Croissants (recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two by Julia Child and Simone Beck)
1 ¼ t. dry active yeast
3 T. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 ¾ c. plain flour
2 t. sugar
1 ½ t. salt
½ c. milk (I used 2%)
2 T. vegetable oil
½ c. chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash
1. In a small bowl combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir gently and let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough about 10 times and form into a ball. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, and place the bowl in a plastic bag.
5. Let the dough rise for 3 hours or until the dough has tripled in size.
6. After the dough has tripled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands and press it into a 8 x 12 square. Fold the dough in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up).
7. Place the dough back into the bowl and place the bowl back into the plastic bag. Let the dough rise for an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size.
8. Put the double-risen dough on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the butter.
9. Place the stick of butter on a cutting board. Using a rolling pin, beat the butter down until it is almost flat. Use your hands to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. It should still be cold, but spreadable.
10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Spread the dough using your hands into a 14 x 8 rectangle. Remove the butter from the board and place it on the top half of the dough. Use a butter knife and spread the butter across the top two-thirds of the dough, but keep it ¼ inch from all the edges.
14. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up. Put the dough back on the plate again, wrap in plastic wrap, and put it back in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
15. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it rest on a floured surface for 5 minutes.