We reimagined the croissant into a new, delicious loaf! Perfect for slicing and sharing, this Croissant Loaf will be the bright spot of every meal.
Makes 1 (8½×4½-inch) loaf
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
- 6 tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 4½ cups (572 grams) bread flour
- 3¾ teaspoons (10.5 grams) kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup (227 grams) plus 6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted European-style butter, cut into ¾-inch cubes and divided
- 1 cup (240 grams) cold whole milk
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 4 cups (960 grams) water
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together ⅓ cup (80 grams) water and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) sugar; heat on high in 10-second intervals until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F (43°C) to 115°F (46°C). Whisk in yeast until well combined. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat bread flour, 3½ teaspoons (10.5 grams) salt, and remaining 5 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons (70 grams) sugar at low speed until combined. Add 6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold butter; pulse mixer between low speed and “off” setting until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, about 3 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup (227 grams) cold butter; pulse mixer between low speed and “off” setting just until butter is coated with flour.
- Add cold milk to yeast mixture; while pulsing mixer between low speed and “off” setting, add yeast mixture to flour mixture in a slow, steady stream just until a shaggy dough comes together. (There will still be large pieces of butter.)
- Lightly dust work surface with all-purpose flour. Turn out dough, and shape into a rough 7-inch square. (Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.) Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Lightly dust work surface with all-purpose flour. Roll dough into an 18×9-inch rectangle, lightly dusting surface and top of dough with all-purpose flour as needed. Fold dough in half so short sides meet. Pat fold to mark center. Unfold dough, and pull one short side to center. Pull opposite side to center so short sides are touching. Pinch seams together; fold along center seam, like closing a book. Rotate dough 90 degrees; repeat rolling and folding procedure once. (Dough will start out soft, rough, and somewhat sticky but will come together; turn dough over as needed so edges are rolled out as evenly as possible.) Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Repeat rotating, rolling, and folding process once. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 10 minutes. (If dough is resisting or feels too soft, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes before continuing.) Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1½ hours.
- Position oven racks in top third and bottom third of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, bring 4 cups (960 grams) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Place pan on top oven rack in back corner. (This gets your oven steamy but also allows the space to cool a bit while you’re shaping the dough.)
- Spray an 8½x4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- Using a pizza cutter or pastry wheel, trim dough rectangle into a 12×10-inch rectangle. Working quickly, cut into 4 (10×3-inch) rectangles. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 10 minutes.
- In prepared pan, arrange dough in a zigzagging ribbon-like pattern, leaving about a ½-inch border around edges. (Dough will not completely fill pan at this point but will grow as its proofs.) Proof as directed in Traditional Croissants or Genius Croissants recipe. Loosely cover proofed loaf with greased plastic wrap, and refrigerate while oven preheats.
- Position oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Uncover loaf, egg wash, and place on center rack of oven.
- Immediately reduce oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 18 minutes; loosely cover with foil, and bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 210°F (98°C), 32 to 42 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Note: No matter what croissant shape you choose, there will be some dough scraps left over. Don’t toss these tasty trimmings! Instead, shape, proof, and bake the scraps in fun shapes as desired.
Note: Once shaped and placed on baking sheets, croissants can either be covered and refrigerated overnight or covered and frozen until solid. Proof and bake the next day as directed, increasing proofing or baking time as needed.
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