Continuing down the plant based diet journey I’m now exploring, I am trying to creatively rethink classic recipes I love. It took me many attempts and experiments that failed, to understand the complex texture of a croissant and the magical French flour blend. I’ve made them with all plain flour and all bread flour and neither works. I now understand that the best way, with such a slow to bloom dough as croissants, is if you can get a French blend flour. This is easiest and more likely to behave. Aldi this week had this fine bag of magic French flour. (I’ve posted this early and need to make them again as I’m missing photos but this will do to satisfy all my friends who want the recipe now!)
So can coconut oil replace butter? I suspect it can but just how much of it is needed compared to butter? And perhaps I will have to add flavour too just to combat the lack of butter as a flavour. Please don’t upset any French folk telling them this is a butterless croissant. Croissants are all about the butter. I know this. And I adored them. Paris I love all your bakers and your cafés but I’m trying to offer a plant based vision so I can still indulge in that coffee and croissant pleasure myself. So Oatly Butter is my new go-to croissant filler. Or as James calls them, Cocroissants.
500 g French Type flour / plain flour
40 g coconut oil
50 g sugar
12 g instant yeast
12 g salt
130ml cold water
150ml cold Oatly Barista
100g cold coconut oil
2tbs rape seed oil
100g Oatly Creamy Oat Fraiche
5g fine sea salt
2tbs gram flour
1tbs gram flour
Small amount of water
2tbs coconut oil
1tbs rape seed oil
1tbs or so boiling water
Day 1. Place the flour in a large bowl and rub in the coconut oil. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir through. Pour on the Oatly and water and stir in until the water seems absorbed. Then sink your hands in and gently knead for just a few minutes. If you stretch the gluten too much now it will make rolling harder tomorrow. We need relaxed, chilled gluten.
Roll out gently into an oblong and cover with cling film and chill for 24 hours. Make up the Oatly Butter and chill overnight.
Day 2. Place the Oatly Butter between two sheets of grease proof paper or cling film and roll out into a single slab measuring about 20cm by 25cm.
Take the dough from the fridge and roll into a large rectangle large enough that the corners can be folded over the slab of Oatly Butter. With a light rolling pin, gently press so that the oil slab is sealed into the dough. Roll gently into a rectangle and fold in thirds. Or roll out as below and fold the edges in and then in thirds. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or two. (bit blurry sorry. Greasy fingers on the camera lens haha.)
Remover the dough and gently roll it out again and fold once more into thirds. And yes p, chill for an hourly three. Then roll out again and one final time fold into thirds. Return to the fridge so it can rest until tomorrow.
Day 3. Roll out the dough into a long oblong sheet, about 75cm x 100cm. It isn’t looking good here. I rolled it too cold and the butter snapped. I’ll replace these photos in a few days. It’s a slow process making croissants.
Cut the dough into long triangles in the best way you can to maximise the dough. You can’t roll this again.
Roll the dough triangle a little to stretch it further so there is plenty of tip to wrap round several times.
Sometimes it is necessary to make a small cut in the shortest side of the triangle to get the extension on the edges. Holding the corners pull the cut open and gently roll each triangle up towards the tip to create the croissant.
Beat the gram flour and water together and brush the top of each croissant. Leave them for up to two hours to rise on greased baking sheets.
They really do like their own time to create their magic. I often pop the oven on the very lowest temperature for a few minutes and then turn it off before I place the croissants in the oven to gently bloom but during this heatwave they are over excited just being out of the fridge. To guess when they are ready to bake I give them a sharp shake. If they’re gonna be light and soft they will wobble slightly like a firm jelly.
Oh whoops. The heatwave has got them kissing each other now. This will spoil their shiny edges.
To mix up the final glaze place room temperature coconut oil with the rape seed oil in a dish and add the hot water stirring vigorously. Pop the croissants in the oven at 220C and bake for 6 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180C and bake for a further 6-10 minutes. Then let them rest for a couple of minutes before transferring them to wire racks or your mouth but they are exceedingly hot. It’s the oils. Enjoy them. I rushed off first thing to Shop at Norman Road to grab a coffee and get the plant eaters to test them. Success. So happy. But I will now try and adjust the amount of the Oatly Butter filling. Practise makes perfect