Almond (Vegan) Croissants

Golden vegan croissants. Turned out a bit too “golden” in the end…

Buttery, light, flaky croissants with delicious almond nougat filling. Ok so heads up – croissants are not easy, and I imagine they’re even more difficult when you don’t have a pro baker supervising you (I did). I also experimented with adding a few cubes of dark choc to some instead, essentially making Pain au chocolat. Only thing I forgot which I’ll add next time is roasted almond slices and a sprinkling of icing sugar so it’s exactly like the ones you get in coffee shops.

Calories TBC

Carbs TBC

Total Time 10 hrs

Active Time 2 hrs

Ingredients

Ingredients for 12 almond croissants

  • Croissants
    • 500g bread flour
    • 55g granulated sugar
    • 10g table salt
    • 150ml soya milk
    • 150ml water
    • 8g dried yeast
    • 250g vegan butter (80% fat or higher)
  • Almond paste
    • 3 tbsp vegan butter
    • 150g cup granulated sugar
    • 100ml aquafaba
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 70g almond flour
    • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Topping
    • 80g sliced almonds
    • Icing sugar for dusting

Equipment

  • Baking paper
  • Rolling Pin (or glass bottle)
  • Extra flour for dusting work surface
  • Bowls
  • Mixer (or lots of elbow grease)

Method

See pics for additional guidance. Comment any of your own hints, tips, or requests if something doesn’t seem clear or too difficult.

  1. Pastry Dough
    • In a large bowel / mixer (such as Kitchenaid), add the flour, sugar and salt.
    • Warm (not hot) the water and milk, and mix together. Stir in the yeast, and it should start to foam a little. Then add this into the large bowel / mixer.
    • Mix the ingredients together by hand or using a hook attachment on mixer speed 1-2 for about 2 mins, then crank it up a (+1) notch for 7 minutes.
    • Proof for 3 hours at room temperature / warm by a radiator if your home is cold
  2. Butter Slab
    • Start with two sheets of baking paper about 50cm x 30xm each and fold around an imaginary 40cm x 20cm rectangle in the centre (as though wrapping a present).
    • Slice the butter like cheese and lay out flat evenly on one of the baking sheets to roughly cover the 40×20 rectangle that’s just been folded, then lay the other baking sheet over the top and now fold over the rectangle edges to neatly package in the butter slices.
    • Using the rolling pin start to press down on the butter to spread it out, and incorporate rolling to eventually have an even flat spread of butter with no cracks or gaps.
    • Put in freezer (20mins max.)
  3. Almond paste
    • Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, beating together. Add the aquafaba and flavour extracts, then whisk until smooth.
    • Add both flours and stir to combine. Continue stirring until smooth even consistency.
  4. Pastry Slab
    • Prepare a clean flat kitchen surface, and dust with spare flour.
    • Roll out the proofed pastry dough on prepared surface to a little bigger than 40cm x 40cm. (this is so it will fit the 20×40 butter slab in it, and fold over it comfortably). Rolling the dough will take a while and you may need to get someone to take turns with you.
    • Once rolled evenly and flat, with no cracks, then remove butter sheet from freezer place in centre of dough (removing backing sheets). Fold dough over it, ensuring it is fully encased.
    • Fold it into itself three ways, from the end of the parcel into, and pass the centre, then the third fold wraps all the way over that.
    • Seal dough in cling film and put in freezer for 20 mins
  5. Roll, Fold, Freeze, Repeat
    • Remove dough and roll out along the length of the fold, to approx. 25cm x 45cm
    • Fold perpendicular to the last fold direction (at 90 degrees to it) dough over 3 ways approx. 16cm each fold
    • Put (back in cling-film) in freezer for 20 mins
    • Repeat 3 times
  6. Croissant time
    • After the final freeze, you’ll roll it out one last time to 60cm x 28cm approximately. Cut out triangles of the full width, at 10cm intervals.
    • Scoop 2 tsp of almond crème onto each pastry triangle and spread evenly. With the remaining crème, add 1 tbsp milk to dilute and set aside.
    • Cut a small slit at the wide end of each triangle and roll from the wide end up to the point, then put them on baking paper and cover with a clean tea towel for 3hrs – 4 hrs in a warm / room temp enviro
  7. Bake time (OK seriously, the last step)
    • Preheat oven to 200’C (fan assisted, or 220’C without fan). Leave to heat for around 20 mins.
    • Place half the croissants with plenty of space between them onto baking paper and tray. Lightly brush with a milk or faux egg wash to protect and glaze. Then pop in the oven for 12 mins. Reduce heat by 30’C. and remove.
    • Brush with diluted almond crème. Sprinkle each croissant with a tbsp of sliced almonds. Return to the oven for 6-8 mins or until golden brown.
    • Remove from oven, and set aside on cooling rack or tissue to absorb excess oil. Allow to cool for 10 mins, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

My recommendations:

  • Go easy on the almond paste or omit it for plain croissants
  • Use one type of vegan butter rather than mixing types (I did and they rolled out differently, so suspect they melted slightly different too).
  • Make sure to thoroughly cool the pastry & butter each time, and possibly leave overnight before baking too. This should keep the layer formation solid while it starts to rise.
  • If skipping out the almond paste you simply don’t need to take the croissants out between heating stages (200’C vs 170’C)
  • PRO TIP: Leave some un-baked sealed air-tight in the fridge or freezer and bake over the next few days whenever you want them fresh. If frozen, just add a few mins to baking time.
Slab up butter in 40×20 baking paper parcel
Mix up dough ingredients…
Roll dough, package up butter
Roll up vertically, then fold back to square
Final roll-out before cut to shape
Beat and roll out butter to the edges of parcel
…until you’ve got a good dough ball
Fold dough 3 ways and wrap to freeze
Cutting to shape
Croissant rolls pre-bake

Additional info and alternatives

Bread flour can be replaced with plain flour. The difference will be negligible, but the bread flour has a higher gluten content, and consequently a more satisfying chew.

Granulated sugar is simply cheaper than finer sugars, but alternative sugars should be fine. Can you swap it with syrups like agave or maple? Or what about low sugar sweeteners? Possibly but it might ruin the chemistry -> let me know if you decide to experiment.

Soya milk has good fat and protein content similar to dairy making it an ideal replacement, but you may be able to get away with other milks.

Vegan butter can of course be replaced with dairy if that’s not you’re not that way inclined. I wouldn’t swap it for any other vegan fats though, because the vegan butters have been developed specifically to replicate dairy, especially in cooking so their mix ratio is important.

Aquafaba can be swapped with an egg, again for a non-vegan version. There are also other vegan egg options that you can now buy straight off the shelf or make your own such as flax seed or chia seed “eggs”, which use the water like chic pea water makes aquafaba.

Shopping list

TBC

IngredientRecipe QtyRecipe CostUnit QtyUnit Cost
Total CostRecipe£0.00Shop£0.00
Costs at time of writing (from Asda Jul 2020)

The almond paste is essentially the most expensive component of this recipe, so if you’re not a fan of almonds or you simply love croissants plain, then try baking plain, and add your own spreads or toppings post-bake. I have seen videos on how to make your own vegan butter which may save some cost if you can afford the additional time to experiment with it.

Nutritional info

Nutrition tbc, however note this is not a health kick recipe. It’s just a light snack to compliment your Sunday morning coffee. Experiment with marginally bigger or smaller croissants depending on your requirements and oven (oven used in this example is a capable modern electric fan -> fairly well distributed heat).

Table tbc.

Related articles

These superb croissants are Amy cakery’s adaptation of the classic French pastry, but I added almond crème (and made it vegan), because I always get them at cafes. You can thank Chris over at café sucre farine, for the almond crème recipe, which I love, but careful not to overdo it on the inside layer otherwise it will ooze out when you bake it (and burn).

However the original croissant recipe itself was from the Alex the French guy, who has an amazing series of videos on how to create the absolutely perfect croissant. He goes very in depth into the technicalities, chemistry, maths, industrial tools used, upmost quality of ingredients and even trials in a Parisian bakery.

3 thoughts on “Almond (Vegan) Croissants

  1. These look so delicious you had me drooling!

    Like

    1. Haha I’m glad to hear you like the sound of them. Good luck if you decide to have a go at them 😀

      Like

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