This was something new for me, croissants have been on my ‘to bake’ list for a long time but it is only very recently that I have got round to giving them a go. I am so glad I did, home made croissants are so much better than shop bought ones! I was so pleased with how they turned out. Even my sister, a true croissant connoisseur said she loved them. They may take time, they aren’t something you can just whip up, but that time that you invest in them is really worth it. When you see them puff up and crisp up in the oven and the smell of freshly baked croissants fills your kitchen, trust me, you will be filled with a sense of pride. I treated my family to a bank holiday breakfast in the garden and baked them chocolate orange croissants and raspberry almond croissants served with fresh orange juice. The recipe here is for the chocolate orange croissants. For the basic croissant dough I used Paul Hollywood‘s recipe and technique from his book How to Bake, it worked very well. Once you can make the basic dough then you can jazz them up however you want!
To make Chocolate Orange Croissants you will need:
500g strong white bread flour
80g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
300g cold unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate
3 tsp orange extract
Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the water and combine. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is quite stiff. Put the dough in a bowl dusted with flour, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour, to a rectangle approx 60cm by 20cm and 1cm thick. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter out to cover a rectangle approx 40cm by 20cm (2/3rds of your croissant dough). Put the butter on top of the bottom 2/3rds of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the butter. Cut off the rest of the butter you can see and put it on top of the folded dough. Now fold the bottom 1/3rd of dough up on top. Wrap lightly in cling film and leave the dough to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge and dust the work surface with flour. With the short end facing you roll the dough into a 60 by 20cm rectangle again. Fold the top third down and then the bottom 3rd up. Wrap loosely again and chill for another hour. Do this twice more: roll out, fold and chill for 1 hour.
Now leave the dough in the fridge overnight, you will find in the morning that it has puffed up and risen.
While your dough is chilling make the chocolate sticks for the filling. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted add the orange extract. Add a little at a time until you get the strength of flavour you want. Spread the chocolate out onto a piece of greaseproof paper and leave to cool overnight. In the morning cut into sticks.
In the morning roll the dough out again on a floured surface, this time to a rectangle approx 40cm by 30cm, 7mm thick. Divide the dough in 2 lengthways and cut triangles from each strip with a 12cm wide base (approx 12 triangles in total).
Take a triangle, hold down the base and pull slightly on the point to lengthen it. Put 2 chocolate sticks at the base of the triangle and roll it up. Bend the ends of the croissant in slightly. Put the rolled croissants on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper and leave at room temp for 1-2 hours to rise.
Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Now it is finally time to enjoy them! Serve with a sprinkle of orange zest and a glass of fresh orange!
I have entered this into November’s Alpha Bakes Challenge – this month’s letter is O!