Chocolate Almond Croissants: #199 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I’ve been afraid of laminated pastry for a while. So many steps, and trips to the fridge, and what if the butter all leaks out into a mess? But Megan was brave enough to take up the challenge, and she made these amazingly flaky, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, AND dairy-free croissants with vegan butter and homemade marzipan. I would happily eat these anytime she wants to make them. Thanks to Food52 for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 total for 9 mini croissants)

Dough:
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.06
1/4 cup hottest tap water – free
2 cups flour – $0.32
1 tsp salt – $0.10
1 1/2 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature (we used Miyoko’s) – $0.66
1/4 cup cold soy milk – $0.09

Other bits:
10 tbsp (5 oz) cold vegan butter (Miyoko’s) – $4.37
Extra flour as needed for rolling pastry
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash – $0.29
1/2 cup chocolate chips – $0.50

Marzipan:
3/4 cup ground almonds – $0.95
1 1/2 tbsp water – free
1/2 tsp almond extract – $0.14

Directions

1. Make and do the first lamination of the dough: In a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top. In a large metal bowl, mix the flour and salt.

Add the yeast mixture, softened vegan butter, and soy milk to the flour mixture, and stir it together into a ball of dough. Knead with your hands for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Flatten the dough into a disk, put it on a lightly floured plate, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, slice the cold butter up into thin chunks, lay them out in a square between two pieces of parchment paper, and use a rolling pin to flatten it out into an even square of butter. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured board – it will be nice and smooth.

Put the butter square on top of the larger dough circle, and fold two opposite sides of the dough in towards the middle, then fold the other two edges in towards the middle, pinching along the way to make a nice seal and keep the butter tucked away well inside the dough.

2. Laminate away! Use a floured counter and flip the dough regularly. Gently and evenly roll out the folded up butter-in-dough into about an 8×12″ rectangle, or as big as you can get it without the butter squeezing out through the dough. Fold it over in thirds, cover, and store in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Repeat this rolling, folding, covering, and fridge-ing 2 more times, then on the last one leave it in the fridge overnight again.

3. The next morning (2 days after starting this recipe!), roll the dough out as thinly as you can on a clean and floured counter. Make long cuts at angles to create a thin triangle pattern (see photos below). Roll each croissant up from the long end to the pointy end, and tuck the pointy end underneath the croissant so it doesn’t pop up when it bakes.

Before you roll them up, you can add chocolate chips or homemade marzipan (made by mixing all the marzipan ingredients listed above together into a paste). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise in a slightly warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

Brush the croissants with the beaten egg. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack or enjoying them hot from the oven.

They freeze well in a sealed container if you’re not going to eat them the same day. Enjoy the flaky, layered pastry goodness anytime you want a treat. Bon appetit!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

4 thoughts on “Chocolate Almond Croissants: #199 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

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