My kids are crazy about French croissants and the truth is we like them too. The only problem is that it can be pretty difficult to find good quality butter croissants in bakeries (most of them are made with margarine) and it's really difficult to bake them at home (they are so many steps to follow and it takes more than 2 days to fold them, refrigerate them, fold them again etc. Too much stress).
So, when my kids asked for croissants NOW, it was a real challenge for me to find a healthy, tasty and quick recipe.
Long story short, I decided to bake some butter croissants, similar to the French ones but without all the folding and refrigerating. So, the recipe is really simple, you need maximum 15 minutes of effective preparation plus some time to freeze, then rise the dough. They turned out very very good, different than the French version, but fluffy and really tasty. I left some of them simple (you can fill them after baking with cream cheese or homemade pate) and I filled some of them with apricot slices, both versions were great.
- 300 g flour;
- 150 g cold butter, diced;
- 100 ml lightly warmed milk;
- 1/2 pack active dry yeast;
- 1 egg yolk and 3 Tbsp of milk for the egg wash;
- a pinch of vanilla or orange powder, by taste;
- 1-2 sliced apricots/ other fruit (for filling the croissants).
Dissolve the yeast in the lightly warmed milk. Let it cool completely (even in the fridge) or it will melt the butter.
Place the flour (and vanilla/orange powder, if using) and the diced butter in a bowl and mix with your fingers or with a fork until you get a rough sandy texture. You need to leave whole grains of butter as they will melt in the oven and give a nice texture to the croissants.
Add the cold milk with yeast and mix for a couple of minutes until you get a dough. Don't knead the dough too much, otherwise the butter will melt. Give it a relatively square shape, cover with cling film, and put it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Remove the dough from the freezer, roll it flat onto the table in a rectangular shape (length double than width). It will be pretty difficult in the beginning as the dough is frozen and it might break. Just stick the pieces together and continue as fast as possible (the coldest the dough remains, the better).
Fold the dough as following: put the ends together so that they meet in the middle of the rectangle, like a letter. Turn it on the other side (so the folded ends will be underneath) and then turn it 90 degrees clockwise. Repeat the procedure 3-4 times, then roll it into a long rectangle (from this one you will cut the croissants).
Cut the rolled dough into equal rectangles, then cut every rectangle on one diagonal. Add the filling on the shortest edge of each triangle, then roll to the opposing vertice.
Place the croissants on a tray lined with baking paper and coat them with egg wash. Let them rise, in a warm place, for about 1h.
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
Cover the croissants with one more layer of egg wash, then bake them for 10-15 minutes (depending on their dimension).
Remove from the oven and let them cool a bit (if you can 😍) before you serve.