Recipe: Cheese croissants - they look good and taste better

Chef Matthew Benson-Smith at The Cooking School, Dean Clough
Chef Matthew Benson-Smith at The Cooking School, Dean Clough
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Top chef Matthew Benson-Smith reveals a simple recipe for making croissants. And the great thing is you can make them sweet or savoury

The Croissants and Sweet Pastry Masterclass is coming up at The Cooking School at Dean Clough on 4th September, but if you can’t wait until then, try this quick and easy recipe.

Whether you’re going sweet or savoury, here’s a stunningly simple way of baking croissants for an unbeatable weekend breakfast or brunch.

In this basic recipe we use Parmesan cheese, but if you find parmesan a bit salty or you’re looking for a cheese that’s a bit more suited to vegetarians then you can use something like a Spanish Manchego or an Italian Pecorino. However, I would highly recommend using a hard cheese as it has a much higher melting temperature and releases less fat in the cooking process. This allows your puff pastry to get a good rise without heavy oils and fats from the cheese weighing it down.

We also use a little paprika in this recipe, and mixing in a bit of smoked paprika too gives the perfect extra edge on the flavour. If you have more of a sweet tooth, then why not take out the cheese and paprika and swap them for good quality grated dark chocolate (75 per cent and up) and a dusting of cinnamon?

If you do this, remember to dust the chocolate quite thinly as it will be heavy in fats and again this could affect the rise in your pastry.

This recipe uses a pre-made puff pastry, but if you would like to learn how to make it from fresh (along with Danish and a whole array of other treats) with a master baker then join our Croissants and Sweet Pastry Masterclass.

It’s on Wednesday 4th and 11th September from 6-9pm and you get both evenings for just £75.

Ingredients

200g puff pastry

50g parmesan cheese – grated

½ teaspoon paprika

poppy seeds – optional

egg wash

Equipment

- rolling pin

- baking tray

- table knife

- pastry brush

- flour dredger

How to make it

1. Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a rectangular shape and 2mm in thickness.

2. Mix together the parmesan and paprika and sprinkle onto the pastry.

3. Fold the pastry in half and repeat the process of step 1.

4. With a table knife cut into triangular shapes, then roll from the wide end to the pointed end and join the edges together.

5. Egg wash and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180ºC.

What’s on at the Cooking School

August 24, ERIC PAXMAN’S SUMPTIOUS SUMMER DINNER PARTY - cook a glamorous summer spread (£145)

August 28 and September 1, COOKING BOOTCAMP - 5 days of intensive tuition from top chefs (£495).

September 4 & 11 CROISSANT & SWEET PASTRY MASTERCLASS - become an artisan baker (£75 for 2

nights)

September 14 FANTASTIC FISH - put a range of fish prep techniques into practice on the catch of the day (£145).