Croissants

I've finally got these right, and let me assure you, they're well worth the effort.

Breakfast of champions, photography of someone who hasn't charged the camera batteries
Before getting started, its well worth noting that a batch of croissants takes a long time from start to finish. You're not going to be able to whip up a batch before breakfast. Think afternoon tea instead. That said, I have read that the dough can be frozen after the last turn, so perhaps consider making a double batch.

The recipe is that followed by Julia Childs, and makes 12 rather dainty croissants.

Croissants

1/4 cup warm water
2 tspn sugar
1 tspn dried yeast
2 cups plain flour
1 tspn salt
4 tspn sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter

Method

Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and set aside until foamy. 
Sift the flour, and combine with the remaining dry ingredients. Make a well and mix together  with the milk, oil and yeast mixture. Knead until smooth and elastic - around 3 to 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and place somewhere warm to rise until the dough has doubled in size. 

Knead the dough again, wrap in cling film and chill for around 20 minutes.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter. Roll out the dough, then place the butter on top. Fold the dough over the butter. Then roll out in to a rectangle. If any butter pokes through, pinch the dough up and over it. After rolling, fold in to thirds then wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.

Repeat the rolling, folding and refrigerating until no streaks of butter are visible. This may take as few as 3 turns, but is more likely to take 5 or 6. 

After the final turn, cut the dough in half. Return half to the fridge, and cut the remaining dough into thirds. Wrap 2 and return them to the fridge. Using a floured rolling pin and work surface, roll out in to a square, then cut in half to form 2 triangles. Carefully roll each in to a croissant and place on a lined baking tray. 

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Cover with a clean tea towel, place somewhere warm and allow to prove for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 220 C. Brush each croissant with an egg wash mixture (1 egg beaten with around a tbsp water). Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown. 
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