To make the dough:
1 cup (250 ml) cold milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
3 3/4 cup (500 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup + 2tbsp (9 oz/ 250 g) butter, frozen, then left at room temp. for 20-30 minutes
1. Pour the milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar, leave for 5 minutes until frothy.
2. Add in the flour and salt, incorporate it with your hands into a shaggy ball.
3. Tip the contents out onto a clean work surface and knead until you’ve incorporated all the flour (this should only take about 2 minutes). Place the dough into an oiled bowl, and leave in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
3. When your dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take your frozen butter (which has been left at room temperature for 20-30 minutes), and grate onto a piece of cling film (aka plastic wrap)
4. Disperse the butter, and flatten into a rectangle, roughly 8″ x 5″. Fold up in the cling film and pat together well (seriously, like make sure it’s nicely compacted). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Once the butter has been chilling for 25 minutes (cos he’s a cool dude, you know), tip the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 16″ x 10″ rectangle.
6. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place into the centre of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter (like a business letter). Seal all the edges by pinching the dough together.
7. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, use the roiling pin to make regular indentations in the dough.
8. Roll into a 15″ x 10″ rectangle.
9. Fold into thirds like a business letter. Wrap the dough in cling film, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (steps 8+9 = ‘one turn’ of the dough)
10. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and complete 1 turn (i.e. repeat steps 8 + 9). Re-wrap in the cling film, refrigerate for 1 hour.
11. Repeat step 10, two more times, so you have done a total of 4 turns.
12. Cut the dough into quarters. Wrap the quarters tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months (if you freeze it, let the dough defrost in the fridge overnight before shaping).
Shaping the dough
Remove one piece of dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 16″ x 6″ rectangle.
Cut into thirds, forming 3 smaller rectangles. Cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally forming 6 triangles.
Take one triangle of dough (I recommend putting the others in the fridge while you shape each one).
Pull on the corners of the shortest edge, to even up the base of the triangle. Then gently stretch the dough a little
Place it, tip side down, onto a lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the triangles, placing them 2″ apart.
(at this point you can also freeze the shaped croissants on the baking sheet, then once frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag and leave in the freezer for up to 3 months, then defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed as below).
Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a cool place for around 2-3 hours ( if you’re making these the night before, you can actually shape them and leave them to rise in the fridge overnight instead).
Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (22o degrees C) . Brush the croissants with beaten egg using a pastry brush and put into the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and puffy.
Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy your 2 to I-literally-don’t-know-how-long-these-took-to-make-any-more day labour of love.