A simple recipe for croissant dough that yield flaky and buttery pastry.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast. Let mixture stand for about 5 minutes until foamy and thick . If it doesn’t foam, discard and start over. Add 3 3/4 cups flour and salt and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low for about 7 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth.
Transfer dough to a work surface and briefly knead by hand for about 2 minutes. Add flour, a little at a time as needed to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Once your dough is smooth and not too sticky, you have needed enough. You only need to use about 1-3 tablespoon of flour. You can use the rest during rolling and folding. Pat and shape dough into a roughly 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Lay a clean, lint free towel on a clean surface (Use a towel that is not fibrous. Do not use terry towels). Arrange the sticks of butter to form a block with their sides touching. Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly until malleable but still cold. Lay a second towel over the butter. Roll and pound butter over the towel until you form an an 8 x 5 inch rectangle. Wrap the butter completely inside the towels and chill in the fridge until needed.
After the dough has chilled, unwrap it and transfer onto a clean, floured surface. Roll the dough into a 16 x 10 inches rectangle. Flour your surface and rolling pin as needed. Lift the dough often and stretch the corners to maintain the rectangular shape. Unwrap the butter by gently peeling off the towels and place on the center of the dough. The long side of the butter should be parallel to the short side of the dough. Fold the bottom part of the dough over the butter, then fold the upper part of the dough over it, fully enclosing the butter inside the dough. This is called the business letter style fold.
Turn dough so a short side is facing you. Make impressions on the surface of the dough by pressing the body of the rolling pin against the dough. Repeat until dough is flattened. Roll the dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. When you roll, make sure to roll to the ends but not over the very edges, so as not to seal the layers in there.
Brush off any excess flour. Fold dough, business letter style: bottom third over the butter and upper third over it, stretching the corners to maintain the sharp edges. This is your first fold. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or freeze for 30 minutes.
Repeat the rolling and folding three more times: After chilling, unwrap dough and roll in the same manner with the short side facing you. Fold in business letter style and chill. After the final fold, refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours but not more than 18 hours. The dough can now be rolled and used as directed in your recipe.
Preparation times includes rise time for the assembled dough.
Recipe from Epicurious