Butter croissants recipe

James Martin 14 October 2021

The celebrity chef James Martin shares how to make the perfect butter croissants

Ingredients:

Makes 18

1 x quantity croissant dough 

36 sticks of dark chocolate

For the egg wash 

1 egg, beaten

Roll out the croissant dough to about 5mm thick. Cut the dough into eighteen 13cm squares. Place 2 chocolate sticks on one half of each square, then roll up the dough to enclose the chocolate filling. Place on 2 large baking sheets and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4.

Glaze the pastries with the egg wash and bake for 22 minutes until golden brown.

For the croissant dough

100g salted butter, softened

280ml cold water

200ml full-fat milk

1kg strong plain or T45 flour, plus

extra for dusting

100g caster sugar

15g fine table salt

25g honey

50g yeast

500g slab of dry butter or butter

Butter croissants

Method:

Nothing beats freshly baked croissants, serve as you like or with hot chocolate for an indulgent breakfast! See pages 41 and 140 for ideas for savoury filled croissants or page 189 for how to use the dough to make pain au chocolat.

To make the croissant dough, put the butter, cold water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (I use a KitchenAid). Mix in the flour, sugar, salt, honey and yeast. Finish kneading by hand if the machine is not proving efficient. Take a piece of the dough and stretch it to form a thin film in the middle without breaking. Hold this up to the light: if you can see the light through the dough, then it is ready. (This is known as the window-pane test.)

Roll the dough into a rectangle, wrap it in clingfilm and chill overnight. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring about 32 x 45cm.

Put the slab of dry butter between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. Using a rolling pin, beat the dry butter into a 30 x 15cm rectangle. Place the butter in the middle of the dough rectangle, so that it covers the middle third. Fold one side of the dough up and halfway over the butter. Repeat with the other side of dough, folding it over the butter so that the edges of the dough meet in the middle of the butter.

Then fold the dough in half like a book, with the point where the dough meets as the middle of the pages. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the freezer for 20 minutes.

James Martin book cover

BUTTER: Comforting, delicious, versatile, over 130 recipes celebrating butter by James Martin (Quadrille) Photography: John Carey

Read more: 3 Festive spices to make you feel great

Read more: 10 great waffle recipes you need to try

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter