Croissants have long been a staple of Austrian and French bakeries and pâtisseries. In the late 1970s, the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed but unbaked dough made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor.
The croissanterie was explicitly a French response to American-style fast food, and today 30–40% of the croissants sold in French bakeries and patisseries are baked from frozen dough.
How to make Croissant
The Kipferl, ancestor of the croissant, has been documented in Austria going back at least as far as the 13th century, in various shapes.
The Kipferl can be made plain or with nuts or other fillings (some consider the rugelach a form of Kipferl).
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Mix 1 cup of the all- purpose flour with the water and yeast, just until the flour is mixed evenly and you don't see any clumps. Set the bowl aside and let rise for 1 hour.
Add the remaining flour, the milk and the melted butter along with the salt. Knead the mixture for a minute. Cover the bowl with a wet paper towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes. This can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook (on low speed) for 20 minutes. The dough should be uniformly mixed, smooth and elastic by the time you finish kneading. Take some plastic wrap and wrap the dough.
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
Take the dough out from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 9 x 17-inch rectangle. Take the square of butter and place it gently on the bottom half of the rectangle. If the butter is too soft, put it back into the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. Align the dough and the sides of the butter square so they are even.
- 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Roll the square with a rolling pin to stretch the dough and the butter in it.The dough dough should be rolled into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle.
Turn the dough so the single fold is on your left. You can picture this if you think of the spine of a book. There should be a fold that could flip open, like the pages of a book.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a 6 1/2 x 20-inch rectangle.Trim the edges of the dough if they are uneven. The dough should be about 1/8 - 1/4-inch thick (check to make sure it's easily lift-able). Repeat this for the other half of the dough.
Starting on the left side of the bottom edge of the rectangle, measure 5 inches from the end. Use a rubber spatula or a knifeto make a tiny notch to mark the beginning of the base of the first triangle.
Repeat the notching and the cutting with the second rectangle (don't forget about that one). You should have double the triangles after you finished cutting now.
Roll the triangle into a crescent by rolling from the base up. One hand should be working with the dough on each side of the slit.
Bake for 15 minutes and switch the two racks and rotate them so they're horizontal. Bake for another 15 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown. Wait until they are cool and serve.