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There’s no better way to show your other half you care than by greeting them with breakfast in bed. But not just any breakfast in bed. Leave the porridge and marmite on toast for the other 364 days of the year and go French for your chéri with homemade croissants. Preparing the dough the night before only leaves a couple of hours of resting and rising on the day of baking, meaning you'll even have time for a little lie in yourself.

First published in 2015

No man, woman or fish can fail to get excited by the crisp flakiness of the outside and the tender, buttery middle of a croissant. Straight from the oven with a spoonful of jam and a pot of coffee (we’re being French, remember), this will make even the least romantic heart flutter. It’s not just the croissant itself, but the effort you have gone to. That, to me, is real romance. You can whack a dozen red roses on the credit card in a flash, but setting the time aside to make something special for someone extra special will score you more brownie points than even the biggest gaggle of Girl Guides could muster.

If you’re intimidated by the prospect of making laminated dough, then this weekend is the perfect time to (wo)man up and overcome your pastry fears. It may sound like a bake too complicated to attempt, but let me put your mind at rest. The only thing remotely complicated about croissant dough, is rolling and folding it. What’s that you say? Folding’s easy? Well, exactly. So, go and make some croissants then. What’s the worst that can happen?





  • 125ml of milk
  • 125ml of water
  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 500g of strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 10g of salt
  • 250g of unsalted butter


Place the milk and water in a saucepan and warm gently. You do not want the liquid to be hot, just 30 to 35°C. Dissolve the yeast in the warm liquid
Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the sugar to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Form a well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast, milk and water into the centre
Bring the dry ingredients into the wet from the edges, mixing everything together until it forms a dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and work the dough until elastic and pliable
Put the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight
Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a rough rectangle. Bash the cold butter (while still in its wrapper) with a rolling pin until slightly flattened, unwrap it and place it in the middle of the rectangle. Fold the dough over the butter and seal all the edges with your fingers
Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 16 x 8 inches. Position the dough so that one of the narrow ends is facing you. Brush off the excess flour and fold the dough into three. Fold the top section, the one furthest away from you, first and then fold the bottom section up to meet it, just like folding a business letter
Seal the edges together with your fingers. Dust the work surface with more flour and turn the dough 90 degrees so that the folds are running vertically in front of you
Repeat this rolling and folding twice more, so that you have rolled and folded the dough 3 times in total. Place the dough to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out until it is about 0.5cm thick. Cut the rolled dough into isosceles triangles approximately 20x10cm
With the narrow point of the triangle facing away from you, roll up the base towards it and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat with the remaining triangles of dough. Leave the croissants to rise for 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/ gas mark 6
Place the croissants on a baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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