Carter's Kitchen
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Very tasty, light croissants excellent with some jam / marmalade or on their own. I've experimented with various techniques so you don't have too. My aim to make a quick easy practically no fail recipe. That does not take 2 days as per the traditional methods. Once cooked will keep in freezer and re-heat perfectly (180ºC in a pre-heated oven for 10 minuets).

Serves: 22-24 croissants
Strong white flour
Dried yeast
Warm water

Egg glaze

Activate your yeast by mixing the water and milk. It should be warm not too hot or cold. If you can't keep your finger in it's too hot. Mix in the sugar and then add the yeast. Set to one side, if it's a bit slow to start place somewhere warm.
Place the flour and salt in a bowl and lightly mix. Whisk the egg and add to the flour. Your yeast mix should have a nice thick foam ontop by this stage, if not place somewhere warm and give it a bit longer.
Add most of your yeast mix to the flour and mix together it should start to form a dough. You don't want it too dry or too wet, if you have measured accurately I find you can add all the yeast mix. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed the dough for a few minutes. Place into a largish lightly oiled bag and place this into the FREEZER for 30 minutes.
Weight out your butter and divide into 3 equal portions on a plate, if your butter is soft place it into the fridge.
When the 30minutes is up take your dough and place onto a lightly floured surface (Keep the bag handy). Roll out the dough to roughly 20cm x 60cm. Try to only roll in one direction and quickly so the dough does not have time to warm up.
Using a knife DO NOT cut but mark the dough lightly dividing it into three equal portions (approx 20x20 per portion). Take one third of your butter and divide it between the top two portions. I prefer to slice the butter and lay it on the dough, lightly pressing it down to stick. Fold the bottom section over the middle, then the top over bottom. Seal the edges with your hands and rotate once to the left.
Place back into the plastic bag and back into the FREEZER for 30 minutes. Repeat the last two steps, placing dough in freezer for 30 minutes after each rotation until all the butter is used up. On the last rotation place dough in freeze for just 20 minutes. If any butter is leaking out and sticking to the rolling pin, sprinkle with flour and continue.
Take dough out of freezer and place onto lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to roughly 40cm x 78cm. If any butter is leaking out and sticking to the rolling pin, sprinkle with flour and continue. However try not to over flour the dough, use just enough so it does not stick.
Once the size is achieved, cut dough into two strips 20cm x 78cm. Then divide into triangles, to do this mark along one long edge of the dough every 13cm. On the opposite edge first make a mark 7.5cm and then every 13cm after. Now cut the dough into triangles using the marks. You will have a half triangle at either end, these can be roughly joined if you don't want to waste.
To form the croissants, take a triangle with the base towards you cut a 1-2cm /\ mini-triangle on the centre of the bottom edge. Fold this up (I don't like to waste). Now stretch the dough slightly pulling the two formed wings down and away. It reminds me a little of the Eiffel tower at this stage. Start to roll from the bottom, leaving the tip underneath. Pull the two ends round to form the classic crescent shape. Try to make them touch forming a circle almost, as they will move outwards when rising. Place on a try with enough space between them to allow doubling in size.
Let the croissant dough rise, place the trays in a not too hot place (probably no more then 20ºC) out of direct sunlight. Leave them there for about 2hours, if it is cooler they can take 3hours or more. Please note DO NOT place in a warm oven to rise, the butter will melt and you will have a soggy mess (this will also happen if the room is too warm). This step cannot be rushed, you can tell they are ready as they have at least doubled in size and look "poofy".
Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC. Whisk together in a cup the egg glaze ingredients. Using a pastry brush cover the croissants in the egg glaze. For a tidier finish try not to have any runs on the baking sheets.
Cook the croissants for 20minutes at 190ºC. They should be golden brown and a slight flaky look to the top layers when done. They may look done at 15minutes, but give them full time or they may not be cooked through. If they are looking overdone, turn the temperature down 10 degrees and make a note for next time. Ovens do vary so some of this is trial and error.
Leave them to cool on a rack for at least 10minutes before trying one as they will also just finish cooking in their own heat. If there is no distinct layers in the croissant turn your oven down 10 degrees, too hot and it just comes out like bread.

Submitted by: Carter - 30/03/2011