Milk Bread Croissants – The Woks of Life

Oleh : DewaQQ

Croissants are something I NEVER thought I could successfully make at home. But just like our sourdough (first in my list of things I’d never thought I’d be able to make), I’ve figured out a great croissant recipe that even a novice baker can pull-off. 

Best of all? It starts with our trusty, easy milk bread, which many of you have already made successfully. 

Using our milk bread dough and the techniques I’ll teach you in this post, you’ll make crispy, buttery French croissants that are amazing slathered in jam, with a cup of coffee, or used as a base to make chocolate croissants, almond croissants, or ham and cheese croissants.

Skeptical? Keep reading…

A long journey to learning how to make croissants

Croissant recipes seem quite fussy, and honestly, I just didn’t have the confidence. But over time, I decided I wanted to really practice my baking skills. 

After reliably making homemade sourdough bread and easy rough puff pastry (which uses similar rolling and laminating techniques), I decided it was time.

As it turns out, making croissants is a lot like making sourdough. The process requires time, yes, but it’s mostly inactive time. This is a process that you’ll need to tend to in small bursts during breaks in your day, but as long as you follow the instructions, you’ll get a great result.

If this recipe sounds stressful, I’ve realized that rolling and laminating dough is actually quite relaxing. While it took me a few batches to really get the hang of rolling and shaping, my croissants looked better and better with every try.

Croissant Recipe

What Are Milk Bread Croissants?

These milk bread croissants are exactly what they sound like—a croissant made from an Asian milk bread dough. In other words, you have a new unexpected use for our popular milk bread recipe! 

After reading and trying many croissant recipes, Judy casually suggested that I use her milk bread recipe for the dough. There are many French-style bakeries in China that have already tried this with success.

The idea was even more brilliant because she’s such a pro at making her milk bread, that I simply asked her to make me a batch! From there, she passed the baton to me to transform that standard milk bread dough into croissants. 

As it turns out, our Asian milk bread dough isn’t all that different from a croissant dough.

Both contain yeast, and both are types of enriched dough—a bread dough that has been “enriched” with fat and dairy ingredients like milk, eggs, butter, or cream, as well as sugar. Challah, brioche, and cinnamon rolls are all examples of baked goods made with enriched dough. (Check out Kaitlin’s excellent recipe for milk bread cinnamon rolls!)

Croissant recipes usually call for milk, butter, and sugar. Our milk bread recipe contains milk, heavy cream, sugar, and half an egg. It’s actually quite similar in composition to a croissant dough. 

But our milk bread is so simple—with an all-in-one mixing method (all the ingredients are added to the mixing bowl and then kneaded).

There is no need to pre-activate the yeast, or mix in butter in a separate step. Just add the ingredients to the order described in the recipe, turn on the mixer, and let it go.

(We also have instructions for kneading by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook.) 

A Proven Winner: Thoughts from Friends and Family

One morning during a house closing (more on that later…!), we had an extra freshly baked croissant with us in the car, so we brought it in for our attorney after he proclaimed he had been in the office since 5am without any breakfast.  

“You made these?” he said. “These are delicious, and I’m a picky eater.” 

We had a similar incident when we had people over for a Sunday brunch. “Try Bill’s croissants!” Judy proclaimed as she brought some of my reheated croissants to the table. Reaction: “Wow, they’re better than what we usually get at most bakeries.”

That’s when I realized to myself, “I can actually make croissants!”

Long story short…if you’ve already tried making Judy’s milk bread, or any of our Chinese Bakery recipes that use milk bread dough, you must try making these milk bread croissants.

NOTE!

The croissant dough is actually ½ of our milk bread dough, so if you’re making a batch of milk bread, you can bake half of it into a loaf or buns, and use the other half to make these croissants. 

A note on flour: If you’ve made our milk bread recipe before, you may have noticed that we’re using only all-purpose flour instead of a mix of bread flour and cake flour. We have since extensively tested our milk bread recipe with only all-purpose flour and haven’t found any meaningful differences in the result.

Croissant Recipe Instructions

Step 1: Make the Butter Square

Cut a piece of parchment paper 11 inches (28 cm) long by 15 inches (38 cm) wide (this was the width of our parchment paper roll). Fold the parchment in half so you have a 7 ½” x 11” (19x28cm) rectangle. 

Cut the softened butter into ½-inch (1cm) squares, and arrange them on one side of the paper to form a rough 7×7 inch (18x18cm) square.

Fold the other half of parchment over the slightly softened butter, and use a rolling pin and something with a flat edge (like a bench scraper/dough scraper or offset spatula) to form the butter into a uniform square, flipping the butter square over a couple times to flatten both sides. 

Square of butter on parchment paper



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