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ham and cheese croissants

ham and cheese croissants
ham and cheese croissants

Ham and Cheese Croissants

Indulge in the buttery, flaky goodness of homemade Ham and Cheese Croissants. These delicious pastries are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a delightful snack. Here’s how to make them from scratch.

Ingredients:

For the Croissant Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

For Filling:

  • 8 slices ham
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (or your preferred cheese)
  • Dijon mustard (optional, for serving)

Instructions:

1. Activate the Yeast:

  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water and warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2. Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form it into a square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Prepare the Butter Layer:

  1. While the dough is chilling, take the cold butter and place it between two sheets of parchment paper.
  2. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into a square that’s roughly the same size as the dough.
  3. Refrigerate the butter layer while the dough chills.

4. Create Layers:

  1. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface into a larger square or rectangle.
  2. Place the chilled butter layer in the center of the dough and fold the sides of the dough over the butter to encase it completely.
  3. Roll out this combined dough and butter layer into a rectangle again.
  4. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter, creating layers. This is one “fold.”
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. Repeat Folds:

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a rectangle.
  2. Perform two more folds, rolling and folding each time. This makes a total of three folds.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes.

6. Assemble Croissants:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle.
  3. Cut the dough into triangles.
  4. Place a slice of ham and a generous sprinkle of grated cheese on each triangle.
  5. Roll up the triangles starting from the wide end.

7. Bake:

  1. Beat the egg and brush it over the tops of the croissants. This gives them a beautiful golden color when baked.
  2. Place the croissants on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and puffed up.

8. Serve:

  1. Let the Ham and Cheese Croissants cool for a few minutes.
  2. Optionally, serve with Dijon mustard for a delightful tangy kick.

Enjoy your homemade Ham and Cheese Croissants – buttery, flaky, and filled with savory goodness!

Tips:

  • Ensure your butter is cold when incorporating it into the dough. This creates the flaky layers.
  • Don’t rush the folding process; it’s essential for achieving those lovely layers in the croissants.
  • Feel free to get creative with the fillings. You can add herbs, other cheeses, or even a slice of tomato for extra flavor.
  • These croissants are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven but can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two. Reheat them in the oven for a few minutes to regain their flakiness.

Cook’s Note:

  • Freezing: If you want to make these croissants ahead of time, you can freeze them before baking. After assembling the croissants, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store for up to three months. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen croissants on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
  • Variations: Get creative with your fillings. Try adding cooked bacon, caramelized onions, or a sprinkle of herbs like thyme or rosemary for extra flavor.
  • Egg Wash Shine: For an extra glossy finish, you can add a pinch of salt or sugar to your egg wash.
  • Serving Suggestions: Ham and Cheese Croissants are delightful on their own, but they pair wonderfully with a fresh green salad or a bowl of soup for a complete meal.

These homemade Ham and Cheese Croissants are a labor of love, but the buttery, flaky results are well worth the effort. Whether you enjoy them for breakfast, brunch, or as a savory snack, they’re sure to be a hit with friends and family. Bon appétit!

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