Sunday morning breakfast is my favourite kind of party. I turn into a pumpkin at about 8 pm, making me useless for evening parties, but a fine warm lazy Sunday, good friends, music, coffee and chai, and I’m happy.
Breakfast parties are easy to cater for too. Often people bring a treat like fruit or homemade jam or a cake or bread. I make something savory – a quiche or spinach and feta pie or a tart – and something sweet like pancakes or fruit bread. Fruit salad and yoghurt. And this time, sourdough croissants.
Makes about 36 mini croissants.
You need to start the day before the party.
Stage 1 – the basic dough:
Feed your sourdough starter and leave 3 cups of fed starter in a covered bowl on the bench overnight.
In the morning, mix in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1½ cups of bakers flour.
Flour the benchtop well and tip the dough out onto it. Have another cup of bakers flour ready and knead in as much as you need to create a smooth, springy dough.
Put a good dollop of a mild flavoured oil (I use macadamia oil) in a bowl, swirl the dough around to coat, and leave it covered in a warm spot for the day.
Stage 2: Adding the butter
Croissants have lots of butter. For this size batch, you need about 200 grams of cold butter. It is important that it is cold. I tried making croissants for Christmas Day breakfast last year, and with so much in and out of the fridge, the butter was soft. They turned out like biscuits!
Flour the benchtop well and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is a big rectangle about 1.5 cm thick. Cover (more or less) half of the dough sheet with thin sheets of cold butter. My grater has one side that is perfect for grating off wide thin sheets of butter.
Fold the dough over the butter, then cover half the new rectangle with shaved butter too.
Fold the dough over the butter again, and do it one more time.
Fold the dough over the butter again, then roll it out to 1.5 cm thick again.
Now repeat the whole process, shaving butter over half the rectanglfe of dough, folding, more butter, fold, more butter, fold, roll out to 1.5 cm.
Stage 3: Cutting and Rolling
Cut the dough into isosceles triangles – that is, triangles with one short side and two long sides. Roll them up from the short side towards the point, then curl the two corners back to make the crescent shape.
Put all the croissants on greased baking sheets with a bit of space between them. I fit 8 on a cookie sheet. Cover and leave them out on the benchtop overnight to prove. A cool night is best – you don’t want the butter to melt. If you are trying to make them in summer, you might have to find space in the fridge.
In the morning they should be plump and smooth.
Stage 4: Baking
Brush with beaten egg and bake in a hot oven for around 15 minutes till they are just golden and crisp.
Serve with lemon curd or chocolate sauce or homemade jam or not-jam or just as they are.