Flaky croissant-like pastries made with all butter dough are easier to make than you might think! In Argentina, croissants are part of a larger group of pastries known as facturas, sold at bakeries by the dozen. Medialunas ("half-moons" or "crescents") have the traditional shape of a French croissant, while vigilantes have a more elongated, straightened out shape. Vigilantes are typically brushed with a sugar glaze and enjoyed plain. Medialunas are sometimes split and filled with dulce de leche or pastry cream, or they can be made into sandwiches.
Croissant dough is basically a yeasted version of puff pastry dough, and not at all difficult to prepare. Since good ready-made puff pastry dough is so widely available, people have stopped making these doughs at home, but they are fun and rewarding to make if you have some extra time.
- 1 recipe masa hojaldre para facturas (croissant dough)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Prepare the pastry dough according to the recipe. Let dough chill for several hours or overnight.
- Prepare 2 large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 inches by 18 inches. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cut each rectangle of dough into triangles, about 5 inches wide by 7 inches in length.
- Shape the medialunas: Take one of the triangles and cut a half inch long notch in the center of the 5-inch side. With your hands, stretch one of the triangles out a bit, and begin to roll it up, starting with the 5-inch side, stretching the dough as you roll it. The medialuna should form a curve as it rolls. Place the medialuna onto the baking sheet, bending it into a crescent shape, and making sure to tuck the pointed in underneath, to prevent it from unrolling when rising and baking. Repeat with remaining triangles of dough. Reserve any dough scraps by stacking them on top of one another and setting them aside in the refrigerator. Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water or milk, and brush the medialunas with the egg wash. Set aside in a warm place to rise.
- Prepare the vigilantes: Roll out the remaining dough into a 12 inch by 20-inch rectangle, and cut the dough in half lengthwise in the same way. Cut the dough into 5 inches wide by 6 inch long triangles. Roll the triangle up, starting with the 5-inch side, and stretching the dough as you roll it. The vigilante should remain straight, not curved like the medialunas.
- Place the vigilantes side by side on the baking sheet, close together but not touching. Brush with the egg wash. Let the pastries rise in a warm place until puffy, about an hour.
- Prepare the sugar glaze: Place the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sugar dissolves completely, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pastries in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until the pastries are puffed up and lightly browned. Remove from oven and brush pastries immediately with the sugar glaze.
- Serve warm. Store in an airtight container. Reheat briefly in the oven before serving.