3 Tbsp flour
3 sticks butter (3/4 pound) of butter or margarine, equally divided and softened at room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour,
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 packages yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup half-and-half, warmed
1 Tbsp water
Sprinkle 3 Tbsp flour over butter and blend together on the work surface. butter in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
2 cups flour with salt and sugar. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add it and the warmed milk and half-and-half to the flour mixture. blend about 2 minutes.
Stir in additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to make a soft but not sticky dough，Knead by hand for 5 minutes to form a solid mass. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Determine that both butter and dough are about the same temperature — 65°F (23°C) is ideal. butter should bend but not break (too cold) nor be oily . Place the dough on a floured work surface and with the hands press it into a 10" square. Unwrap the block of butter and lay the block diagonally on the dough. Bring each point of dough into the center, overlapping the edges at least 1". Press the dough into a neat package. With a heavy rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 8" x 18".
Caution: If the butter seems to be breaking into small pieces under the dough rather than remaining solid, allow the dough/butter to warm a few minutes. But if the butter softens, becomes sticky, and oozes while making the turns, put the dough back into the refrigerator for several minutes.
Fold the length of dough into thirds, as for a letter. Turn so that the open ends are at twelve and six o'clock. Roll again into a rectangle. This time, fold both ends into the middle and then close, as one would a book. The dough will now be in 4 layers. Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator to relax and chill for 1 or 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on the floured work surface. Unwrap, roll out, and fold in thirds, as for a letter. This is the final turn before it is rolled out and cut into croissants. Dampen cloth again and wrap loosely around the dough. Place the package in a plastic bag so moisture will be retained (not pulled out of the cloth). Leave in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Mix together the egg and 1 Tbsp of water. Have ready the egg wash, a knife or pastry cutter
Sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll the dough until it is a generous 10"-x-38" rectangle, and, most importantly, about 1/4" thick. This is a crucial dimension, since it determines the size and texture of the croissants. Trim irregularities to make the strip uniform in width. Cut the strip lengthwise to make two 5" pieces. Mark the strip into triangles, 5" wide on the bottom. Using a yardstick as a guide, cut through the dough with a pastry or pizza cutter or knife. Separate the triangles, place them on a baking sheet, and chill for 15 to 20 minutes. Roll the dough into the traditional croissant shape
Place the croissants on a baking sheet and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours,double in volume. 425°F for 22 to 25 minutes.
Yield: 24 to 30 croissants
1/4 cup warm water (105ºF to 115ºF)
2-1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold butter
Pour the water into a large bowl, sprinkle over the yeast, and let it soften for a minute. Add the milk, egg, sugar, and salt and whisk to mix; set aside.
Cut the butter into 1/4-inch-thick slices and drop to the flour. Pulse 8 to 10 times, until the butter is cut into pieces that are about 1/2 inch in diameter. Don't overdo this — the pieces must not be smaller than 1/2 inch.
Empty the contents of the food processor into the bowl with the yeast and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently turn the mixture over, scraping the bowl until the dry ingredients are moistened. Again, don't be too energetic-the butter must remain in discrete pieces so that you will produce a flaky pastry, not a bread or cookie dough.
Chilling the Dough
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight or for up to 4 days, (if that better suits your schedule).
Rolling and Folding
Lightly flour a work surface , dust the dough lightly with flour. Using the palms of your hands, pat the dough into a rough square. Then roll it into a square about 16 inches on a side. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter, and turn it so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. (if at any time the dough gets too soft to roll, just cover it with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator for a quick chill.)
Roll the dough out again, this time into a long narrow rectangle, about 10 inches wide by 24 inches long. Fold the rectangle in thirds again, turn it so the closed fold is to your left, and roll it into a 20-inch square. Fold the square in thirds, like a business letter, so that you have a rectangle, turning it so that the closed fold is to your left, and, once more, roll the dough into a long narrow rectangle, 10 inches wide by 24 inches long. Fold in thirds again, wrap the dough well in plastic, and chill it for at least 30 minutes, or for as long as 2 days.
The dough can be kept covered in the refrigerator for 4 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for 1 month; thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.
Yield: Makes 2 pounds of dough