• 1 1/4 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 220g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 160ml warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 150g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 egg

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If you don’t fancy buying the dried out shop versions, here’s a recipe for authentic French croissants.

Combine yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.
Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.
Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 35x20cm rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 6mm margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. Roll out to a 35x15cm rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 35x15cm rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.
To shape, roll dough out to a 50x12cm rectangle. Cut in half crossways, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 40x12cm rectangle. Cut into three 12x12cm squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 18cm long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking tray, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.
Bakein a preheated 240 C / Gas 9 oven for 12 to 15 minutes.