Crafting the Perfect Croissant with a Twist
Taking a leap from your milk bread adventures? Why not dive into crafting milk bread-based croissants right in your cozy kitchen? I once tiptoed around the idea, too. But after weaving my sourdough magic, I found that our beloved milk bread was the secret ingredient. Trust me, you’re closer to croissant perfection than you think!
Immerse yourself in this journey, and you’ll soon be relishing buttery, crispy French croissants. And the versatility! Enjoy them with a dollop of jam, a steaming mug of coffee, or even elevate them to chocolate, almond, or savory ham and cheese variants.
Still have doubts? Dive deeper.
Mastering the Art of Croissant Creation
At first glance, croissants might seem intimidating. However, much like sourdough, it’s about patience rather than constant hands-on effort. And while there might be moments of doubt, remember: practice makes perfect. Over time, the rolling and laminating steps became therapeutic for me, and with every attempt, my croissants only got better.
Introducing: The Milk Bread Croissant
Imagine a fusion of the traditional French croissant and the velvety Asian milk bread. That’s precisely what we’re aiming for here! After trying numerous recipes, a suggestion to leverage our milk bread recipe sparked intrigue. Surprisingly, several French-style bakeries in China have been pioneers in this innovation.
With the basics of milk bread under her belt, Judy made the dough, which I then transformed into our star croissants. Essentially, our Asian milk bread has similarities to the typical croissant dough. They’re both enriched doughs, packed with dairy and sometimes sugar, creating a rich, tender crumb.
Despite these complexities, our milk bread remains straightforward. There’s no need for intricate steps; just follow the recipe!
When crafting your croissants, note that you’ll utilize only half of our milk bread dough. So, while you indulge in these croissants, you can simultaneously relish a fresh loaf of milk bread. And a small flour tip: we’ve transitioned to using only all-purpose flour for this, but if you’re aiming for a lighter texture, consider substituting half a cup with cake or pastry flour.
- 6 ounces unsalted European-style butter (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup whole milk (room temperature)
- 1 large egg (room temperature; split for dough and egg wash)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons water
Crafting Your Croissants: Step-by-Step
1. Preparing the Butter Square:
Begin with an 11×15 inch parchment paper, folding it in half. Arrange softened butter squares on one side, then fold the other half over the butter. Using a rolling pin and a flat-edged tool, create a uniform butter square and freeze for 30 minutes.
2. Milk Bread Dough Creation:
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, add ingredients in the order: cream, milk, half the egg, sugar, flour, yeast, and salt. Mix until it forms a cohesive dough, then knead for 15 minutes. Let it rise for 1-2 hours.
3. Laminating the Dough:
After chilling, roll out the dough to an 11-inch square, placing the butter square diagonally. Seal the butter within the dough and roll into an 18×9 inch rectangle. Fold it like a letter, chill, and repeat the process three more times.
4. Shaping the Croissants:
Roll the dough into an 18×9 inch rectangle and cut into triangles. Roll each triangle into the iconic croissant shape and let them rest for 30 minutes in the fridge, followed by a 90-minute proof.
5. Baking Time:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the croissants with an egg wash, bake for 12 minutes, then reduce to 350°F and continue for another 15-18 minutes until they’re a deep golden hue.
Experience the joy of crafting these milk bread-based croissants, and the satisfaction of every bite will be your well-deserved reward.