The French croissant has become an international symbol of romance. The multilayered soft and fatty dough is a true delicacy when eaten hot straight out of the oven. Nevertheless, while a vegan croissant can mimic the texture and smell of a butter croissant it lacks the flavor of butter that some people don’t even like.
Our vegan croissant is not pretending to be healthier than its French counterpart, yet we have simplified this recipe, which was based on the beloved recipes of Claire Saffitz and Sally McKenney, so that anyone could easily make it with a bit of patience.
- Pour all the ingredients of the leavening dough except for the coconut fat into a large mixing bowl in the order indicated above, in order to give the yeast the optimal activation conditions, and wait for 5 minutes while the yeast wakes up.
- Mix and knead the dough intensively for about 5 minutes until a sticky homogeneous dough is formed.
- Add the molten coconut fat to the bowl and knead together for about 5 minutes more, when achieving a soft dough that separates easily from the bowl without leaving sticky pieces.
- Cover the dough with a matching lid or a sealed bag and let it rise for about 1 hour at room temperature.
- Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator (or outdoors in cold winter days) and chill for at least 4 but not longer than 12 hours.
At this point the dough should have doubled in size.
- Dust lightly with flour a working surface and lay the cooled dough over it. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 5 mm in thickness and with neat edges and corners.
- Spread evenly the rest of the coconut fat over the central stripe of the flattened dough, covering about of its total surface. Fold the clean edges of dough over the fatty layer and join them together along the central stripe. Pinch to close the open dough sides in both unfolded ends as well. Let the folded dough to chill in the fridge (or outdoors in cold winter days) for 20-30 minutes.
- Dust the working surface with some more flour, and place the cool folded dough above it. Roll out the dough to a neat 5 mm thick large rectangle. Fold the far edges of the rectangle to the center and then fold it again along the joint edges to close your dough “book”. Let the folded dough to chill in the fridge (or outdoors in cold winter days) for 20-30 minutes.
Congratulations! You’ve just quadrupled the number of layers in your puff pastry dough, separated by solid fat that prevent them from sticking together.
- Repeat the previous step at least twice more, while cooling the dough completely between each time.
- Prepare on the side a baking tray covered with a sheet of baking paper.
- Dust the working surface with some more flour, and place the cool folded dough above it. Roll out your final dough “book” to a 5 mm thick rectangle with neat edges.
- Cut the dough into long triangles with a short edge of about 10-15 cm (your preferred length of the croissant), two other equal edges and the height as the length of the short edge of the total rectangle. Slit about 2 cm of the base of each triangle.
For those who don’t get along with geometry, just cut by eye as you see in the picture below.
- Roll over each triangle from its base to the tip, and place the croissant over the baking sheet lying over the tip to prevent it from opening when baked. You can bend the edges at this point if you like curvy croissants.
- Cover the rolled croissants and let them rest for about 3 hours in a cool room temperature of about 20°C.
- Warm up the oven to 180°C-190°C (top and bottom convection heat) or a bit higher temperature if it’s a weak oven.
- On a small plate mix a bit of soy drink and some oil and gently brush the liquid mixture over the croissants. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until a golden-brown crust has formed.
- If not eaten immediately within 2 hours, keep the remaining croissants in a sealed box and bake them again at 140°C for about 3-5 minutes before serving or 5-8 seconds in the microwave oven.