Paul Hollywood's Croissant Recipe taken up a notch by adding in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and orange zest.
These take a long time, most of it inactive, but the results are worth it. Feel free to experiment with flavors or leave out the filling for basic croissants.
Just a note: The main dough of this recipe requires a scale. If you don't have one, I really do recommend getting one. They make baking so much more precise, in my opinion. I've noticed a HUGE difference in my bread baking, in particular, since I started using a scale.
Place the bread flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar and salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side of the bowl.
Don't let the yeast touch the salt and sugar directly at this point because it can slow down the yeast's development.
Add all of the water to the bowl and mix with the dough hook on slow speed for two minutes. After two minutes, increase the speed to medium. Continue mixing for another 6 minutes. The dough will be stiff.
While the dough mixes, lightly flour your work surface. Gently tip your dough onto the floured work surface, form it into a ball, and then dust the top of the dough with more flour.
Carefully place the dough into a clean plastic bag and place into the fridge to chill for an hour.
Don't do what I did and place the dough into the freezer, unless your kitchen is particularly warm. This makes the dough harder to work with.
After the dough has chilled for an hour, roll it out into a 24 by 8 inch rectangle. It should be approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Flatten the cold butter into a smaller rectangle, approximately 16 by 7 inches. I did this by placing it between two sheets of parchment paper and bashing it with a rolling pin.
It is important that the butter is very cold, because otherwise it will just melt into the dough when you add it and do your turns.
Place the flattened butter on top of the dough, positioning it so that it's on the lower 2/3 of the dough. It's okay if it is a little patchy or some sticks to the parchment paper. Just scrape it off and add it where there are patches.
Fold the top 1/3 of the dough over the butter. Take a knife and cut through the butter just below the folded over dough line. Make sure you don't cut through the dough under the butter. Place the rest of the butter on top of the folded over dough section and then cover with the remaining dough.
When you are finished, your first, third, and fifth layers should be dough and your second and fourth should be butter. Seal the butter into the dough, by pinching the edges together, so that no butter leaks out during turning. Put the dough back into the plastic bag and place in the fridge to chill for another hour.
Remove the dough from the bag and put it on your lightly floured work surface with one of the short edges facing you. Again, roll the dough into a 24 by 8 inch rectangle. The shortest edge should remain facing you.
If your work surface is not big enough to roll the dough out in front of you, just make sure you're rolling from one short end to the other to increase the size of the rectangle.
Fold 1/3 of the dough down, then cover with the bottom 1/3 of the dough. This is a single turn.
Place the dough back into the bag, and chill in the fridge for another hour.
Repeat the rolling and turning process two more times, chilling for one hour between turns. This is what forms the layers.
Again, do not put the dough into the freezer, like I did. This resulted in my butter breaking up as I rolled it out, which ended up harming the layers in the end. the dough also ended up looking somewhat like it had cellulite. Not pretty.
Rest the dough in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight after the final turn. The dough will develop a better flavor the longer it rests and slowly proves.
Line two to three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Gather the chocolate chips, orange zest, and cranberries.
Place the dough on your lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. If it's too thick and keeps snapping back, let it rest for a few minutes and try again.
Cut the edges to neaten them, then cut the dough into twelve equal rectangles.
Place a small amount of each filling ingredient on the short end of each croissants. I recommend between 1/2 to 1 tbsp each of white chocolate chips and cranberries and 1/4 tsp of orange zest, but feel free to add more, if you prefer.
Carefully roll each croissant, lengthwise, starting with the end of the croissant that has filling in it. This ensures that the filling is in the very middle of the croissant. If some of the filling comes out, that's fine. Try to fit it into the croissant or enjoy some of the extra chocolate chips. You deserve it!
Continue until all of the croissants are prepared.
Place the croissants on the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for growth. I recommend about two inches between each croissant.
Leave to rise at cool room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
During the last half hour or so, preheat your oven to 390 Degrees Fahrenheit. A strange temperature, I know, but Paul's original recipe requires 200 degrees Celsius, which is really 392 Fahrenheit and my oven only goes up in increments of 5 so this is as close as I can get without going over.
Lightly whisk your eggs and add a pinch of salt. Brush onto the top and sides of the croissants.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden browned. Because we lowered the temperature slightly, these may take closer to 20 minutes.
Cool on wire racks. These are best enjoyed warm, but I had them several days later cool and they were still pretty tasty. If you aren't going to eat them right away, store in an airtight container.