Maple Croissants (with a sweet, nutty filling)
Author: 
 
Makes a lot - approximately 32 croissants. The recipe can be halved, or you can save some for later by freezing shaped rolls before they rise. To use, simply place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let them rise slowly (about 6 hours) before baking.
Ingredients
  • CROISSANT DOUGH:
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2¾ cups warm milk (about 110 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons Mapleine (maple flavoring)
  • 6½ cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I use Kosher)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) cold butter, unsalted
  • egg wash (1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten well)
  • FILLING:
  • 3 cups walnuts or pecans (raw, NOT toasted)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Mapleine
  • ICING (optional) :
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Mapleine
  • ⅛ cup water
Instructions
  1. CROISSANT DOUGH:
  2. In a large bowl (a stand mixer works best), mix the yeast and warm milk together. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Using a dough hook, mix in the Mapleine, 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, and the salt. Beat until well combined, then add the remaining flour gradually.The dough should come cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Cover with a dishtowel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for about an hour.
  4. Split the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, form each half into a ball. Put each half into a heavy plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Bring one stick of butter out of the refrigerator at a time and cut lengthwise into 4 equal slices. Place them snugly together with two pieces end to end on top, and two pieces end to end directly below the first two on a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper, forming a rectangle approximately 6-1/2 inches by 3 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and roll gently to make a solid rectangle, 6-1/2 by 4 inches. (If your butter comes in the long, skinny sticks, you'll have to improvise!) Wrap and place it back in the refrigerator while you repeat the process with the other 3 sticks of butter.
  6. Remove one bag of dough and two butter rectangles from the fridge.
  7. Roll dough out on a floured surface until it is approximately 13 inches by 8 inches, with the long side facing you. You may have to do a little stretching to get a nice rectangular shape.
  8. Place one piece of butter directly in the middle of the dough, with the short side of the butter facing you. Fold the right side of the dough over the butter and press all around it gently to seal the butter in. Put the other piece of butter on top, and fold the left side over it, pinching well to seal. So...your layers at this point are: dough, butter, dough, butter, dough.
  9. The short side should be facing you, and it should be like a book - with the open edge to the right. Now roll it gently, being careful not to squeeze butter out of the dough, until it measures 12 inches by 8 inches. Fold it in thirds again, press edges gently, and put it back in the plastic bag in the refrigerator. Repeat with the other bag of dough and remaining butter.
  10. Let dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then remove dough, turn the open side to your right (like a book) and roll each one to 12 inches by 8 inches, fold into thirds, press edges gently, and return to the refrigerator for 30 more minutes.Oovernight is best.) At this point you can let the dough sit in the refrigerator for several days if you wish. The flavor just gets better.
  11. FILLING:
  12. Process nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Add softened butter and brown sugar, and process briefly. Add Mapleine and process until mixture begins to stick together. Cover and set aside.
  13. FORM CROISSANTS:
  14. To form the croissants, work with one bag of dough at a time, leaving the other bag in the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to about 12 inches wide and 20 inches long, trimming the edges to make them neat and tidy. Cut in half, lengthwise, using a sharp knife or (my favorite) pizza cutter. Working with one half at a time, mark the edges every 5 inches on one long side. Cut into triangles. This will give you 7 full triangles and 2 half triangles on each half of the dough. Press the small halves together for a total of 16 triangles per bag of dough
  15. I find it helps to lightly roll each triangle with a rolling pin so it is thinner and sticks to the counter a bit. It helps with the rolling process. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling along the wide bottom of each triangle, pressing the mixture gently onto the dough. Roll each piece up, starting at the wide end, and stretching lightly as you go. Place each croissant on the baking sheet, tip down to hold it in place, curving the ends to the middle. You can make them "hold hands" if you want. They'll come apart when they rise, but it helps them retain their crescent shape. Repeat with the other bag of dough, or save it for later.
  16. Allow the croissants to rise at room temperature. Depending on the temperature of your home, this can be anywhere from 1-1/2 hours to 3 hours. They're ready to bake when they're plump and doubled.
  17. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush the croissants lightly with the egg wash, and bake for approximately 12 minutes.
  18. Remove croissants from the baking sheet and allow them to cool on a rack.
  19. ICING: Combine powdered sugar, Mapleine, and water. Beat until smooth, and drizzle over cooled croissants.
Recipe by The Rowdy Baker at http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=3964