|Dry yeast||1⁄2 Ounce (2 Envelopes)|
|Warm water||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs) (105Â° F To 115Â° F)|
|Unbleached all purpose flour||3 3⁄4 Cup (60 tbs)|
|Milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Unsalted butter||2 Cup (32 tbs), well chilled and cut into 0.5 inch pieces (4 Sticks)|
|Egg||1 , beaten with 1 tablespoon milk|
Combine yeast and water in medium bowl and stir until yeast dissolves.
Add 3/4 cup flour with milk and sugar and whisk until smooth.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Let stand in warm area, about 75°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours to mature.
(An oven preheated to lowest setting 1 minute and then turned off works well.) About halfway through rising process, batter will bubble up, then sink down; if preparation is to be discontinued at this point, stir bubbles out of batter and refrigerate up to 24 hours; maturing process will continue.
Combine remaining 3 cups flour with salt in large bowl.
Add well-chilled butter and mix, flattening butter pieces slightly between fingertips and working quickly so butter remains firm.
(Refrigerate butter mixture if yeast batter is not ready to use.) Pour yeast batter into flour mixture and carefully fold in using large rubber spatula, just moistening flour without breaking up butter pieces; dough will be crumbly.
To fold dough: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
Pat dough down and roll into 18 x 12-inch rectangle; if dough is sticky, sprinkle top lightly with flour.
Using metal spatula or pastry sheet, fold right 1/3 of dough toward center, then fold left 1/3 over to cover (as for business letter); dough will still be slightly rough.
Lift folded dough off work surface, scrape surface clean and sprinkle lightly with flour.
Repeat patting, rolling and folding dough 3 more times.
Wrap in plastic and chill at least 45 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
To shape croissants: Pat dough into rough rectangle.
Cut in half lengthwise through center, then crosswise into thirds, forming 6 equal pieces.
Return 5 pieces to refrigerator.
Roll remaining piece out on well-floured surface into 5 1/2 X 14 inch rectangle.
Using pastry cutter or long sharp knife, divide dough in half cross wise to form two 5 1/2 x 7-inch pieces.
Cut each piece diagonally to form a total of 4 triangles.
Using rolling pin, gently roll across shortest side of 1 triangle, until dough measures 7 inches across.
Gently roll from longest side to point until dough measures 8 inches across.
Holding point of triangle with one hand, loosely roll dough up from base to point with the other hand.
Transfer croissants tip side down to ungreased rimmed baking sheet.
Curve both ends down slightly, forming crescent.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Brush croissants with egg mixture.
Set aside, uncovered, in warm area (70 F to 75°F) and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 to 2 hours; re-glaze with egg mixture once during rising.
To bake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F.
Reglaze croissants with egg mixture.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.