Croissant and coffee is my most favourite breakfast. Finding a good croissant in Dhaka is really hard. Most of the time, you end up buying bread rolls, shaped like croissants. There are very few places in Dhaka, where you can get decent quality croissants, although even those are not the most authentic ones. My love for croissants is so strong that, after searching for years, I have found the authentic croissant recipe. You have to have a lot of patience to make these croissants, as it's a three days process. But trust me, the result will be so good that all the hard work will be worth it. If the result isn't as good the first time, try again. Even for an expert baker like me, it took three attempts to get these perfect.
This amount makes 16 croissants
For the dough:
4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup cold milk
(1/4 cup extra milk, if the dough is too hard)
3 tsp dry yeast.
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp soft butter
1+ 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter.
This is the easy part. Warm up the water for the dough and add one tablespoon sugar. Make sure the water is not too hot. Now add the yeast. Let it sit for five minutes. In the mean time, mix the flour, the rest of the sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the milk, yeast mixture and butter. Knead it for five minutes. If it's too tight then add a little more milk. If its too soft, add a little flour. Knead until the dough is smooth. DO NOT over-knead. You will be laminating the butter next day. So if you knead too much, the dough will be hard to roll if the gluten is worked out too hard. Once it's kneaded, shape it into a flat disk. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate over night.
You will have to make a square shape with the butter. Take the butter out of the fridge. Cut them in 1.25 centimetres thick blocks and put them on a parchment paper. Make a 6 inch x 6 inch block. (Pic 1)
Now put another piece of parchment paper on top and roll the butter to make it smooth. Make a 8 inch x 8 inch block. Now cut the sides to make a 7 inch x 7 Inch block. Put the sides that you just cut out, back on top of the block. Roll out the top gently, so it can be smooth on top. Now wrap the butter block with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for two to three hours.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it in to a square. It should be big enough to wrap the butter. (Pic 2)
Fold the butter in the dough like an envelope. (Pic 3)
Now roll the envelope gently. Roll it into a 8 inch x 25 inch long strip. Then fold the dough like the below photos. (pic 4 and 5)
Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Take it out of the freezer and repeat the process of rolling and folding two more times. So you will have to do it a total of three times. The first two times, make sure to chill it for 30 minutes in the fridge. After the third fold, wrap it again in cling film and keep it in the fridge over night.
Today is finally croissant baking day. Yayy!!!!! Take the dough out of the fridge and start rolling. If you have a big work surface, roll out the entire dough to 44 inches long. If you don't have enough work surface, cut it in half and roll it to a 24 inches long and 8 inches wide strip. Now cut the dough with a pizza slicer or knife. (Pic 6)
Once cut, roll each of the triangles from the wider end to the narrow end. (Pic 7)
Once all the croissants are rolled, place them on your baking tray, leaving enough space in between them, so they can expand. Beat the egg and brush the croissants lightly. Leave the croissants to prove for two to three hours until they have doubled in size. (Pic 8)
Preheat your oven to 420°F/215°C. Once the croissants have risen, brush them again generously with egg wash and bake them for six minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350°F/175°C. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes or until they turn a dark brown colour.
Once baked, let them cool down sightly and then you can slice them in half to check the layers of your authentic croissants and enjoy them.
Farzana Romine is a food lover and travel enthusiast whose mission is recreating restaurant quality dishes at home and she invites you to come along for the ride