1-1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I use rice milk)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (a little less than two packages)
3-3/4 cups white flour, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) vegan margarine, cold
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegetable shortening, cold Hardware:
stand mixer with a dough hook (optional)
measuring tape or ruler
mesh strainer (optional)
pastry brush (optional)
2 cookie sheets
This recipe is lengthy, but don't let that scare you. Most of the work is done in the fridge, so you can pursue other activities while the dough is chilling.
[u]Mix Ingredients[/u]:1. Heat rice milk to 110 degrees (F). Add brown sugar and yeast and set aside until foamy.
2. Pour yeast mixture into a mixing bowl. Add flour and salt. Mix until the dough starts to come together. (If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, use it instead and allow to mix for about 7 minutes, then knead for 3 minutes by hand.)
[u]Knead Dough[/u]:3. Turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until dough is soft and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape into a rectangle about 1-1/2 inches thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour. (Don't take shortcuts. The dough must chill to solidify the butter so the layers of dough you are making don't melt together. Placing in the freezer will stop the dough from rising and your croissants will be smaller than they should be. Yes, the dough will continue to rise in the fridge.)
[u]Prepare Margarine and Shortening[/u]:4. While dough is chilling, place vegan margarine and shortening between two pieces of wax paper and pound with a rolling pin until about 1/2 inch flat. Place the slab of butter between the two slabs of shortening and continue to pound until you have a rectangle that is 8 inches by 5 inches. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill alongside dough.
[u]Combine Dough and Margarine-Shortening Mixture[/u]:5. Roll out the dough to a 16 inch by 10 inch rectangle. (Stretch the corners to help the dough keep the rectangular shape.) Turn the dough so the short side faces you. Place the butter/shortening slab in the center of the dough with the long side parallel with the short side of the dough. Fold the top third of the dough down over the slab, then fold the bottom third over that. Your dough should resemble a man's trifold wallet. Roll out the dough to a 15 inch by 10 inch rectangle. Be careful not to roll over the ends of the dough. Again, fold the dough like a man's wallet, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
If the dough gets too sticky, lightly sprinkle with flour using a mesh strainer, then brush off any excess flour with your hand or a pastry brush.
6. Roll out the dough 3 more times in this manner for a total of four folds. Be sure to chill the dough in between each fold.
[u]Form Croissants and Chill Dough[/u]:7. After the final fold, cut the dough in half (After folding it into the wallet again). Return one half to the fridge and roll the remaining half into a 16-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Cut in half and chill this rectangle half. Cut the rectangle in thirds and cut the thirds in half diagonally.
8. Starting with the short side of the triangle roll up the dough. The dough should over lap three times. Gently stretch the dough if it doesn't. Place croissant tip down on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat with second half of this portion of dough.
Wrap the cookie sheets completely in plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours, but no more than 18 hours.
[u]Raise Croissants[/u]:9. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. On the stove top, boil water in a saucepan. Pour water into a broiler or roasting pan and place on the bottom of the oven. Arrange racks so they are in the top and bottom third of the oven. Place one cookie sheet on each rack and close the oven. Turn off the heat. Allow to rise for about a half hour.
[u]Bake Croissants[/u]:10. Remove cookie sheets from oven and heat oven to 400 degree F. If the water in the broiler pan has evaporated, boil more and replenish before baking your croissants. Place croissants in oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes, then switch cookie sheets to the opposite rack (place the sheet on the bottom rack on the top and vice versa) and rotate the sheets 180 degrees. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes until light golden brown.
Repeat with second half of dough.
Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
[u]Variations[/u]:You can stuff these with whatever you have on hand. My favorite is a mixture of 2 parts sliced almonds to 1 part brown sugar. You can also fill with vegan ham and cheese or faux feta and spinach. Just don't over fill them.
You can also add a your favorite extracts to the dough before rolling them out.
Source of recipe: This recipe is modified from a recipe by Nancy Silverton posted on Epicurious.com.