These croissants may be a little time-consuming, but for holidays and other special occasions, it's worth the extra effort - and calories!
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add warm water and shortening. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle. In a small bowl, beat cold butter until softened but still cold. Spread dough with a fourth of the butter. Fold dough into thirds, starting with a short side. Turn dough a quarter turn. Repeat rolling, buttering and folding three times. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into a 14-in. square. With a sharp knife, cut into quarters. Cut each quarter diagonally in half, forming two triangles. Roll up triangles from the wide end; place with pointed end down 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Curve ends to form a crescent shape. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Brush with egg. Bake at 425° for 13-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 8 croissants.
Originally published as Flaky Croissants in Best of Country Breads 2000, p48
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