Handmade croissants are labor intensive, but vastly superior to frozen or store bought. If you have the time, these golden, buttery and flaky rolls are absolute perfection. You can work on them throughout the day, working on other things while they chill, and chill them overnight to be baked in the morning.
2 ½ cups plus tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 (1/4 oz/10g) package dried yeast
1 cup milk, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, for greasing
18 tbsp salted butter, chilled cut into ½ in (1cm) thick slices
1 large egg, beaten
1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, stir to blend well. Using a butter knife, mix in the room temperature milk, a little at a time, to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until it becomes elastic under your hands. Place back in the bowl, covered with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
2. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that measures 10x17 in (25x43 cm). Squash the chilled butter with a rolling pin, keeping the pat shape, until ½ cm thick.
3. Place the butter in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over it from both sides. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 24x14 in (61x36 cm) rectangle. Fold the right third to the center, then the left third over top. Chill for 1 hour until firm. Repeat the rolling, folding, and chilling twice. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
4. Cut the dough in half, and roll out one half to a 5x14 ½ in (12x36 cm) rectangle. Cut into 5 in (12 cm) squares, then cut diagonally to make 6 triangles. Repeat.
5. Hold the ends of the longest side, roll it toward you. Curve into crescent shape. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving space between each. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Leave for 1 hour until doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Remove the plastic wrap and brush them with egg, then bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Watch them carefully. They are finished when golden brown. They can quickly go from golden brown to dark brown. Cool on a wire rack.