As the nights draw in this homemade almond croissant recipe is the perfect something to make your Sunday brunch’s that bit more delicious.
This recipe is a little bit time consuming (it does involve a double prove) but it isn’t complicated and freshly baked croissants are simply divine. To make these plain, simply remove the nuts and marzipan, the recipe works just as well without them. You can also switch up the added ingredients and I have been known to add jam instead of marzipan to the centre of my croissants! Its messier (as it tends to squidge out the sides) but wonderful if you are looking for a sweet bake.
If you are feeling adventurous, this recipe can also be made vegan – just use Stork baking block in place of the butter. It does soften much faster than butter so just keep an eye on it and perhaps leave it longer in the fridge between folds. It does give you gloriously crispy vegan croissants though!
120g cold butter
40g melted butter
160ml of warm water
250g strong white flour
30g caster sugar
1 sachet of fast acting yeast (8.5g). Marzipan
a beaten egg to egg wash
a little icing sugar
With a rolling pin (or something heavy), bash the cold butter into a flat rectangle about 1cm thick. Cover this in cling film and place back into the fridge.
In a jug, mix together the warm water, caster sugar, melted butter and yeast. Leave to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to get bubbly.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), add the flour and salt and mix together. Then pour in the liquid mixture and mix together, either with a wooden spoon or the dough hook of the stand mixer. Once the mixture has come together, knead the mixture for 5-8 minutes (either with the dough hook and your stand mixer or you can knead by hand). If the mixture is very wet then add a little more strong flour and if too dry, then a little more water.
Leave the dough to prove in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm place, covered with a clean tea towel or cling film for 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out until 1cm thick. Place the cold, flat butter into the centre of the dough and fold the dough around it so that the butter has been full encased in the dough. Roll out the dough again with the butter inside until about 1cm thick and fold the dough into 3 (like a book or a leaflet). Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat (roll out and fold into 3). Leave to rest again then repeat one more time.
Cover the dough with cling film and place into the fridge for 30 minutes for the butter to get hard again. Then repeat the above 3 folding, rotating, resting process. In fridge for 30 more minutes and then repeat 3 times again.
Once you have reached this stage, you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight, but if you are not going to do this, it definitely needs at least an hour in the fridge. Once the dough and butter is cold again, remove from the fridge and roll out the dough until it is 0.5cm thick.
To make a croissant, you need to cut tall triangle shapes out of the dough and the easiest way to do this is to cut your rolled out dough into strips about 10-15cm high. Then cut these rectangles into triangles by cutting diagonal lines up and down. This means there is very little wasted dough.
Once you have triangles, for each one... take the base of the triangle (the side between the two tall sides) and place a small ball of marzipan so that it fills up the bottom third of the triangle. Then, starting at the base, roll up the croissant, encasing the marzipan inside. This should give you the familiar croissant shape with the small point of the triangle at the centre on top.
Place these croissants on a lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1.5hrs.
Pre-heat the oven to gas 6/180 fan.
Beat the egg and lightly brush over the tops of the croissants. Don’t be too liberal with the egg as it can seal the dough a little and stop some of the rise in the oven. Sprinkle with flaked almonds over the top.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and risen. You can also finish with a sprinkle of icing sugar if you wish.