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I've wanted to make croissants and pain au chocolat at home for quite a while. I've been put off doing it because I'd heard it is fairly difficult to achieve a good product. The other day it was miserable outside, I had plenty of butter in the fridge so I though lets give it a go.


Home Made Croissants Recipe - How I got on

The first recipe I found was on-line, which I combined with the example shown in Larousse Gastronomique and a tweak of my own. The result was pleasing, they had a good texture with a typical French bakery taste. The only thing I let myself down on was the bake. They took colour ever so suddenly, I took my eye off them for less than a minute and they'd over baked slightly. I won't be letting this happen in the future.

On to the recipe, and my findings. Before you start this recipe though, please bear in mind it will consume a fair bit of time. Croissant dough is not something that can be rushed otherwise it makes life difficult and you'll lose flavour.

Ingredients needed for croissants and pain au chocolat

I tend to use lbs & oz these days, but I've converted everything over :)

1lb 2oz (510g) flour (strong bread flour – this is my tweak)

5 fl oz (150ml) tepid water

5 fl oz (150ml) milk (preferably full-fat although semi-skimmed worked just as well)

1/2 oz (14g) dried yeast (can use fresh yeast, but I don't know the conversion)

1/2 oz (14g) salt (table)

2 oz (57g) fine sugar

1 1/2 oz (43g) butter (unsalted)

For the butter slab

One block of unsalted butter at 250g

For the egg-wash

an egg, beaten with a spot of water to make it runny

Other equipment

I find when making any bread dough a Kenwood style mixer with a dough hook is worth while, otherwise you'll be putting in a lot more effort doing it by hand.

You'll obviously need a couple of baking trays or so, plus grease proof paper.

Preferably have a pizza cutter to hand, although you could get away with a sharp pairing knife.

If possible have some kind of dish that can be put over the baking trays, this is not essential though just speeds things up a little.

You WILL need a reasonable sized work surface. The full amount of dough will need just shy of 4 feet available (for rolling). You can halve the dough, this will still require about 2 feet obviously.

Hopefully you haven't been put off by this point. It's not difficult as long as you follow the recipe and don't cut corners.