King Arthur Baking’s Baker’s Croissants: Flaky Perfection At Home

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There’s a reason why croissants are synonymous with French pastry perfection. Their buttery layers, golden brown exterior, and light, airy interior are a delightful indulgence. But fear not, bakers of all levels! This recipe, adapted from the experts at King Arthur Baking Company, will have you whipping up these delectable pastries in no time.

Ingredients:

Baker’s Croissants Recipe King Arthur Baking

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

  • 3 1/4 cups (14 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold water
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)

  • Directions:

    1. Make the Dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.
    2. Activate the Yeast: In a separate bowl, whisk together the yeast and cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast becomes foamy.
    3. Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. The dough will be shaggy.
    4. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough gently for about 1 minute, or until it just comes together. Don’t overwork it!
    5. First Rise: Shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.
    6. Folding and Shaping: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Give the dough a three-fold turn: imagine the dough divided into thirds. Fold the bottom third of the dough up towards the center, then fold the top third down over that.
    7. Second Rise: Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding process (steps 6 & 7) two more times. Wrap the dough again in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another hour.
    8. Final Shaping: Repeat the rolling and folding process (steps 6 & 7) one last time. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into triangles.
    9. Forming the Croissants: Starting from the base of each triangle, gently roll the dough up towards the tip, forming a crescent shape. Curve the ends slightly to create the classic croissant shape.
    10. Proofing: Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving space between them for rising. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
    11. Baking: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the tops of the croissants with the egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.
    12. Cool and Enjoy: Let the croissants cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and savor your homemade delight!

    Nutrition Facts (per croissant):

    Calories: 270

  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 230mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 4g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on the ingredients used.

    Conclusion

    Following these steps will result in buttery, flaky croissants that rival those from any bakery. Remember, patience is key! The chilling and folding process allows the gluten to develop, creating that signature layered texture. So grab your rolling pin and get ready to impress your friends and family with these homemade masterpieces.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour?

    While all-purpose flour is recommended for this recipe, bread flour can be used in a pinch. Bread flour has a higher gluten content, which can make the croissants slightly chewier.

    2. What if my butter isn’t cold enough?