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Fresh croissants are absolutely delicious--but no two ways about it, making them from scratch is work!

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  • 1 1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 C. unsifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 C. milk
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. very warm water (105-115F)
  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 3 C. unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbs. milk

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With spoon, beat butter and 1/4 C. flour until smooth. Spread on waxed paper in a rectangle 12x6 inches. Refrigerate. Heat milk and stir in sugar and salt to dissolve. Cool to lukewarm. With thermometer, check temperature of water. Sprinkle with yeast; stir to dissolve. With spoon, beat in milk mixture and 3 C. flour until smooth. Turn on lightly floured pastry cloth; knead until smooth. Let rise, covered in warm place, 85 F, free from draft until double, 1 hour. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. On lightly floured pastry cloth, with stockinet- covered rolling pin (I think you could use cooking spray in place of the stockinet), roll into 14x14 inch rectangle. Place butter mixture on half of dough; remove paper. Fold other half over butter; pinch edges to seal. With fold at right, roll from center to 20 x 8 inches. From short side, fold dough in thirds, making three layers; seal edges; chill one hour wrapped in foil. With fold at left, roll to 20x8 inches; fold; chill 1/2 hour. Repeat. Chill overnight. Next day, roll; fold twice; chill 1/2 hour between. Then chill one hour longer. To shape: Cut dough into 4 parts. On lightly floured pastry cloth, roll each into a 12 inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Roll up beginning at wide end. Form into crescent. Place point side down, 2 inches apart on brown paper on cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place, 85F, free from draft until double- one hour. Heat oven to 425 F. Brush with yolk beaten with milk. Bake 5 minutes; reduce oven to 375 F; bake 10 minutes, until croissants are puffed and brown. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Makes 24. 

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