I asked around my vegan friends what food they really really miss. Yes, one of them was a croissant. I spend quite sometimes eating not so perfect ones soaked in my tears. Here comes the result.
100g almond milk or any non dairy milk in room temperature
2g instant yeast
90g cake flour or half cake flour and half stone ground whole wheat flour
200g almond milk or any non dairy milk at body temperature, not warm or not cold.
8g instant yeast
400g cake flour or half cake flour and half stone ground whole wheat flour
10g fine sea salt
5g vegan butter, coconut oil will be fine, melted
300g cultured vegan butter at room temperature, slightly soft
extra non dairy milk to "egg wash"
Make the starter in a small bowl. Mix milk, instant yeast and flour until it forms a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise to double. It usually take 3 hours in room temperature in mild weather.
Shape butter. Place vegan butter between two of baking tray size baking paper or cling wrap. Roll it out to 30cm wide by 20cm rectangle. keep it in mild temperature. butter must not be too soft nor solid.
Make the dough. Mix 100g milk, starter and yeast well in a mixer until there is no uneven rump. If you don't have a mixer, use a fork or a whisk.
Add flour, sugar, salt, melted vegan butter and 100g milk and mix them until the dough is smooth.
Cover the bowl and let it by 1.5 times.
Flour the work surface roll out the dough into a rough rectangle about 5 cm thick. I usually do this on a baking sheet. wrap the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Laminate the dough. Lightly flour the surface and roll out the dough to 35cm wide by 45cm.
Place the shaped butter on the dough in the middle. Cover and seal with the dough. Gentlely roll away to make 60cm length.
Brush out the flour and fold 1/3 up and 1/3 down to make 3 layers. Turn 90 degree count clock wise and roll out again. Fold 1/3 up and 1/3 down. Mark the dough with 2 fingers on the dough. Gluten in dough may need time to relax. Cover well and rest the dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Repeat rolling, folding, turning, rolling, folding and turning. mark the dough with 4 fingers on the dough. Rest for 1 hour in fridge again.
Repeat rolling, folding, turning, rolling, folding and turning. You fold the dough 6 times in total. Rest for 1 hour in fridge again.
Roll out the dough to 25cm wide x 15cm length, 0.5cm to 1cm thick rectangle. Cute off the edges to make sharp edge. if you want a perfect shape croissants, trim off every 4 side by 1cm at least.
Cut the dough about 8cm wide and 15cm height triangles. Start rolling from wide side to the point. Place 6 of them in an oiled baking sheet each. Have enough space in-between.
Usually you need to egg wash the croissants at this stage, but for vegan ones, you can use any non dairy milk to brush them.
Let the croissant rise until they are puffed to double. It wiggles like well made custard pudding. I usually put the trays in the oven at 40-45°C with a water bowl in fan setting for about 30 minutes. It varies by ovens. So check carefully not to over proof them. Over proof ones look flat and spread.
Take the tray out and quickly set the oven to 240°C fan. As soon as you place the baking trays in, turn the temperature down to 220°C. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes until it smells sweet and lightly golden. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! NEVER!
Turn the temperature down to 180°C and bake 10 to 15 minutes further until you can smell the readiness! If your oven has hot spots, some of your croissants may burn. Quickly turn the trays around to bake evenly at the beginning of this stage. Every oven is different. So please do not leave croissants alone. Use your nose to listen to the croissants.
Serve while it is warm.
You can freeze the dough after folding 4 times, or after finishing shaping. Please wrap them very tightly when you freeze them. If you have any baked leftover, you can freeze them, too. Spray water and bake at 180°C for about 5 minutes to refresh your croissants.
There are many Youtube tutorials. Watch one before you laminate and shape the dough.
There are many vegan butter recipes. The best vegan butter for laminating dough will be found from trials and errors. Don't be afraid of making masses. Good luck.
Recipe for home bakers by Sepial, adopted from Chad Roberson, Tartine Bakery.