TO MAKE THE DOUGH: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer, stir together warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. (If the mixture doesn't foam, then discard this mix. Start again with fresher yeast.) In a separate bowl, whisk together bread mix and salt, add to yeast mixture and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes, adding more bread mix as necessary to help keep the dough from sticking. Form dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for 1 hour.
TO PREPARE AND SHAPE BUTTER: Unwrap and arrange sticks of butter horizontally, their sides touching, on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and pound the butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly (butter should be malleable but still cold). Roll out butter until it forms an 8 x 5-inch rectangle, using a ruler or knife to straighten edges. Put butter wrapped in plastic wrap into refrigerator.
TO ROLL OUT DOUGH: Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap chilled dough onto parchment and roll it out into a 16 x 10-inch rectangle, dusting with bread mix as necessary. Trim and keep the edges to use as patches later during rolling if needed. Arrange the dough with the short 10-inch side nearest you. Unwrap the butter and place it in the center of the dough, with the long 8-inch side facing you (parallel with the short side of dough). Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the butter, then the top third down over the butter, so the dough edges meet in the middle. Turn dough so short side is nearest you and flatten dough slightly by pressing down horizontally with rolling pin across dough at regular intervals. Roll out the dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Be careful not to let any butter poke through the dough. If butter breaks through, patch holes with excess pieces of dough or pat bread mix on top of butter to cover.
After rolling dough into the rectangle, fold the two short ends into the center as before and seal the seam as best you can with your fingertips, then roll gently to help seal the seam. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out again into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold top and bottom into the middle as before, sealing the seam and dusting with bread mix as necessary. Wrap and refrigerate again for 1 to 2 hours. Remove and roll out as before, then wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Repeat one more time and then refrigerate dough for another 6 to 18 hours.
TO CUT AND SHAPE DOUGH: Unwrap cold dough and roll out one last time into a 12 x 32-inch rectangle, 1/4-inch-thick. Making the dough 1/4-inch-thick is crucial to get the right texture of the croissants. Trim edges to make strip uniform in width. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 6 x 32-inch strips. Cut each strip into 4 to 6 triangles. To do this, with the long side facing you, cut a line starting at the top left corner of the rectangle and ending at a point 5 inches to the right on the opposite side. Then cut upward to the right another 5 inches over, to form an upside-down triangle. Continue this zig zag cutting pattern down the strip of dough to make a line of triangles.
To form croissant, roll up triangle from the longest side to the point. Make the rolls slightly loose so that the dough has room to rise. Place the croissants on a parchment-covered rimmed baking sheet and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425° with rack in the middle. Bake croissants for 20 to 23 minutes. Watch closely after 15 minutes as the butter can cause croissants to burn quickly, and add foil over the top if needed to prevent them from browning too much before they are cooked all the way through. Allow croissants to cool on a rack before serving.
During rolling of dough, if the butter seems to be breaking into pieces beneath the dough rather than remaining solid, allow the dough/butter to warm a few minutes. If the butter becomes too soft and oozes while making folds or rolling, put the dough back in the refrigerator for several minutes.
During baking, butter in croissants melts, so use a rimmed baking sheet to prevent a mess on the floor of your oven. For perfect croissant bottoms, put the rimmed baking sheet on top of an insulated cookie sheet.
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