For many of you reading, tomorrow is the May Day bank holiday – meaning another day of (hopefully) sunshine stretching before you, full of possibility! While I’ll be at work tomorrow (we get a two-day half term later this month), I thought it would be a pertinent moment to share this rather brunch-appropriate twenty minute croissant dough recipe. Now, don’t get me wrong – that’s not twenty minutes start to finish; that would be sheer baking magic! However, it’s just twenty minutes ‘hands on’ time, meaning if you prep this morning (around five minutes) and fold the dough this evening (ten minutes) you can forget about them during their slow proves in the fridge: all you have to do tomorrow morning is shape (another five minutes), wait a little longer and bake! The results are well worth the wait, and although they don’t have the same lamination (layers) or light flakiness of traditional croissant dough it they are utterly delicious. I first came across the recipe via Edd Kimber, writer of the amazing The Boy Who Bakes – but I couldn’t find his recipe online again, so used this lovely tweaked version from Super Golden Bakes. To make the twenty minute croissant dough, you will need:
250g strong bread flour
150g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
120ml warm milk
7g (one sachet) fast action 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 together, then let the mixture stand until the yeast is frothy and milk has cooled completely (if it’s too warm it will melt the butter).
Put the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and briefly pulse a few times until mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs.
Put the flour/butter mixture into a large bowl and add the milk/yeast mixture. Gently combine using a spatula until the dough just comes together. You want the butter to remain in pea-sized chunks, so don’t mix too much.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work top and press together to form a square. Wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge for a couple of hours (I made the dough in the morning and did the following steps the same evening). Lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out into a rectangle around two to three times as long as it is wide. The dough may be a little fragile but it will come together. Fold the short sides of the dough into the middle.
Rotate the dough a quarter turn. Roll out slightly to lengthen. Fold the short ends towards the middle. Flip the dough over so the seams are underneath. Roll again, repeating five more times. The dough will become nice and elastic as you roll and fold. If the butter softens too much, cover and pop in the freezer to firm before continuing.
The dough should now be a smallish rectangle. Wrap twice with clingfilm and put in the fridge for a few hours – or ideally, overnight.
The following morning, roll the dough out to a rectangle three times as long as it is wide and at least 4mm thick. Trim the edges so they are nice and straight.
Cut the dough into triangles about 30cm long and 8cm at the base. Any remaining dough 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 into a croissant shape! 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.
Cover with greased clingfilm and let them rise until double in size. My kitchen is quite cold so it took a couple of hours. Preheat the oven to 230C/ 210C Fan. Brush the croissants with the egg wash and bake for ten minutes before reducing the temperature to 190C/ 170C Fan to bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the croissants are a deep golden brown and cooked all the way through.
Cool a little on a wire rack before serving. Best eaten warm, with copious homemade jam and a pot of tea.
What are you baking this long weekend, if you have one?