Who would not want a gluten-free croissant that could be mistaken for the real thing? This recipe requires that you turn and fold the dough 6 times. Five are tri-folds and the last is a book-fold. That’s a little more than a conventional croissant would need, but it is just enough for our gluten-free croissant. Be sure to read through the post, the links provided, the directions and the recipe more than a couple of times until you are familiar with the information. Before you begin make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. This recipe will make about 10 regular croissants or pain au chocolat.
- 220 grams Maninis Multiuso Multipurpose Mix (plus 45-50 grams more for rolling etc.) (1 2/3 cups plus a heaping 1/3 cup for dusting) (see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon pectin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 85 grams superfine sugar (7 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon powdered milk
- 85 grams whole milk (not low fat or non fat), room temperature (1/3 cup)
- 2 tablespoons yeast (use instant or bread machine Red Star or SAF)
- 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter, cut into small chunks.
- 115 grams San Pellegrino, room temperature (1/2 cup)
- 1 large or x-large egg white, room temperature
- 195 grams unsalted chilled butter (1 stick plus 5 tablespoons or 13 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon Maninis Multiuso Multipurpose Mix
- 1 whole large egg (for brushing croissant dough)
- optional for pain au chocolat: 25-30 bittersweet chocolate chips
- Mix the flour with the pectin, salt, superfine sugar and 2 tablespoons powdered milk. Whisk to combine. Set aside. Whisk the yeast, one teaspoon of powdered milk with the room temperature whole milk in a small glass container. Whisk again to fully incorporate. Set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of very soft butter pieces to the flour and work it in lightly with a fork or your fingers, leaving large pieces. Don’t get overzealous with the mixing. Using a fork add the San Pellegrino and stir well. Add the egg white and stir to thoroughly distribute. Add the milk/yeast mixture and work that in with the fork until everything is well mixed. It will be very wet and very sticky – like muffin batter sticky. Take a teaspoon of flour and dust the top of the dough. Switch to a silicone spatula and get all the dough off the sides of the bowl and turn the dough over mixing in the new flour. Add one more teaspoon of flour just to get the dough to turn with the spatula as you fold it. It will still be quite wet and sticky which is perfect. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place for at least two hours or until it somewhat doubles in size. It won’t get that large, but it will rise and needs a lot of time to do that. Don’t rush. What the dough looks like: it should look more like batter than dough at this point. The spatula will come away with some sticky residue on it. That is perfect.
- Once it has risen or a couple of hours go by, just place the whole bowl into the refrigerator. Leave it in there for about an hour or so. A couple of hours is even better. At the end of that time, grab the dough ball and wrap the plastic around it and place it in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. What the dough looks like: It will have risen slightly and should look shaggy. After the refrigerator it should look only slightly like the dough it will become later – it is still shaggy and sticky.
- Before you remove the dough from the freezer, gather your butter and cut each stick in half length-wise. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap that has been dusted with a little flour and form the pieces into a square shape. Add a little more flour on top and cover with more plastic wrap. Using a rolling-pin, hit the butter until it flattens somewhat to about half its depth. Roll and pat into a smooth 6 inch square. Place the butter in the refrigerator to get a little less smooshy. What the butter package looks like: it should be a 6 inch square about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick and will be speckled flour.
Working the Croissant Dough
- Remove the dough from the freezer. Using two silpats or parchment lined up to create a long rectangle and dusted with the 50 grams of flour, under and on top of the dough. Place the dough and pat into a rectangular shape. Cover with plastic wrap and press with a rolling-pin from the center out to the edges. Pressing is done until the dough is able to be rolled. Roll the dough gently to smooth it into a long rectangle about 3x longer than it is wide. Leave a thick, padded dough square in the center that is a little bigger than the butter package (think padded-top mattress). Using a pastry brush remove the excess flour from the dough. Place the butter on the padded portion and fold the rolled edges over each other and the butter. Pinch the edges closed with your fingers. Press the top with your palm and then the rolling-pin – very gently to seal the butter in there. What the dough looks like: The butter package will be invisible to the eye but you should be able to just feel it. Make sure the dough is thickly padding it on the top and bottom and pinch those sides closed. It should be rather smooth at this point and square.
- First sets of tri-folds: Dust with more of the same flour, cover with plastic wrap and press with the rolling-pin to flatten but making sure you don’t pop the butter through the dough. That is very important. Once it is pressed and flattened, roll the dough so that it is 3 times longer than wide (wide side is always facing you). Brush off the excess flour with a pastry brush. Fold the dough from the length ends like a business letter – in thirds – a tri fold. Brush off excess flour as you go. Turn the folded dough package 90 degrees, clock wise and repeat that process. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and more is fine. What the dough looks like: It won’t be sticky, but it will look rather rough yet. But it should fold without cracking. See trouble shooting if it cracks.
- Repeat the process: press, roll, tri-fold: turn, press, roll, tri-fold: refrigerate
- Repeat the process: press, roll, tri-fold: turn, press, roll, book-fold, refrigerate overnight. Book fold description: Brush off excess flour. Take each end (length) and bring those to meet in the center like you are bringing pages of a book to the center. Brush off any excess flour again. Now bring one side over the other just like closing a book. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. What the dough looks like: smooth, smooth, smooth. You might see some butter but it will be under the layers of dough. You should not see much butter. Butter might poke out of the edges – pay no attention. If you’ve been pressing rather than rolling you will have great layers within the dough but you should not be able to see any visible layers. The dough should fold easily with no cracking at all.
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment.
- Rolling the croissants: Press the dough and roll exactly as before. This time you are rolling the dough into a rectangle about 25 inches long by 9 inches wide (the 9 inch wide side is facing you). It should be about 1/8 inch thick – take care to roll the evenly so it is the same thickness throughout.
- Trim the edges using a pizza cutter so that you have a nice, clean edged rectangle.
- Using the pizza cutter, mark off every 5 inches and slice vertically through the width. You should end up with 5 pieces about 5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. For regular croissants, use the pizza cutter to cut each of those pieces in two from opposite corner to opposite corner creating triangles. You should get two triangles out of each piece. They aren’t perfect triangles – but don’t worry about that.
- For Pain au Chocolat, leave the pieces 5×9 inches. Cut each of those in two so that they now measure 5 by 4.5 inches.
- For regular croissants take each triangle and brush off the excess flour. Pick it up from the bottom of the triangle and try to gently work it into a straighter bottom. If it feels like it will break, don’t work it. Make a small vertical slice in the bottom of the triangle and begin rolling up by fanning out those flaps keeping the dough rolling evenly. The tip should be on the bottom when you are done, like a little tail. See JoePastry link in the post (croissants) for a photo of what that looks like.
- Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and repeat. Leave a couple of inches between each croissant.
- For Pain au chocolat: Place about 6 bittersweet chocolate chips or disks at one end of each of the square pieces of croissant dough. Roll up. Place seam side down about 2 inches apart on the prepared parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise (proof) about an hour to 1.5 hours only. Over proofing will make them deflate in the oven and leak butter.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and brush the croissants with the egg wash 3x. Begin at one end of the pan and repeat twice more. Bake at 400 for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn oven to 350 and bake about 18-20 minutes more or just until they are dark golden brown, have risen and their internal temperature is 200 degrees. Don’t over bake them. Let them cool about 30 minutes for best flavor – if you can wait that long. Try – it is worth it.