You Will Need:
2 cups strong (bread) flour
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
1 cup pastry (cake) flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons butter taken from
1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup bread flour
Blend the flours in first part of recipe together with the salt. Form a well in the bottom and pour in the lemon juice and 1 cup of the water. Pull in about half the flour and then drop in the two tablespoons of softened butter. Blend with your hands and then pull in the remaining flour. You should have a shaggy dough. You may need more liquid, but add it a small bit at a time as it should be moist, but not wet.
Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead until elastic adding a small bit of flour if it remains too sticky. Knead it well and then lightly dust the ball with flour and wrap in cling film. Chill at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the butter.
Break down and knead the butter until malleable. It shouldn't be so hard that you can't work it, or so soft that it melts in your hands. Work in the 1/4 cup of flour and shape into a 6 inch square. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in wax paper and chill until it is about 60 degrees. I didn't have any trouble getting my dough and butter roughly the right temperature to work, but if your fridge is particularly cold, take the butter out a bit before the dough when ready to start.
Roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Arrange the butter sideways on the dough so that it is diamond shaped. Fold up the sides of the dough over it and seal. Turn it over on a lightly floured board and do the first turn by rolling it into a strip 24 inches long by 8 inches wide. Don't roll over the ends or the butter will press out. Fold in three like a letter. Place the folds of the dough at 6 and 12 o'clock and roll into a long rectangular piece. Fold into three again. Wrap in cling film and chill 20 minutes. You have completed a turn. Do this 5 more times over the course of several hours. If your dough feels too hard like the butter will tear through, let it rest. If it feels too soft like it will squish out, chill it longer.
Before using the dough it is best to let it rest at least three hours, but overnight is also good.
To bake croissants:
You want to roll the dough thinly-about 1/4 inch and then cut the triangles (easiest if you cut from a rectangle shaped strip). Each triangle can then be rolled thinner to 1/8 inch thickness. If filling them, place a tablespoon of filling on the bottom wide part and gently roll up to the top tucking the point beneath. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet with a rim (it will run). When they are completed, brush lightly with a wash of 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk. Save the mixture as you will need to brush them again later. Chill the croissants 1 hour before baking. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
brush the chilled croissants again with the glaze and bake 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and rotate the pan. Bake another 30-40 minutes or until done. Cool on a rack.
Save your scraps! They can be made into palmiers, papillons, or straws.
Do not feed to squirrels, no matter how cute they are when they beg.