Every time I bake these ham and cheese croissants, they come out of the oven and disappear straight into my family’s mouths. I like to use Swiss cheese and honey ham, but you can pick your own combination.
- The dough is best if refrigerated overnight, so you should prepare it one day (about 2 hours) and shape and bake the croissants the next day (another 2 hours). King Arthur Flour says the total time should be 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 40 minutes, so maybe I’m just slow.
- The croissants taste best within a few hours after baking. If you plan to eat them after that, toast them briefly.
- The dough is reasonably forgiving, so don’t fret too much as you make it.
Ham and Cheese Croissants
From King Arthur Flour
Yield: 9 croissants (plus 2 Danishes)
- 1/2 recipe of croissant dough, made with a dough hook or by hand
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4.5 oz cheese (such as Swiss cheese)
- 4.5 oz sliced ham
- Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour.
- Roll dough into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Pick it up and dust the work surface with flour underneath the dough as you’re doing this; the dough should move freely over your work surface as you roll. (Don’t worry if you can’t get it to the perfect size; it will still be okay.)
- Trim the very outside edge of the dough with a knife, or if you’re being very particular, with a straight edge and pizza cutter. This takes off the sealed edges of the dough that could inhibit its “poof.” (Save the scraps for later and tuck them under some plastic for now.)
- Cut the dough in thirds in both directions.
- Take a piece of dough and turn it sideways. Place half an ounce of Swiss cheese on one end, and the same amount of ham on top of that.
- Fold this end 1/3 of the way over.
- Fold over again. You want the seam to be on the bottom of the croissant so it doesn’t unroll as it bakes. You can use a little water to “glue” down the seam.
- Press gently down on top, to seal things together.
- Take the scraps from earlier and lay them out straight. You can put some cinnamon sugar or lay down a line of chocolate chips on one strip, and put a second strip on top. Twist them together into a spiral to make a Danish. If you want, you can put a spoonful of preserves in the center. You can make 2 Danishes from the scraps.
- Place the pastries on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. You can freeze the unbaked pastries at this point (such as in a rigid plastic container with a lid) for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before egg-washing and baking.
- Beat together an egg and 1 tablespoon water to form an egg wash.
- Take croissants out of the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Make sure the rack is in the center of the oven so the bottoms won’t burn. While the oven is heating, brush the tops of the croissants with the egg wash.
- Let croissants sit on the counter for about 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven’s temperature to 350°F. Bake croissants for 15 to 20 minutes. (But remove the Danishes after 8-10 minutes so they don’t burn.) The croissants should be a deep golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.