Vegan Croissants

Croissants are a tricky business. Making them requires patience, time and a little practice, but the result is spectacular.

For this recipe, a vegan butter with a lot water content is best, but no matter which brand you use it won't act the same as regular butter. Most vegan butters act more like margarine, which means they don't become firm in the same way. I like to freeze the vegan butter before using it, but just be prepared for some oozing spots that might need a little extra flour.

Check out my Almond Croissants for a variation on these delicious pastries!

Note: start this recipe one day in advance.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 370ml soy milk, warm
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 575g plain flour
  • 1 tsp soy milk powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 35g vegan butter

Ingredients for the butter block

  • 400g vegan butter

Ingredients for the wash

  • 1/2 tbs soy milk, to brush

Instructions for the dough

  • Combine milk, yeast and sugar in a jug, mix to combine and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Place flour, milk powder and salt in a large bowl and mix to incorporate.
  • Pour milk into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and turn the machine on to a low speed for 1 minute.
  • Increase speed to medium and slowly add flour mixture, then add butter.
  • Mix for 3 minutes, then remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a tea towel.
  • Leave at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Once the dough has rested for 1 hour, place in the refrigerator to rest overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
  • Meanwhile prepare the butter block (instructions below).
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a well-floured kitchen bench.
  • Roll out to 40x25cm, adding more flour underneath as needed. Before you start folding and letting the dough rest, be sure to brush off excess flour.
  • Place butter block on one end of the dough, so one side is completely covered in butter while the other side has a small amount of dough remaining.
  • Fold the excess dough onto half of the buttered dough, then fold the remaining buttered side on top of that. You should have layers of butter and dough as a result.

Turn 1

  • Roll the dough back out to 40x25cm, working with the seam side away from you.
  • Once your edges are neat and even, fold one long side of the dough into the centre, then do the same with the other side. Both sides should meet in the middle.
  • Then, fold the dough in half. This is one turn.
  • Completely cover the dough in baking paper and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Turn 2

  • Repeat the turning process, then place the dough back in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Turn 3

  • Repeat the turning process.
  • If you're planning on using the dough later, wrap it up and place it in the freezer until ready to use, and defrost the night before you want to roll it out.
  • Otherwise, place in the refrigerator to rest for 1-2 hours.

Shaping and baking

  • Once the dough is ready, remove from the refrigerator and place onto a well-floured kitchen bench.
  • Roll out to 40x25cm, then trim the edges to ensure the dough is even and neat.
  • Turn the dough so one of the long sides is closest to you.
  • Cut the dough into 4 pieces, vertically.
  • Cut each piece into 2 triangles, starting from a corner and ending at the opposite diagonal.
  • Trim the triangles so each one is even on the short edge.
  • Carefully roll into croissants, starting from the shortest edge.
  • Place on trays, cover with tea towels and leave to rise in a warm space for 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to approximately 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Lightly brush the croissants with soy milk.
  • Cook the croissants for approximately 30 minutes, turning the trays halfway through to create an even bake if needed.
  • Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature.

Instructions for the butter block

  • Place the butter onto a large piece of baking paper, then place another piece of baking paper on top.
  • Use a rolling pin to press the butter into a smooth square shape that's 25x25cm.
  • Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or freeze until ready to use.

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