If you've always wanted to learn how to make croissants, this step-by-step tutorial loaded with tons of pictures and a video, will walk you through exactly how to do it.
Make the Dough: Place all of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix and knead on low for 3 minutes, until the dough has just come together. Shape the dough into a disc and plate on a plate or small baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Make the Butter Block: Cut the butter lengthwise and arrange in a rough 6-inch square on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with an additional piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to pound the butter into an 8-inch square. Trim and straighten the edges, and put the trimmings on the top of the square. Pound lightly into a 7-inch square. Wrap in the parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.
Laminate the Dough: Roll the dough into a 10-inch square. Arrange the square so that a straight side is facing you. Place the butter block on top of the dough at a 45-degree angle so it looks like a diamond, with a point of the butter block facing you. Fold a flap of dough over the butter so the point of the dough reaches the center. Repeat with the other three flaps to fully enclose the butter. You may need to stretch the dough a bit to cover all of the butter; lightly press the edges to seal the seams together.
On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Repeat gently rolling the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Again, roll the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Shape the Croissants: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a 12x40-inch rectangle. Using a pizza wheel or chef’s knife, cut the dough into long triangles that measures 10 to 12 inches along the side and 4 inches along the base.
Working with one at a time, gently stretch the triangles to elongate them by about an inch. Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle then, starting at the base, roll each tightly, yet gently, all the way up, making sure to tuck the tip underneath the bottom of the croissant.
Proof the Croissants: Transfer the croissants, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheets (5 to a sheet) and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a warm and humid spot until they have doubled in size, look puffy, and jiggle slightly if you carefully shake the baking sheet, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream.
Once the oven is preheated, gently brush the croissants with the egg wash and let sit for 10 minutes.
Bake the Croissants: Bake the croissants, one pan at a time, for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until evenly deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.