I have it from a reliable source that my friend Beka wants my croissant recipe. I decided to post it here in case anyone else is having a cooking inspiration, too. There's no magical way around it, they are a lot of work! But, if you have extra time on your hands or want to impress somebody, they are fun, and SO tasty! Let me know how they turn out, if you try it, Beka. :-)
2 T. butter, softened
¼ c. honey
3 c. lukewarm water
4 t. instant yeast
3 c. whole wheat flour
4 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 t. salt
3 sticks cold butter (1 ½ cups)
Combine the 2 T. softened butter with the honey in a large bowl. Stir in the water and yeast. The mixture doesn’t have to be evenly mixed. Add the flours and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, springy, and no longer sticky. Add additional all-purpose flour as needed. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and leave to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
Punch down the dough and place it on a floured surface. Roll it out to a large rectangle about a 1/2-inch thick. The rectangle should be about 12 inches wide, and however long it needs to be to achieve the right thickness. Slice the cold sticks of butter about an 1/8-inch thick. Lay the butter slices on the dough right next to each other to cover two-thirds of the dough. Fold the dough in thirds by bringing the unbuttered third over to the middle, then folding again so you have alternating layers of dough and butter. Roll the dough out again to the same sized rectangle, then fold in thirds again. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for one hour.
Repeat the process of rolling, folding in thirds, and chilling three more times. After the final folding, chill the dough overnight. In the morning, cut the dough in half to make two squares. Place one square on a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle, about a 1/4-inch thick. With a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the circle into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide end of each piece, roll the dough up tightly, stretching it slightly as you go. Bend the points towards each other to form a crescent shape. Place the croissants on an un-greased cookie sheet about an inch apart. Make sure the end of the dough is facing down so the croissants don’t unroll as they rise. Repeat with the remaining square of dough. Cover the pans and let the croissants rise for about an hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes two dozen.