What can be the better excuse for having breakfast in bed than Valentine’s Day? That’s right — literally any other excuse! Because you’re beautiful intelligent amazing human being who deserves that extra coziness and time for relaxation.
I’m not going to make a discovery here but life’s speed is nothing but crazy these days. We all have big goals and ambitions and sometimes it makes us compromise small meaningful things. We’re having breakfast on the go, drinking coffee while answering e-mails and thinking about next big idea during dinner time. It’s become hard to unwind and we need to plan our rest time (sounds a bit crazy, right?)
So take a moment and save the date in your calendar now. One day to yourself with the only purpose — to nourish your soul and body. And when this day comes make sure you can feel the kiss of your significant other, smell the fresh flowers standing near your bed, hear the sound of croissant when you make the first bite and that you live your life fully alive!
I’ve made this shoot in a collaboration with a good friend and awesome stylist Ronee. I made croissants, she styled the scene and then we both took photos. It turned out fascinating to see the same picture through the eyes of different people. Check out Ronee’s photos and indoor Valentine’s day ideas in this blog post.
And now back to the croissants. I know what you’re thinking when scrolling the recipe down — it looks difficult, I’d never make it! I can feel you, I was there as well. But the truth is that more words make the recipe easier to follow because they highlight all the nuances that might occur.
Croissant is definitely a labor of love, but the result oh so worth the work! Make one step at a time, enjoy the process and you’ll have the result you can be proud of. I believe in you!
*makes 15 croissants
For the dough:
500 g flour
140 g water, lukewarm
140 g milk, lukewarm
11 g dry active yeast
10 g salt
40 g butter, at room temperature
280 g butter, cold
1 egg + 1 tbsp water
DAY 1: making the dough
In a medium bowl combine water, milk, sugar and dry yeast, give the mixture a good stir and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it’s frothy.
Transfer the mixture into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough attachment. Add flour combined with salt and mix on a low speed for 2 minutes. Add pieces of butter and mix for 3 more minutes until dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough because it will be hard to roll it later.
Shape the dough like a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
DAY 2: laminating the dough (i.e. making those layers!)
Butter is the most important ingredient for making croissants. It plays crucial role in forming layers and influences the taste of final product. Make sure you use only quality butter with a fat content of no less than 82%, preferably European style.
To prepare the butter block, cut the cold (directly from the fridge) butter into 1.25 cm thick slices. Arrange them on a piece of parchment paper to form a square approx. 15*15 cm in size. Cover with another piece of paper and pound the top of the butter with a rolling pin to flatten it. Flip the butter over turning it 90 degrees and continue to flatten it until the square becomes 17*17 cm. If needed trim the uneven sides, place them on top of butter and lightly pound. The final block should be 17*17 cm and even in thickness. Cover the butter slab with parchment paper and refrigerate.
Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin. Take the dough out of the fridge and lightly dust the top with flour. Roll the the dough outward from the center, rotating it frequently and adding just enough flour to surface, rolling pin or dough to prevent sticking, until you get a rectangle 26*26 cm in size.
Get the butter slab from the fridge and place it on top of dough in 45 degree angle to it. Fold a flap of the dough over the butter so the point of dough is now in the center of the butter slab. Repeat with 3 other flaps. Allow the edges of dough to slightly overlap each other so the butter is completely enclose. Gently press the edges to seal the seams.
–> With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling out the dough to reach a rectangle 20*60 cm in size. Work from the center of dough to its sides, it will help to get the dough even in thickness. You can also rotate the dough 180 degrees to keep it more even, try to keep the edges as straight as possible. When the dough reaches 20*60 cm size, fold it letter style: with a long side facing you, fold the right third and then fold the left third on top of it. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Repeat the process described here –> two more times. The open ‘end’ of the dough should be towards you every time when rolling out the dough. After the second turn refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, and after the third turn leave it in the fridge overnight.
DAY 3: BAKING (AND EATING) CROISSANTS
Congrats, you made it to the day 3! You’re almost there 🙂 Now take the dough from the fridge and lightly flour the work surface. Roll the dough out to narrow and long piece 20*100 cm in size. To make the rectangle more even, you can roll the dough a little bit larger and then trim the edges to form 20*100 cm rectangle.
Working with a ruler and knife, make marks on the top of the rectangle (12.5cm in distance, 7 marks in total). Now lay the ruler near the bottom and make marks in the center of two marks from the top (you need to make the first mark at 6.25 cm distance, and then others at 12.5cm distance, 8 marks in total). The bottom and top marks make the basis of triangles.
Make diagonal cuts from the top corner cutting down to the first bottom mark. Repeat the same process along the length of the dough. Then change the angle and make cuts from the other top corner to the bottom mark. Again repeat this along the length of the dough. This way you will end up with 15 triangles and a few end pieces of dough.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine egg, water and a pinch of salt, whisk the mixture well and set aside.
Working with one triangle at a time, very gently roll it out to about 25 cm in length. Using a sharp knife make a small cut in the middle of a short end of the triangle. Roll the dough by moving hands outward to the center creating the desired shape. Roll the dough tightly at the beginning to make the layers stick together. Put the croissant on a prepared pan with the tail facing down. Repeat the process with the remaining triangles, spacing them evenly on the sheets and leaving enough space in between so they don’t touch each other when proofing and baking.
Brush the croissants with a thin layer of egg wash and place them in a relatively warm place to proof for 2 hours. I put croissants in turned off oven and it worked out great.
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F. By this time your croissants should increase in size and be ready to go. Give the croissants from the one baking sheet their second thin coat of egg wash. Place the sheet in the oven and decrease the temperature to 195 C/385 F. Bake croissants for 10 minutes, high temperature gives them nice brown color. After 10 minutes decrease temperature to 180 C/360 F and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until croissants look nice in color. Watch the baking process closely since each oven is different and you might need to adjust temperature/baking time according to your conditions.
Transfer the croissants to a cooling rack and bake the other sheet. Enjoy fresh warm croissants by their own or add your favorite jam, piece of meat and cheese for extra deliciousness!