Almond Croissants – so so worth it

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I recently found out that almond croissants are one of our brilliant BV Editor’s faves (true fact – Ed) so I thought they might be a nice recipe to include as the nights draw in and readers might be looking for
something a little special for their Sunday brunch (you may also enjoy Heather’s breakfast pasties).
This recipe is a little time-consuming (it involves repetitive steps and a double prove) so it’s not a last-minute option. But it isn’t complicated, and freshly baked croissants are simply impossible to beat.
To make these as traditional plain croissants, simply remove the nuts and marzipan; the recipe works just as well without them. You can also switch up the added ingredients – I have been known to add jam instead of marzipan to the centre! It’s messier (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 be made vegan. Use Stork baking block instead of butter. It softens much faster than butter so keep an eye on it and perhaps leave it longer in the fridge between folds. It does give you gloriously crispy vegan croissants though! Heather.

Ingredients (makes 12 small (WHY? – Ed) croissants)

  • 120g cold butter
  • 40g melted butter
  • 160ml of warm water
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 7g salt
  • 1 sachet of fast-acting yeast (8.5g).
  • marzipan
  • flaked almonds
  • a beaten egg to egg wash
  • a little icing sugar
  1. With a rolling pin (or something heavy), bash the cold butter into a flat rectangle about 1cm thick. Cover this in cling film and replace in the fridge.
  2. In a jug, mix together the warm water, caster sugar, melted butter and yeast. Leave to sit for five minutes – the mixture will begin to froth.
  3. In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), add the flour and salt and mix. 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 for 5-8 minutes (either with the dough hook and your stand mixer or by hand). If the mixture is very wet, add a little more strong flour and if too dry, then a little more water.
  4. Leave the dough to prove in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm place, covered with a clean tea towel or oiled cling film, for one hour until it has doubled in size.
  5. Once the dough has risen, place it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until 1cm thick. Place the cold, flat butter square into the centre of the dough and fold the dough around it so that the butter layer has been fully encased.
  6. Roll out the dough with the butter inside until it is again about 1cm thick. Now fold the lower third of dough up to cover the central third, and then fold the top third over the top (like a letter going into an envelope). Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for five minutes.
  7. Rotate the dough 90º and repeat (roll out and fold into thirds).
  8. Leave to rest again, then repeat one more time.
  9. Cover the dough with cling film and return it to the fridge for 30 minutes for the butter to get hard again.
  10. Now repeat the above folding, rotating, resting process (steps 6-9).
  11. Back in fridge with the dough for 30 more minutes, and then repeat steps 6-9 for a third time.
  12. Once you have reached this stage, you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight. If you are not going to do this, it needs at least an hour in the fridge.
  13. Once the dough and butter is thoroughly cold again, remove from the fridge and roll it out until it is 0.5cm thick.
  14. To make a croissant, you need to cut tall triangle shapes out of the dough. The easiest way I have found to do this is to cut the rolled-out dough into strips about 10-15cm high. Then cut these rectangles into triangles by cutting diagonal lines corner-to-corner. This means there is very little wasted dough.
  15. Now you have triangles, do the following with each one:
  16. Take the base of the triangle (the shortest side) and place a small ball of marzipan so that it covers the bottom third of the triangle.
  17. Starting at the base, roll up the triangle, encasing the marzipan inside. This should give you the familiar croissant shape with the small point of the triangle at the centre on top.
  18. Place the 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 90 minutes.
  19. Pre-heat the oven to gas 6/180º fan.
  20. 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.
  21. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and risen.
  22. Finish with a glamorous sprinkle of icing sugar if you wish.

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