For this month, Sarah, a non blogger, challenged the bakers to prepare French Croissants. She shared her recipe for a perfect croissant. I also watched Julia Child's video on croissants. Though I have prepared it and posted it before, I was not satisfied with the laminated dough. So this tme I wanted to get it perfect. I tried it again. The temperature of the dough and butter is very important while working on laminated dough. As Madurai is very hot, I placed the dough in fridge most of the time and worked with it slowly, without giving any time for the butter to melt. I succeeded in my attempt. This is the first time, butter  didn't leak out from the dough. It came out perfect. Thank you Sarah for the challenge and tips for making it perfect.
I am sorry for the length of the post. But I wanted to share my experience and for any one trying croissant, it should be very easy to follow. Hope you enjoy the post.

It has come out so fluffy and light. You can see the layers. The crust was so crunchy and the interior was so soft with so many layers.

Warm Milk-1/2cup+3tbs
Flour-1 3/4cup
Instant Yeast-1 1/4tsp
Salt-1 1/2tsp
Unsalted Butter-120gm

1. Mix salt and flour in a bowl.

2. Mix milk,yeast, sugar, oil in another bowl.

3. Pour it over the flour and roughly bring everything together.

4. Take the dough to the counter top and knead it. This is after 5 minutes of kneading.

5. After 8 minutes, when the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a greased bowl and cover with wrap.

6. Let it rise for 3 hours. The dough should become triple the size.

7. Gently place the dough on the counter and spread it with fingers to a rectangle of 20cm*30cm.

8.  Fold as shown.

9. Fold the other half as shown.

10. Again place it in the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it aside for 1 1/2hours.

11. Meanwhile prepare the butter. The butter should be extremely cold. Cut it into small chunks.

12. With a rolling pin, beat the butter until smooth.

13. Take the dough to counter.

14. Roll it out into a rectangle of 25*30cm.

15. Apply butter on 2/3rd of the rectangle, leaving a border of 1.5".

16. Fold the portion without butter on the other side as shown.

17. Fold the other 1/3rd to overlap the first fold and seal the edges by pressing. Refrigerate until firm.

18. Roll out the dough into a rectangle of 35cm*20cm.

19. Fold it into three layers as shown before. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Repeat this process 3 more times. After four times of rolling and folding, cover the dough in wrap and place it in fridge. Keep a heavy object to avoid rising. Let it sit there overnight.

20. The next day, take the dough out of fridge and let it rest for 2 minutes. Roll it into a rectangle of 40cm*25cm.

21. Now cut it along the middle to make two strips, each measuring 12.5cm*40cm. Cover one strip with wrap and place it in fridge.

22. Cut the other into three equal squares each measuring 12.5*12.5cm. Refrigerate two and work with one square.

23. Cut the square into two right angled triangles by cutting it diagonally.

24. Stretch the right angled side to make an isosceles triangle.

25. From the wide end, start rolling the triangle.

26. Slightly curve the edges.

27. Prepare the other squares and arrange them on a greased tray. 

28. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour. Brush the top with milk.

29. Bake in a preheated oven (220C) for 10-12minutes or until the crust is golden. The original recipe suggests 240C, but as my tray is black, I set the oven to 220C. Cool on wire rack.

30. Serve it warm.

A closer look at the flaky, fluffy, buttery and light croissant. This is far better than my first croissant. I think, I have learned the technique of laminated dough.

Some Tips for the perfect laminated dough:
1. Whenever you feel that the dough is soft, cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm. It takes atleast one hour in fridge to come to the correct firmness.
2. Do not work near the stove or oven. 
3. I took two days to complete the laminated dough. It is very hot here. So my dough was in fridge for most of  the time.
4. The dough and butter should be in the same consistency. If the butter is harder than the dough, it will tear the layers. If the dough is harder than butter, then the butter will ooze out of the sides. So be careful.
5. Practice makes perfect. You also need a lot of patience. So try, try and try again.

Linking this post to YeastSpotting.

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