Croissants VG

Edit 31/07/21



I have made these croissants 3 times since and it all works swimmingly. In saying that, today when I made them I patted out the solid butter to 18x18 however I had rolled the dough wider. I ended up adding probably another 75g of butter to make up the butter portion. It made 9 very good sized croissants and 8 scrappy little oblong loafs. So, if cut very well, this would make 12 good sized croissants. 

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Finally, after 7 years of being on my bucket list of baking, I have finally created a recipe and made my version of the best pastry of all time; croissants. I present the perfected croissant recipe, veganised (don't hate me).

I'd be lying to say I wasn't surprised; I actually cannot believe they turned out so well!!

the ultimate vegan croissant


You would NEVER know these are vegan, I really mean that! Well, I haven't had butter in 6 years so I might not be the best person to ask however, I have eaten my fair share of croissants back in the day.  

This recipe has been in the works for quite some time; last year I discovered too many videos on youtube discussing the intricacies of the flakey butter god and very quickly (ofc) became obsessed. After studying the anatomy of the croissant as well as many, many recipes, I constructed a recipe which I deemed perfect, ticking all of the boxes bar one.

That one? Butter. 

  
the ultimate vegan croissant

Butter typically used for croissants is around 82% fat (butter used can also be up to 86% fat - "dry" butter) with the remaining percentages being water and milk solids. Alas, many dairy-free alternatives on the market are in spread form, usually sitting around the 40-50% fat content and containing palm oil. 
Therefore, when I saw a solid dairy-free butter block containing 75% fat and no palm oil, I was ecstatic! Naturli's butter block has been the most butter-seque alternative I have ever come across and then put to the ultimate test, it performed perfectly!

crumb shot

the ultimate vegan croissant

Butter is the key ingredient to croissants, giving them the layers, flakes and most importantly, the taste! Through incorporating the butter into the dough through lamination, layer upon layer of puff is created. Once in the oven, the heat melts the butter fast, causing the water within to turn into steam, pushing through the layers of the dough to give their iconic structure.
To ensure the best outcome, timing is key. Croissants and other laminated doughs are a labour of love and not a quick bake, set aside plenty of time and you will be rewarded!
  
the ultimate vegan croissant

the ultimate vegan croissant

My explanations below are beyond crap therefore for any rolling/ shaping, please have a peek at the diagram below the method!
  • 400g strong white flour
  • 7g salt 
  • 40g caster sugar 
  • 114ml soy milk 
  • 114ml water
  • 7g yeast
  • 205g vegan butter block 
Right, before starting this, mentally prepare yourself. This is the biggest commitment I have made in my life however you will reap the rewards!

Put the flour, salt and 30g of the sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Heat the soy milk and water until blood temperature and add 10g of sugar and the yeast. Leave this mixture for 10 minutes to get the yeast activated.

After, pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and knead for a good 10 minutes until smooth, silky and when pinched it feels like an ear lobe. Pop the dough into a greased bowl and over with climb film. Place this in the fridge overnight /minimum of 8 hours or up to 12 hours.

In the morning (or after the hours have passed) get the butter out of the fridge and slice it into 1cm pieces and arrange in a square like shape on some greaseproof paper. Cover with more greaseproof paper and using a rolling pin, press all the pieces together and shape the butter into a 18cmx18cm square. Place back into the fridge.

Remove the dough from the fridge and thoroughly knock out all of the air. Dust a surface lightly and roll out to about 30cmx18cm. Place on a baking tray, cover with cling and chill for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out a little more, to about 36cmx18cm. The aim is the have a rectangle 3 times the length of the butter square.

Remove the butter square from the fridge and place directly in the middle of the dough rectangle. Fold one side of the dough over the butter to the middle line of the butter and then fold over the other side. This is fold 1. You are encasing the butter in a dough blanket.

You should have a mid seam in the middle of the dough/butter complex. With this seam running vertically, use a rolling pin and gently roll the dough, making sure not to press to hard. Roll to about 40cm long (idek) and maintain the 18cm-25cm width.

Now, fold the dough into three, like folding a letter. This is fold 2. Grab the far end of the dough and fold it into the bottom third line of the dough and then fold over the end of the rectangle closest to you over the first bit. Tidy up the edges with a sharp knife. Place this back onto the baking tray, cover with some old cling and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

After the hour, removes from the fridge and leave for 5 minutes. Place back onto the surface and roll out gently until around 36cm-40cm in length and again, 18cm-25cm in width. This is going to be fold 3. Fold both far ends into the centre to make another mid seam, such as fold 1. Now, just like a book, fold over one side of the dough like a page onto the other. Tidy up the edges with a sharp knife. Place back onto the baking tray and chill again for 1 hour.

After 1 hour in the fridge, remove and leave for 5 minutes. Place back onto the surface and roll out gently until around 36cm-40cm in length and again, 18cm-25cm in width. This is going to be fold 4 - the final fold. This fold is the same as fold 2, folding the dough into three, like folding a letter. Grab the far end of the dough and fold it into the bottom third line of the dough and then fold over the end of the rectangle closest to you over the first bit. Tidy up the edges with a sharp knife. Place this back onto the baking tray, cover with some old cling and chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours. (31/07/21 - after this stage, I left the dough in the fridge overnight then shaped in the morning, this still works perfectly)

CONGRATULATIONS. Now the next bit.

Remove the dough from the fridge and leave for 15 minutes at room temperature. Place back onto the surface and roll out gently until around 36cm-40cm in length and again, 18cm-25cm in width. Again, tidy up the edges with a sharp knife. Now, using that knife, cut the dough into 6 isosceles triangles, you will have two half triangles at either side of the dough but squeeze together the straight edges to make another triangles. 

Using a firm hand, roll the triangles up from the base, pushing more than gently. Place the rolled baby onto the baking tray with the POINT UNDER THE MAIN BODY. Repeat with them all. Give them plenty of space. 

Cover with cling lightly and prove in a humid environment  ROOM TEMPERATURE until doubled in size, puffy and jiggly. This environment can be a airing cupboard in the flat with a few spritzes of water  or in a steamy oven (no hotter than 25c). This prove may range between 1.5 hours to 3 depending however, it's better to overprove than underprove them.

Nearing the end, preheat the oven to 190c. Uncover the croissants and give a wash of your choice - dairy free milk mixed with a little golden syrup, vegan double cream or if you aren't that way inclined, an egg yolk.

Bake for 22-27 18-24 minutes until deeply golden and glossy.

Cry with happiness and eat. 

the ultimate vegan croissant guide


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