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Buttery, flaky, beautiful homemade croissants.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm milk, brown sugar and yeast until yeast is dissolved. Let mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add 3 3/4 cups flour and salt and, using dough hook attachment, stir to combine. Continue to mix dough on low speed until it comes together and is smooth and soft, about 5-7 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for 2-3 minutes, adding more of the remaining flour as needed just until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Shape dough into a 1 1/2-inch thick rectangle, coat ever-so-lightly with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge 1 hour to chill.
Meanwhile, make the butter packet: Place sticks of butter together on a sheet of plastic wrap (or a clean towel). Top with another sheet of plastic wrap (or another clean towel) and, using a rolling pin and your hands, thwack, beat, roll out and press the butter into an even, flat, 8-by-5-inch rectangle (be as precise as possible). Wrap the butter up in the plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill.
Remove dough from fridge and from plastic wrap. Place on a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, press the dough into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle (be sure the edges and the corners are as well-shaped as possible). Remove butter packet from fridge and from plastic wrap and place in center of dough, short ends of butter packet parallel to long ends of dough. Fold top half of dough over butter packet, then fold bottom half of dough over, like a business letter. Rotate dough so the short end faces you.
With the short end facing you, flatten the dough evenly by pressing the rolling pin onto the surface (try not to roll it out right away). When the dough has flattened, roll it out to a precise 15-by-10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again like a business letter, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
Repeat the previous step (from previous paragraph) 3 more times, chilling the dough for 1 hour between each fold, for a total of 4 folds. After the fourth fold, cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight, or 8-12 hours.
The next morning, unwrap the dough and place it on a floured surface. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 20-by-32-inches. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, divide the dough into 20-32 triangles. Cut a small slit at the bottom of each triangle and roll up like a crescent roll. For chocolate croissants, place 1/2 to 1 ounce of dark chocolate in the bottom center of the triangle before rolling up.
Place croissants about 2 inches apart on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheets. Cover with tea towels and let rise until puffy, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Brush each croissant with egg wash and bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on baking sheets before consuming.
Note: Croissants will keep fresh in a plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. For longer life, keep them in a plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge for 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is blog.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!