When you think of France, you think croissants right? Here is something interesting. Alan Davidson, editor of the Oxford Companion to Food, found no printed recipe for the present-day croissant in any French recipe book before the early 20th century; the earliest French reference to a croissant he found was among the “fantasy or luxury breads” in Payen’s Des substances alimentaires, 1853. However, early recipes for the croissant (without butter, and so not puff pastry-based) can be found in the nineteenth century and at least one reference to croissants as an established French bread appeared as early as 1850. Wherever they came from, croissants are DELICIOUS and you can enjoy your own without stepping foot on a plane.
Gluten Free Croissants
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (Better Batter is a great flour. I need to order some ASAP)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant (rapid-rise or breadmaker) yeast
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted vegan butter, divided (4 tablespoons at room temperature, the rest chilled)
- 3/4 cup almond milk, warmed to about 100ºF
- 2 extra-large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, divided
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, xanthan gum, yeast, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons butter (divided into tablespoons). Beat on low for about 1 minute, until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Add the ¾ cup warm milk, the whole egg and 1 yolk, and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface, and dump the dough out onto the plastic wrap. Press the dough together, and cover tightly with the plastic wrap. Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper into a rectangle that is about 10-by-15 inches, and about ¼ inch thick, no thinner (see photos). Dust with additional flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment paper. Take the remaining 12 tablespoons (chilled) butter and divide into individual tablespoons, and then space evenly over ⅔ of the dough, leaving one short side bare (see photos). With the bare short side facing you, fold it over the middle third of the butter (as you would a business letter), then fold the remaining third over to seal in the tablespoons of butter (see photos).
- Roll the dough out again into a rectangle about 10-by-5 inches, and fold again in thirds (see photos). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Congratulations. You have just completed the first ‘turn.’
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, uncover it, and place it horizontally on a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, and roll out again into a rectangle about 10-by-5 inches. Fold once more, business letter style, and return to the freezer for another 15 minutes or until firm. Repeat the process once more. After 3 turns, cover and place the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes (or in the refrigerator for at least an hour), until firm.
- Once the dough has chilled once more, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper into a smaller rectangle, this time about ⅜ inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, slice the dough in half, into two equal rectangles. Stack the rectangles on top of one another, with the edges squared. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into triangles that alternate top to bottom.
- On a large piece of parchment paper, separate and line up all the triangles in rows. For each triangle, with the base of the triangle facing you, slice a 1-inch slit vertically (see photo). Then, fold the two new points toward the outside edge of the triangle, away from one another. Press down gently to seal. Rolling away from you, roll up the dough toward the tip of the triangle until it is shaped like a coiled cylinder. Create a “U” shape by turning the edges toward one another (see photo). Repeat with the remaining triangles.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF, and prepare a lined or nonstick baking sheet.
- Arrange the shaped croissants about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Place in a warm, draft-free area to rise a bit (about 15 minutes). If they don’t rise much, don’t worry. Don’t bother waiting much longer. They will spring up in the oven.
- Brush liberally with the remaining egg, beaten with a splash of milk. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown (about 15 minutes).
Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.