The recipe is for Chocolate Croissants, but you can also make almond croissants (watch the video, it tells you how). Or you can make strawberry-cream cheese croissants, like I did - along with chocolate croissants. You're really limited by just your imagination!
I'm hoping you'll find croissants (and other puff-style pastries) are really not difficult to make and, once you make your own croissants and discover how much better they taste compared to store-bought, you'll be hooked!
The recipe below uses Marie's instructions. I used Esther McManus' instructions to mix the dough, incorporate the butter into the dough, and for the turns; I used Marie's timetable when making my croissants.
1/4 cup sugar
While the dough is rising, on another piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper, shape the stick (1/4 cup) of butter into a rectangle which is about 3/4" thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until later.
Turn out the dough and knead lightly for about 1 minute. Shape into a ball and with a sharp knife cut an "X" in the center of the dough about halfway through. Roll out the edges of the dough leaving the cross intact.
Place the rectangle of butter into the center of the dough and fold the edges over it, pressing to seal. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. With the short sides facing you, fold the top one-third of the dough down (towards you) to cover the middle one-third of the dough. Next, fold the bottom one-third of the dough over to cover the top one-third. Turn the dough so the folded edge is to your right. Press down with the rolling pin, lightly, to seal the edge to your left. This can be a little confusing if you've never seen it done before. The video above shows how butter is incorporated into croissants and puff pastry during the rolling and turns.
Wrap the dough in oiled plastic wrap and place it on a plate or other flat surface. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Repeat rolling, folding, and chilling two more times. Be sure to wrap the dough well in plastic during the chilling. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes after the last turn.
Roll the dough out to a 21 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut the dough lengthwise into 3 equal strips. I like to use a pizza cutter for this. Next, cut the dough widthwise into 3 equal strips. You should have 9 evenly sized rectangles when you're done cutting the dough.
Put a few pieces of chocolate at the end of one of the short side of each rectangle. Mix the egg with the water until well incorporated. Brush the edges of each rectangle with the egg mixture. Starting at the end with the chocolate pieces, roll up each rectangle of dough to enclose the chocolate. Place the rectangles, seam side down, on two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Leave at least 2 inches between each croissant. Gently press down on each croissant to seal the croissant edges. Cover each baking sheet with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes to rise.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the plastic wrap and brush each croissant with the egg mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let the croissants cool on a wire rack. The croissants are best served warm. To reheat, place croissants in a 350° F oven for about 5 minutes or until warmed through.
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