Welcome back to the quest for the ultimate vegan croissant. (Find part one with tips and tricks here. Please read if you want to make this recipe.) Writing these two posts down and taking all these pictures took almos as long as making the actual croissants. But once in a while I really love to splurge on these things. Because after all baking and blogging are my favourite things to do. I am super lucky that I can afford to spend an afternoon here and there working on my blog projects and I really hope thse instructions are useful for one or two of you.
But let’s get right into it and start baking! For both versions (margarine and coconut oil) we will start with a basic dough that you have to prepare the night before you want to bake your croissants. A long rest and slow rise in the fridge will help the dough develop flavour.
Although you can use all-purpose flour with no problem, I’ve found that white spelt flour (German type 630) works better with the coconut oil version. It is a bit stretchier than all purpose flour. That means the croissant dough is easier to roll out. But as I said, all-purpose flour will be fine, if you don’t have white spelt on hand.
Also, as always I encourage you to experiment! My recipe is only a suggestion and maybe you will get better results with the coconut oil version, if you leave out the flour for the filling or choose a sturdier flour (like all-purpose or bread flour). You never know. I am not a trained chef and am figuring out these things out as I go. If you experiment with this recipe (or have experimented with croissants), please let me know and leave a comment.
To make the dough, add flour to a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Crumble yeast into the well, add sugar and water.
Let sit for 10 minutes, or until the yeast has started to bubble and looks frothy.
Add salt and fat and knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes if you have a handheld mixer or 10 minutes, if you knead by hand.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to rise over night.
Follow the steps below to make the laminated dough, shape and bake your croissants.
When your dough has chilled over night, prepare the filling for either the margarine or the coconut oil based version in the following ways:
For the margarine based version, place the margarine between two sheets of cling film and roll it out until it’s about 20 x 20 cm big. Try to go for a square, but if that doesn’t work so well, you can cut of the excess fat later.
Place the margarine in the fridge and take out your chilled dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it’s about 30 x 40 cm. Take the margarine out of the fridge and peel of the top layer of cling film.Turn around and place on top of the dough so that side that still has cling film on is on top now. The following picture will show you how exactly to position your margarine. (Yeah, sometimes my English is so bad so I have to use the help of drawings. I admit I have a hard time explaining this, but there are also lots of great online tutorials on how to make laminated dough and croissants) The following picture is meant for the coconut oil version, but you should get the picture. Ignore the measurements and don’t forget to remove the remaining cling film before you start folding:
Make sure all the edges are sealed well. If the fat spills out, that’s not good. Roll out your dough carefully until it has doubled in size. If this gets too hard, you’ve got to let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then resume rolling. Make sure not to press too much. Also, try to roll only in one direction. In the end your square should have turned into a rectangle that is about 1 cm thick and about 40 x 20 cm long.
Fold your dough into thirds like a business letter by folding the bottom third over to the middle and then placing the top third over it. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Now turn the dough 90 degrees and roll into a rectangle again by rolling in one direction only. (That means you place the dough with the short side facing to you and then you roll from bottom to top.) Your rectangle should measure about 40 x 20 cm.
Yeah. I suck at sketching. But I hope it’s clear. You need to repeat this whole process four times. Between each fold, refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
Now that you’ve done that, roll the dough out one last time. The measurements I am giving here are only an approximate, because it all depends on how big you want your croissants to be. My dough was a square about 35 x 35 cm long. From that I cut the dough like this:
After you’ve done that, you should roll the croissants out until they have about doubled their length and look like this:
Now roll them up and shape them into crescents. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let them enough time to rise. I let mine rest for about 2 1/2 hours at room temperature (about 22°C)
Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake the croissants for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
If you want shiny croissants, prepare a vegan egg wash and brush the croissants twice: the first time right before you place them in the oven and the second time about five minutes before taking them out.
For the egg wash just combine 3 tablespoons of soy milk with three tablespoons of agave nectar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
If you want fresh croissants all week long, you don’t have to bake these immediately. You can let them rise and then place them in the freezer until they are frozen. Transfer to airtight containers and bring back to room temperature right before you are ready to bake them.
For the coconut based version, you need to follow all the steps except for the handling of the fat and the refrigerating:
For the filling, place coconut oil, flour, and salt in a mixer and whip until fluffy. make sure there are no lumps left.
Instead of rolling out the fat between cling film, you have to spread it on the dough:
Roll the dough into a square 30 x 30 cm. Place the fat mixture on top and spread it into a 15 x 15 cm diamond and then fold the dough over to create and envelope. make sure the dough is sealed well, turn over and start rolling into a rectangle.
Roll out the dough even more carefully and do not refrigerate between the turns. Simply leave the dough on the counter for a couple of minutes to relax.
If the dough gets to warm, you can roll it out on a refrigerated plastic bord that you’ve kept in the fridge.
As I said, this is not a beginner’s recipe and you might need some practice. I’ve done this about five to six times before I got it right. If your dough gets holes and the fat starts to spill out, try to limit the damage by sprinkling some flour over it. That is not ideal and the leaking of fat shouldn’t happen. But it does, especially with coconut oil.
That’s it. I hope you enjoy!