here!

Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C or 210°C fan forced. Brush the croissants with the egg wash and bake for 6-10 mins or until golden brown, then reduce temperature to 375°F or 190°C or 160°C fan forced and bake for another 5-10 mins. Note: The total baking time for my small crossiants is 16 mins and I reckon the croissants need to be baked for at least 15 mins. Cover the croissants loosely with foil at the last 5 mins of bake if they are too dark in their colours. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Happy Baking
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  1. Cheat or not... your croissants look fab! I still dont think I have the courage to attempt this in my kitchen.

  2. I kind of like this version of croissant...much less butter than the previous recipe...they look great...love the golden color.
    Have a great week Zoe :)

  3. You know Zoe... these are beautiful croissants. I would be happy to have either variety!

  4. Agree with Baby Sumo. So beautiful! I want these for breakfast now!

  5. I love croissants Zoe:))
    These look amazing!

  6. This recipe looks great! Definitely a lot easier to make without the layers of butter but I'm sure they're just as yummy! My boyfriend loves croissants and with his skinny figure he can afford to eat them!

  7. Looks great! The outer layer must be crispy. Tempting to try.

  8. I dont mind the layers issue coz cheat or not, they both look so so very delicious and buttery and yummy..

  9. Wow... another amazing recipe shared... this looks much easier than the other one, but looks so good as well...

  10. It would be easier to visit you than learn how to make croissants! :D

  11. Zoe, I love croissant!!!

  12. Hi Zoe! I love croissants! I used to get them from Delifrance. After watching how it is made on TV, I realized that there is so much butter involved. It was scary even for a butter lover like me. Plus so much work hah..hah... Yours turned out really well.

  13. Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for sharing this "easier version" of making croissant ... still ... I'm not sure if it turns out well even if I try this ... Admiring all your croissants !

  14. Omg these croissants look simply great..feel tempted looking at the pic..too good dear

  15. Hi Zoe

    I was tempted by the words "cheat recipe"...but it's a long and laborious cheat way. Lol! BUT I love the golden crust. Must be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My boys will love these. Yummy!

  16. I always enjoy a good'ol buttery croissant but it is not easy to find a good quality store-bought/bakery croissant as it typically falls under the "too-greasy" end.

    Never take a homemade croissant for granted as to me, it seems to require a skilled baker (like yourself) no matter how easy it sounds.

  17. Hi Zoe,
    This is similar to the one I tried from one of Nick Malgieri's recipe, he called it One-Step Croissant. I bought more butter to try again, but looks like I won't be able to make it on time for BA...got company staying over right now!

  18. I love this cheat recipe...its so easy right rather than going for individual layers of butter and dough...love it

  19. hi zoe, certainly much easier than the traditional ones..hehe...guess this is something more richer than a brioche?...ya..i do realised that those prebaked croissants need to proof about 2-3 hours for them to get really puffy :)