If we're focussing on French recipes... then it would be criminal to overlook the humble croissant. Seen everywhere, all across France they are a pretty fundamental part of the the breakfast table. We show you how to get them right... it's not an easy or quick process... but it is worth giving it a go!
Mix the warm water, dried yeast and a pinch of the sugar in a bowl and leave for 5 minutes to start foaming.
Stir together, in a bigger bowl, the rest of the sugar, milk, salt, melted butter, yeasty mixture and the flour, a bit at a time, until you have a sticky dough.
Spread the dough out on a floured sheet of baking paper to a rectangle about 2cm thick, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take the cold butter and put it into a large sandwich bag or between sheets of baking paper. bash and roll it out to a rectangle about 1 cm thick and chill in the fridge.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll to a large rectangle, twice as long as it is wide and about 2 cm thick, making sure the short side if facing you. Place the butter slab in the middle (the long side facing you) and fold the bottom third of dough over it to seal the butter in, then fold the top third over the double thickness.
Turn the dough through 90 degrees, roll it back out to a rectangle the same size as before and repeat the folding process, then cover in clingfilm and chill for 45 minutes in a fridge. Continue rolling and folding the dough the using the same ‘thirds’ method as above three more times, chilling between each, then chill over night.
Roll the dough out once more, to the thickness of a pound coin (1/2 cm) then cut into elongated triangles, 10cm wide and 20cm long, and cut a lump out of the base of each. Roll that up to the central point fairly tightly, then transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bend the ends down towards each other into a crescent.
Cover with a clean tea towel at room temperature to rise for another hour. Brush over the entire croissants gently and carefully with beaten egg.
Preheat an oven to 220°C and bake the croissant for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly although best eaten when warm and fresh. Makes 16