"everything in moderation..."

Croissants have always been a long time favourite of mine as the ideal breakfast. As I get older however, I only indulge in the occasional croissant for breakfast. As I have always said, (but rarely exercised) 'everything in moderation'. My croissant in-take reduction stems from the fact that I have over the years taken more notice of how these delicious pastries are made, i.e. with copious amounts of butter, only to be topped with more lashings of butter (for me Lurpak, no other!) and filled with jam the sugar content of which would alone kill my entire calorie count for the day!

Of course there is a challenge to making your own croissants (why would anyone wish to spend so long preparing their own croissants is beyond me, especially when you can buy pre-made dough or go to the nearest bakery?). For those of you who do wish to go the whole croissant-making route then here is a full-proof recipe which will have you salivating for the next 24 hours whilst they are being prepared and cooked off for your breakfast. This is a slight variation on the James Martin chocolate croissant recipe.


Home-made buttery croissants, freshly baked, are a real triumph. Feel proud when you spread on the jam!

What you need...

  • 625g/1lb 5oz white flour

  • 12g/½oz salt

  • 75g/3oz white granulated sugar

  • 20g/¾oz dried yeast

  • 500g/1lb 2oz chilled butter (real butter and not margarine)

  • 1 beaten egg

What to do...

  1. Place the flour, salt,yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix in a little water until the mixture forms into a pliable dough.

  2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until it becomes elastic in feel.

  3. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

  4. Return the chilled dough to your floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle, approx 60x30cm/24x12in.

  5. Roll out the chilled butter into a rectangle about 1cm/½in thick, around 20x30cm/8x12in.

  6. Place the butter rectangle in the centre of the dough rectangle, so it covers the middle third of the dough.

  7. Fold each side of the dough over the butter, so there is one layer of dough on the bottom, a layer of butter, then two layers of dough.

  8. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for another hour.

  9. Lightly flour the worktop and roll out the dough to a rectangle, around 60x30cm/24x12in. Repeat the folding process, folding the long sides into the middle, then return the dough to the fridge for a further hour.

  10. Repeat this process of folding and chilling two more times, then wrap the dough in cling film and set it aside to rest overnight.

  11. Using a rolling pin, roll out the rested dough to 3mm/1/8in thick.

  12. Cut the rolled out dough into squares, each 20cm/8in square.

  13. Cut each square diagonally, making two triangles.

  14. Place the dough triangles on a lightly floured surface with the right angle away from you.

  15. Roll the croissant towards the right angle point and curl the dough roll around into a traditional crescent shape.

  16. Place the shaped croissants on baking trays lined with baking parchment and leave to rise for 1½ hrs.

  17. Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/Gas 6.

  18. Lightly egg-wash the croissants and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.