The Ultimate Vegan Homemade Croissants Questa ricetta è disponibile anche in italiano.
Here I am again, this time with my recipe for the ultimate bakery style vegan croissants and after lots of experimentation, trial and error I can say the wait was more than worth it because the taste of success is so satisfying. I tried many recipes but they seemed to always give less than ideal result but these croissants will be flaky, puffed with a moreish and indulgent bite.
At the time of this post we’re all together fighting against the COVID-19 emergency, by self-isolating ourselves in our homes, staying away from loved ones and from communal places like cafes, restaurants and pubs.
It’s a time when many of us are (re)discovering the value of small things in life. Things that we have taken for granted over many years with how easy things have become to buy in shops, to be prepared for us, that we buy and consume foods without really appreciating the effort that sometimes goes into making them. We are now given the time to during these months, able to invest ourselves into finding new hobbies or to finally get round to all those projects we put on hold because our lifestyle was packed with our previous job/family routine and all the related stresses those entail.
Many of us are enjoying baking, while others want to learn how to make those things that we took for granted when we didn’t have the time to really appreciate them more…
First thing in the morning, before heading to work, lots of Italians go to the bar for a boost of caffeine and a treat that is our nations most beloved breakfast: cornetto e cappuccino. My father when we visit my family in Bari would walk to the local cafe just a few minutes around the corner and buy us all a vegan cornetto before they were all gone for the day. It was hard to believe at first that they were vegan but so good were they it is no surprise you need to be an early bird to grab some.
During the past few weeks I’ve seen lots of posts claiming to replicate the magic taste but to me they didn’t quite hit the mark I was craving hence why I needed to experiment myself to develop this 100% no-fail recipe.
Now I’m not going to lie, it is indeed laborious and it requires a lot of patience (mostly due to the long proving times) but let me assure you that you won’t regret it, because you’ll be 100% satisfied with the result. Plus we’re still on lockdown at the moment meaning we have plenty of time for a labour of love that normal modern lifestyles do not allow!
Believe it or not the most difficult part of this recipe was the filming and arranging of the video, so if you like what you see and taste please share my video so more people can taste and experience an homemade bakery style croissant. Being animal free has not made this treat any less lovely. I’d love to hear how much you liked it also so please also tag me on social media so that I can see your results.
No excuses then, you have to try this recipe….and you can thank me later! 😛
What we need to make Vegan Croissants
To make this delicious treat completely from scratch we will be needing a few simple ingredients:
– Flour – I only experimented with strong flour due to the lack of choices in the shops during the lockdown. For those in the UK I used Allison’s bread flour.
– Margarine – I used light Flora as it was the only margarine in my household, again because of the quarantine, but still it was no excuse to not proceed. If I made this happen with margarine, especially LIGHT it means that you can do it with any plantbased spread you have available at the moment. The only thing that won’t be perfect will be the overall appearance (the croissants will not be too defined due to the soft texture of the margarine), but the flavor will be 100% there.
Ideally you want to use a vegan butter as it hardens properly during the cooling passages.
– Instant yeast – as little as 2 grams for 4 croissants!
– Plantbased milk – personally I found soy milk works best in bakery.
– Flax seeds – blended as per egg replacement. It is not an essential ingredient, so it can be omitted.
– Golden syrup – or any sweetener you like. I personally like working with it as I found it perfectly sweet and very versatile. You can use any other syrup or sugar. If using demerara or brown sugar, just make sure to blend it first as some varieties can be quite grainy. Just a heads up. I will be only using 20 grams of sweetener as to make the outcome not too sugary or sweet, perfect to accompany with custard, your favorite jam or spread, or even savoury fillings like cheese spread, carrot lox, hummus, vegan ham etc…!
If, however, you like pretty sweet croissants or you’re planning to have them with no filling, just add 10-15 grams of granulate sugar to the total. Do not use all syrup! You can adjust the sweetness to your own tastes or how you plan to serve them.
– Vanilla extract or powder – just for taste but 100% optional.
How to make Homemade Vegan Croissants
First step, which is the core of the perfect outcome of this recipe – no pressure! – is making the dough.
To do so I highly recommend to use a dough mixer with the hook tool
If you don’t have one do not panic! You can still achieve the same results just with some extra elbow grease, aka double the time of each step. You can do it 🙂
That being said, we first need to dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm (25-30°C) plantbased milk for a few seconds.
Then we can add the rest of the ingredients and work the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.
After the first 5 minutes we shall increase the speed to high and work for other 10 minutes. Please do not work the dough for less for best results.
With our dough ready we can shape into a ball and prove for 2-3 hours at 20°C (the oven with the light on will do the trick).
After the first prove we can transfer our dough in the fridge for at least another 2 hours.
Then it’s time to start incorporating the margarine to create the gorgeous flaky layers of the croissants.
To do so I came up with a simplified way, that cuts down the total time an numbers of rolling, fold and chill steps that we need in order to achieve the perfect result. Also, because we’re using margarine (light, in my case!) that is still pretty soft* even straight from the fridge, this is indeed the best way to deal with these plant based croissants.
* please note it will get a bit messy working with it because of its soft texture and the result will look a bit rustic, but hey, we are hand making croissant and the taste will be 100% there so I guess that’s not an issue 😉
All we need to do is dividing the dough into 6 parts, shape each piece of dough into a ball and roll into discs with a rolling pin (make sure to sprinkle some flour on the working surface and on the rolling pin).
Then we got to spread one portion of margarine on each layers, and stack the discs on top of each other as if they were pancakes, and seal the edges with our finger tips.
Once we finished buttering all the layers, we can roll our stack into a 1/2 cm thick disc, and start folding the dough to achieve even more layers.
- First fold: both sides of the disc to the center. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Second fold: roll the dough into a rectangle, then fold the top and the bottom of it to the center. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Third fold: repeat second fold step one more time.
Now we can finally roll our dough into a rectangle for the last time. This time we only need to roll it 1 cm thick.
Then we can trim the edged to have a neat shape, cut in half lengthwise, then each half into triangles.
Roll each triangle into croissants (you can try to put together the trimmed though to make a fifth croissant if you like), and arrange on a baking tray coated in baking paper.
Refrigerate for at least 30 more minutes before baking (or, if you’d like to make fresh croissant in the morning, keep in the fridge just until before you go to bed).
Transfer the tray with the croissant into the oven (turned off!) and prove for at least 3 hours or overnight (I strongly advice to do this step overnight, so you can have freshly baked croissants first thing in the morning).
Preheat the oven at 180°C fan assisted and bake the croissants for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Sprinkle the croissants with vanilla flavoured icing sugar before serving. They’re amazing warm or at room temperature!
Your homemade vegan croissants are finally ready to be enjoyed!
Vegan Homemade Croissants Recipe
…for the dough…
160 g Strong Flour
75 g Plantbased Milk (Soy)
30 g Margarine (Light)
20 g Golden Syrup
1 tsp Ground Flax Seeds
2 g Instant Yeast
1 g Salt
…for the layers…
90 g Margarine (Light)
1. Preparing the dough. In a dough mixer bowl dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm (25-30°C/77-86°F) plantbased milk for a few seconds at low speed.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and work the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.
3. Increase the speed to high and work for other 10 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and prove for 2-3 hours at 20°C/68°F (the oven with the light on will also do the trick).
5. Transfer our dough in the fridge for at least another 2 hours.
6. Cut the dough into 6 parts, shape each piece of dough into a ball and, with a rolling pin, form 3mm thick discs (make sure to sprinkle some flour on the working surface and on the rolling pin).
7. Spread 18 g of margarine between each layer, stack the discs on top of each other as if they were pancakes, and seal the edges with your finger tips.
8. Roll the layered dough into a 1/2 cm thick disc, and start folding the dough to achieve even more layers. – First fold: both sides of the disc to the center. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. – Second fold: roll the dough into a rectangle, then fold the top and the bottom of it to the center. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. – Third fold: repeat second fold step one more time.
9. Roll the dough into a 1 cm thick rectangle. Trim the edged to have a neat shape, cut in half lengthwise, then each half into triangles.
10. Roll each triangle into croissants and arrange on a baking tray coated in baking paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 more minutes.
11. Transfer the tray with the croissant into the oven (turned off!) and prove for at least 3 hours (ideally overnight for freshly baked morning croissants).
12. Preheat the oven at 180°C fan assisted and bake the croissants for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
13. Sprinkle the croissants with vanilla flavoured icing sugar before serving. They’re amazing warm or at room temperature!
Watch the Video!