Croissant...This delicious pastry originated in Budapest in 1686, when the Turks were besieging the city. To reach the centre of the town, they dug underground passages. Bakers, working during the night, heard the noise made by the Turks and gave the alarm. The assailants were repulsed and the bakers who had saved the city were granted the privilege of making a special pastry which had to take the form of a crescent in memory of the emblem on the Ottoman flag. According to Larousse Gastronomique
Alan Davidson, the author of Oxford Companion to Food, expresses his doubts. Culinary mythology--origin of the croissant According to one of a group of similar legends, which vary only in detail, a baker of the 17th century, working through the night at a time when his city (either Vienna in 1683 or Budapest in 1686) was under siege by the Turks, heard faint underground rumbling sounds which, on investigation, proved to be caused by a Turkish attempt to invade the city by tunnelling under the walls. The tunnel was blown up. The baker asked no reward other than the exclusive right to bake crescent-shaped pastries commemorating the incident, the crescent being the symbol of Islam. He was duly rewarded in this way, and the croissant was born. The story seems to owe its origin, or at least its wide diffusion, to Alfred Gottschalk, who wrote about the croissant for the first edition of the Larousse Gastronomique  and there gave the legend in the Turkish attack on Budapest in 1686 version; but on the history of food, opted for the 'siege of Vienna in 1683' version."
- In a mixer with a dough hook, place the yeast, flour, sugar, salt and the milk and mix for 2 minutes until a soft moist dough forms on the hook. If the dough is not moist, add more milk, half tablespoon at a time until it is moist and smooth, using not more than 2 tablespoons. Increase speed and mix until the dough is very smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Cover the dough and rest for 30 minutes in fridge.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured board to a 9 by 16 inch rectangle. Soften the butter by beating with a rolling pin. Place the butter over two-thirds of the length of the rectangle. Starting from the the unbuttered third, fold the dough, like a business letter, into thirds. Turn the dough a quarter degree, so that the open sides are at 12 and 6 o'clock. Roll again the laminated dough to a rectangle and fold into thirds. Wrap the dough with plastic film tightly and chill over night to ease the gluten.
Remove from the fridge and perform the 3-fold three more times. Or two more times of 3-fold and a 4-fold turn for the final, which is to fold both ends into the center and then fold to close, like a book. Chill for 30 minutes to relax the dough between each turn. After the completion of the final turn, relax the dough in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to fit your schedule. At this point the dough can be frozen until needed. Thaw the dough overnight in the fridge before shaping.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle with about 4mm in thickness. Trim irregularities and divide the dough with a pizza cutter or knife (using croissant cutter if available) into triangles, about 4-inch wide, or wider if you prefer croissants more curved. Gently stretch the base of the triangle to widen it slightly, while one hand holds the base, pull the dough with the other to lengthen the dough, so that a quality croissant with multi layers. Roll up starting at the wide bottom to make a curved cresent shape and place them on a baking paper lined pan.
- To proof the croissants, place them in an oven that is warm but not turned on, with a pan of hot water in the bottom to create a moist environment, which is beneficial to the proofing. Let rise until croissants puffed up and spongy to the touch, 2-3 hours. Remove from the oven. Preheat the oven to 200F/400F. Mix egg and milk together in a bowl. Brush with the egg wash and bake the croissants for 22 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow them to cool on a rack before serving.