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I've always been afraid to make croissants because it's common opinion that making them is complicated… guess what…. it's not true! On the contrary, making them is quite simple and doesn't require much work at all. In fact, most of the time you simply have to wait for the dough to rise or cool (how cool is that?!). So if you are afraid to venture into the wonderful world of croissants, don't be! Follow the recipe and in a matter of hours you'll know how to make the best vegan croissants EVER!
I always use "stable" margarine to make croissants. It's important NOT to use a spreadable margarine because we don't want our block of "butter" to melt easily (or the whole recipe is going to be a big mess!). So any traditional butter substitute that doesn't get hard in the cold cannot be used for this recipe.
There are some recipes that take multiple days to prepare croissants. Mine takes a little over 4 hours of which only 1 we will actually have to "actively work", the other 3 hours are rising or resting times for the dough in the fridge.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe: yeast, flour, sugar, salt and water. Also, instead of brushing the croissants with egg we will use a vegan oat-cream or soy milk (use whichever you prefer).
The dough for our croissants is super easy to make! We just have to mix, flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water. Then we knead the dough until it's smooth and lumps-free. If you prefer you can of course use a kneading machine (I would too if I had one :)).
The Beurrage is nothing more than a block of butter (or in our case margarine) that will allow us to create the puff pastry with which we will make the croissants. The block is done by cutting the margarine into slices and placing these on a sheet of baking paper. Then we wrap the margarine with the baking paper and flatten the butter forming a 20 x 20 cm square.
The block of butter should never melt while we are making the pastry. This is why it's important that the block is well chilled before we start making the puff pastry.
Laminating the Dough: Part 1
This is the most fun part of this recipe (after eating the croissants of course ;))! Before we start: It's very useful to have a measuring tape at hand so that we can roll out the dough following the measurements given in the recipe.
We start by taking the dough out of the fridge and to form it (using our hands) into a 25 x 25 cm ( 10 x 10 inches) square. Then we use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 45 x 25 cm (18 x 10 inches) rectangle. We place the block of margarine on one side of the rectangle and fold the other side of the dough up and over the margarine.
Now we gently roll out the dough forming a rectangle of 45 x 25 cm (18 x 10 inches). We grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ¾ of the way up the rectangle. Then we take the top half and fold it the remaining ¼ of the way until both ends meet.
Then we fold the longer part over the short one, making a long rectangle. We wrap the rectangle in baking paper and let it rest for 1 hour in the fridge. Et voilà! The first lamination is already over! One more to go!
Laminating the Dough: Part 2
The second part of the process is much easier than the first. We only need to roll out the dough into a large 60 x 25 cm (24 x 18 inches) rectangle. We grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ⅓ of the way up the rectangle. Then we take the top half and fold it over so that it covers completely the other one. We should have a square. We wrap it in baking paper and set in the fridge for 1 hour.
Shaping the Croissants
We can finally start shaping our croissants! YAY! We take the dough out of the fridge and with a rolling pin we shape it carefully into a 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 inches) rectangle. Then cut the dough into 10 triangles.
Starting at the base of each triangle, we begin rolling, making sure the tip of each triangle ends up tucked under the croissant to hold its shape. Then we transfer the croissants to a baking tray lined with baking paper leaving some space between each croissant (they will double in size!).
We don't want our croissants to dry while rising so we brush them with soy milk or water, put them in the oven and close it. Now we let our babies rise for 1 hour, until they've doubled in size.
This is How they'll look once they've double in size and are ready to be baked.
Instead of the traditional egg wash I used vegan oat-cream to brush the croissants. It looks just like egg-wash once baked and it smells absolutely delicious! If you don't have any vegan cream just use soy milk or maple syrup (I love using maple syrup as egg-wash, it's super delish and it gives and amazing color!).
When it comes to baking you really need to know your oven. I baked mine at 200 °C (390 °F) for approx. 15 minutes, until they were golden and crispy. You can do the same, just keep an eye on them to be sure they don't burn.
How to store the croissants
The croissants can be stored either in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
- Refrigerator: Put the croissants in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Before serving, moisten with a little water and bake in the oven at 180 °C for 3-4 minutes until crispy.
- Freezer: put the vegan croissants in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Before serving, take the croissants out of the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). Once defrosted, moisten the croissants with a little water and bake in the oven at 180 °C for 3-4 minutes.
If you try this recipe...
If you tried this recipe and you now know how to make the best vegan croissants ;), let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #carlocao or #vegaliciously on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
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