I love croissants with tea or coffee and a little honey or butter. There is truly nothing like a warm buttery croissant fresh out of the oven. The recipe really isn't that hard but it takes some practice getting the shape right. Someti...mes I don't even bother and just make them as simple as I can. They still taste just as good!
4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (no more than 110 degrees)
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes. Add the bread flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, and salt to the dissolved yeast and water and mix the dough on medium speed for about 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to fold a shape.
Shape dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle, and then cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.
Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10-inch by 15 shape. Fold the dough into thirds, again, and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Repeat this process one more time.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough diagonally to make 20 triangles and then roll the croissants up from the base curving the ends slightly to make a crescent shape. Arrange each finished croissant on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each pastry. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry and then sprinkle them with the sliced almonds. Bake the croissants for 14 to 16 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown and the almonds are toasted. If desired sprinkle the powdered sugar over the tops of the warm croissants. Or drizzle some honey and a few additional almonds over the top. Oh Yum!
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