The variations for this recipe are limitless, but the basic recipe holds plenty of rich, buttery goodness, no matter how you vary. While it requires some practice, once you master this recipe, you can probably cook anything.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 Cup water, heated to 100 degrees
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons corn oil
- 1 Cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/3 Cups bread flour
- 7 ounces unsalted butter; at room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons flour, plus flour for dusting work surface
- 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water; for glaze
- Place yeast, honey, and the water in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Yeast is active or proofed when it bubbles gently after 10 to 15 minutes. Add milk and oil. Stir to combine. Stir in whole wheat flour and salt. Mix well. Add enough bread flour to form a soft dough. It may be easier to incorporate the last cup of bread flour on work surface rather than in mixing bowl.
- Knead only until flour is mixed into dough. Place dough in 3-quart mixing bowl; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. While dough is chilling, mix butter with 3 tablespoons flour. Wrap in plastic and chill 20 minutes or leave at room temperature if room is cooler than 65 degrees.
- Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and place on lightly floured work surface. Roll dough into a rectangle approximately 8 inches by 16 inches.
- Place pieces of butter over two thirds of the dough. Fold unbuttered third of dough over adjacent buttered third, and remaining third onto both layers to form three layers. This process is similar to folding a business letter.
- Press edges together to seal in butter. Wrap dough in foil and return to refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn dough so that it is lengthwise on the work surface.
- Roll dough again to approximately 8 inches by 16 inches. Fold into thirds as if folding a letter. Repeat the folding and rolling three more times, chilling dough for 20 minutes after each series of folds.
- It may be necessary to flour board lightly again between rolling and folding. Brush excess flour from dough before folding. Wrap dough airtight and chill for 4 hours or longer. Dough may be frozen to use later.
- To shape croissants, roll dough to a square about 15 inches by 15 inches. Cut dough in half across width and in thirds across length to make six rectangles about 5 inches by 7 inches.
- Cut each rectangle along the diagonal to make 12 triangle-shaped pieces of dough. Gently pull the narrow ends to make a isosceles triangle.
- Starting at wide end, slowly roll each triangle into a crescent shape.
- Tuck tip of croissant under itself. Place rolled crescents on a parchment-lined baking sheet to rise for 1 hour in a cool place.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees 30 minutes before rising is through.
- Brush tops of each crescent with beaten egg glaze. Cook in preheated oven for 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack a few minutes before serving.
- Wrap croissants to be frozen in an airtight container. Reheat in 350 degrees oven for 10 minutes.
Blue Cheese and Almond Croissants, combine 2 ounces blue cheese with 4 tablespoons softened butter. Just before rolling into crescent shapes, spread with blue cheese butter mixture, then continue as directed in step 8. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds before baking.
Yield: 1 dozen croissants.