Making croissants does take time, but most of the time is in chilling the dough in the fridge (while you lounge with a good book), so never fear. Fresh-baked homemade croissants are in your reach.
What makes croissants so flaky is the rolling and re-rolling of the buttery, chilled dough. You can break the steps up to make the process less overwhelming, chilling and rolling the dough over a period of days if you like. Homemade croissants are worth the effort!
How to make Croissants:
1 1/3 cups cold butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
Cut butter into 1/2-inch slices. Mix with 3 cups flour in a bowl and chill while preparing Step 2.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package yeast
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, heat milk, sugar and salt in a pan on the stove till warm. Add to yeast-flour mixture along with the egg. Beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds on low, then on high for 3 minutes.
Stir in chilled butter-flour mixture. Flouring hands, knead dough very gently, punching about eight times. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle (about 20 inches by 10 inches). Fold dough into thirds, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight (or freeze for 30 minutes).
Take dough out of refrigerator. Using a floured rolling pin again, roll dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle as described in Step 3. Fold, wrap, and chill dough again, this time for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into fourths by cutting the dough. Shape each piece into a ball. At this point, you can either use the dough right away, refrigerate it for up to a week, or freeze it for later use. Wrap balls in plastic wrap and store inside a Ziploc baggie. Thaw frozen dough to use. To use immediately, on a floured surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a circle. Cut like pizza then roll up slices into crescent shapes. Repeat rolling, cutting, and shaping with the other portions of croissant dough. Place on greased baking sheets, points down, curving ends. Cover and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour). Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Serve as dinner rolls, or use for great gourmet-style sandwiches. For sandwich-size croissants, instead of dividing the dough into fourths, divide in two and roll each ball into a larger circle to make large slices.
See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.