Servings : Makes 16
An experiment that worked out great!! The buns were soft and delicate, a perfect compliment to the yummy filling in the center! And without all that butter that goes in regular croissants too!!!
Ingredients for Filling
- 250 gm boneless chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
- 2 small capsicum, red and green if possible, grated or chopped finely
- 2 tbsp sweet corn
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1-2 green chilies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp chopped coriander
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
- pinch of tandoori masala
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp butter
Ingredients for Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour/maida
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup warm milk mixed with water (although you could need more or less depending on flour/altitude etc.)
STEP 1: Make the Filling
Heat the butter in a non-stick pan, add the onions and stir fry until they’re translucent. Do not brown them. Add the chopped capsicum and grated carrot, stir-fry for about 5 mins until they start to soften.
Add the raw chicken pieces and keep stirring until they start browning. Add the chillies, garlic, salt, cumin powder, tandoori masala and sweet corn. Sauté until the chicken pieces become tender and well-done.
If the mixture sticks to the pan and the chicken is not yet done, add a tbsp. of water and cover until ready. Make sure that the mixture is completely dry. Finally, add the coriander and soya sauce, mix well and switch off. Pour the lemon juice on the mixture, and whilst still hot, use a wooden spoon to smash the small pieces of chicken so that they become shredded.
Adjust salt/chilli to your taste. The filling will look like THIS.
You can smoke the mixture with a coal and some oil to give it a nice bbq aroma.
STEP 2: Prepare the Dough
Once your chicken filling is ready, set it aside to cool and start on the dough. The recipe makes 8 croissants. I doubled it coz I needed 16 croissants. So if you want to make more croissants, then you can double the ingredients too!
Sieve the flour and add the yeast, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir it so that it’s all well mixed. Add 2 tbsp. of butter and 2 tbsp veg oil. (Reserve the last tbsp. butter for later). Rub into the flour using finger tips until the flour has a crumbly texture.
Gradually add the warm milk & water, stirring it in with a wooden spoon at first until the dough starts to hold together, and then continuing to knead together with your hands until the dough has softened.
You need this dough slightly sticky, it’s a menace to handle but the result is worth the trouble. Just oil your hands slightly to help with the stickiness and keep kneading…adding a little sprinkling of flour when it gets too sticky to handle until the dough is nice and well-kneaded and formed into a ball.
Apply a touch of oil all over the ball of dough, place in a container and cover with a damp towel. Place in an airtight cupboard (or even in the oven or micro-wave) and leave it to rise to about double its original size. (40 mins to an hour)
STEP 3: So now my dough is risen. Since I had doubled the recipe for the dough, I now divided it into two. If you have followed the exact recipe then you won’t need to divide your dough, just move on to the next step. 🙂
STEP 4: Dust flour on your work surface. Remember that the dough is slightly sticky so be a bit generous with the flour dusting, we don’t want the dough sticking to your counter-top!
STEP 5: Now roll out the dough into a huge circle of about 30cm diameter (use your fingertips to stretch the circle out when you feel you can’t roll with the pin any further) It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, but try to get it as even and as round as possible. The thickness should be a little less than quarter inch.
STEP 6: Then rub half of the reserved tbsp. of butter all over this rolled out circle. You can use a brush for this, but I prefer using my fingertips coz then you get a feel of the dough and can know if it’s thicker on any area…just kind of smoosh it down with your hands to get it all nice and even in thickness. If buttery hands make you icky, use a brush by all means! Remember, your kitchen…your rules!
STEP 7: Once it’s all buttered up, using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the circle into quarters like in the pic. I prefer a pizza cutter coz it’s neater and faster…but a knife works just as well.
STEP 8: Again, divide each quarter in half, like in the pic. Now you have 8 cute sections….we’re making progress!! 😀
STEP 9: This step is optional and purely decorative. You can skip it if you want. I make small slits on every section as you can see in the pic. Later when we roll up the croissant it makes it look really nice from the top with that slit there. You’ll see…let’s keep going! 😉
STEP 10: Now comes the folding…my favorite part. Lift out the section and place it closer to you, this is to make sure it’s not stuck anywhere on the counter…that DOES happen sometimes so it’s good to lift it out before adding the filling. Ok, add the filling at the base of the triangle and then lift the bottom edge upwards to cover the filling…have a look at the next pic to get what am trying to explain.
STEP 11: See? Filling can’t be seen now…go on rolling upwards! If the filling starts to show a little bit from the edges of the croissant, just pinch those areas with your fingers to seal and keep on rolling….
STEP 12: Here we are, rolled up and almost done. Turn it neatly so that the very tip of this triangle lands on the bottom of the croissant. This helps hold it during baking so that your croissant doesn’t unravel whilst rising/baking. Let’s go to the next pic to see how it should look when you’re done rolling. :))
STEP 13: Here we are! Croissant all rolled-up. Twist the ends slightly to give it a croissant-shape (more like crab-shape, but who cares! LOL!) See the slit I made in Step 9? It will stretch out some more with the baking….now keep shaping the rest of your croissants…it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to do the whole lot. Trust me, I timed it! Took me 10 minutes, but then I’ve done it a thousand times…so I give you 15mins for your first attempt! 😉
STEP 14: Croissants all shaped and placed on a greased tray. Now place this tray somewhere dark n warm. In your oven for example, just don’t turn the oven on yet!!! Give them about 20-30 mins to rise…
STEP 15: Ok, they’ve bulked up a bit. Switch on the oven on medium high (around 175 degrees C) and in the meantime, glaze the croissants with egg yolk mixed with a tsp. of milk to give them a nice color. Use a brush for this coz there are sooo many little nooks on the croissant, you want them all well-covered.
STEP 16: Another optional step, sprinkle sesame seeds, kalonji, poppyseeds…whatever you want. Or leave them plain…I’ve done it both ways. Stick them into your oven and bake for about 12-15 mins depending on your oven’s heat.
When ready, remove and place them on a cloth, and take the remaining half tbsp. of butter, and gently touch up the buns with it to give them a nice shiny soft finish…and they would smell heavenly too. Cover the buns in the cloth for about 10mins before serving. This gives the butter time to get absorbed fully into the croissants, thereby making them soft and extra delish. Serve warm!!
See how easy it is? 🙂