The classic French croissant

Spread with fresh strawberry jam, the classic French croissant is the perfect weekend breakfast. 

Buttery, light and crisp – the classic French croissant is hard to beat when it comes to breakfasts. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing more recipes from Andorra. Despite being a country in its own right, Andorra is situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, so lots of influence from both those countries… hence the French croissants!

How technical?

I’m not going to lie and say that these are the easiest things to make, however if you follow my instructions carefully, you shouldn’t go wrong.

The one thing to remember is to ensure you allow time to prove. I proved mine in a warm oven which I had turned off. I set it to 50 degrees for a few mins and then turned it off. Please ensure you keep an eye on them because if the oven is too hot, the butter will start to melt out. This did happen to me the first time round!

Then following recipe is based on the original recipe taught to me at Le Cordon Bleu London so you should be able to trust it.

I will explain some of the technical terms in French as this is how they were taught to me. I think it’s good to learn about something in the language of the country it comes from too. I’m all about the authenticity!

Remember: allow one evening for the dough to rest overnight.

An Andorran Breakfast

It would be typical to be eat croissants for breakfast in Andorra. It’s traditional to serve them with strawberry jam and butter, however there are so many other ways to enjoy them: Nutella, apricot jam to name a few – how do you like yours?

I really like to eat mine the traditional way with plenty of strawberry jam! This one is from Bracken Hill, Yorkshire. It was given to us in a holiday hamper and of course I brought it home with me! I am a fan of Nutella though. It’s a tough choice between the too.

Some essentials…

Sieve, cling film and d-scraper

Are you ready? Let’s bake!

– skip below the recipe for some of the steps in picture form.

The Recipe

The Classic French Croissant

  • Serves: 10
  • Difficulty: Challenging

The classic French croissant - buttery, crisp and light; the perfect weekend breakfast treat.

What you will need

  • 250g plain flour
  • 70ml water
  • 7.5g fresh yeast
  • 30g sugar
  • 2.5g salt
  • 75ml whole milk
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 125g butter
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 egg

Method

  • 1Detrempe –
  • 2 making the dough
  • 3Sift the flour onto a surface and make a large well –
  • 4 ensure it’s big enough to avoid escaping liquids!
  • 5Mix the yeast with 70ml of warm water.
  • 6Add the sugar, salt, melted butter, fresh yeast and half of the milk to the well. Stir with your hands, slowly incorporating the flour from the edge. Use a d-scraper to form a ball of dough.
  • 7Lightly knead the dough and mark the ball with a deep cross. Wrap loosely with cling film and place in the fridge overnight (or minimum an hour).
  • 8Beurrage + Tourage –
  • 9 Adding the butter and turning
  • 10Place the butter between two pieces or parchment and hit with a pin to soften to a similar consistency to the dough. Peel off the parchment and shape into a square roughly the same size as the dough. Place in fridge.
  • 11Dust surface with flour. Using the cross as a guide, roll the four corners outwards to form a cross shape. The middle should end up thicker. Place the butter square in the centre and fold over top two cross flaps and then the bottom two, so they overlap.
  • 12Turn the dough a quarter to the right and fold the two remaining side flaps so no butter can be seen. Seal well.
  • 13Press the dough lightly with a pin so evenly distribute the butter. Quarter turn to the right and press again.
  • 14Tourage –
  • 15 the 3 turns
  • 16Turn one: Dust the surface and roll out the dough upwards, starting from the bottom using long, even strokes, until double the length. Fold the bottom third of dough up and top third down over first fold. Ensure even edges. Turn a quarter to the right. Make one finger indent in the top, left corner. Wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • 171Turn two: Unwrap dough and ensure indent is on top, left. Repeat the above step. Make two indents, wrap, chill for 20 minutes.
  • 18Turn three: Repeat as above, making three indents. Once the last 20 min chill time is up, your dough is ready.
  • 19Croissants
  • 20Dust surface, unwrap dough and roll into a thin rectangle.
  • 21Cut into triangles -you should get 10. Gently stretch each triangle and roll them into a croissant shape, starting from the long side and ending at the point. Each croissant should have five segments.
  • 22Place them on a lined baking tray with the point underneath. Prove in a warm space until double in size (I did mine in an oven heated to 50 degrees and then turned off for a while).
  • 23Beat the 1 egg and 50ml milk together. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees fan/190.

STEP BY STEP IN PICTURES

I decided to take photos of the steps to make it easier for you to follow. Not all steps have a photo as some are more obvious than others and don’t need repeating. I hope this helps.

Step 4 

Step 5

Step 7
How to press the butter

Make the butter a square shape

Step 8Place butter square in centre of dough

Step 12

Step 12- 14

Step 17Cut the dough into trianglesshaping the croissant

Step 18

Fancy eating more Andorran food? Try these:

For a delicious side, try my battered bubble and squeak balls.

Lunch/dinner: indulge in my take on the national dish, escudella: slow-cooker Catalan-style rigatoni stew.

Dessert: how about these crispy & creamy Easter Spanish toasts?

See my what to eat in Andorra post for more in-depth information on how you would eat in Andorra.

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