Croissants

Homemade Croissants

Homemade croissants are buttery, flaky, and an absolute labor of love. They are worth every bit of effort required to make them!

Croissant Pile

Croissants are a French pastry that is made by creating tons of layers of butter through a process called laminating. During baking, the butter melts, and steam is created which causes the layers to puff up. The result is a croissant that is so light, flaky, buttery, and soft. Homemade croissants can be slightly intimidating if you’ve never made them before, be patient and keep practicing and you will have this recipe mastered before you know it.

What is Laminating? 

Laminating is a process in which a layer of butter is folded into the center of croissant dough. The dough is folded and rolled out several times, creating more layers of butter between the croissant dough. Each time the dough is laminated the layers triple. The dough for this recipe gets laminated a total of four times, which means it has 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 layers! Cool, right??

How to Make Croissants: 

Homemade Croissants

Make the croissant dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the yeast, salt, sugar, flour, and softened butter.
  2. Turn the mixer on low to incorporate all of the ingredients. Slowly add 1 cup of cold whole milk. Add 1 additional tablespoon of milk as needed, up to 4 total, until the dough comes together.
  3. Turn the mixer on high speed and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should be coming off of the sides. The dough is ready when it bounces back slowly when pressed in.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Shape the dough:

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a clean surface, the dough, and a rolling pin. Ideally, the surface should be cool. Be VERY careful everything that comes in contact with the dough is clean or you will inevitably end up with little specks in the dough.
  2. Roll the dough out into a 14 x 9″ rectangle. Use a measuring tape, precision is very important when making croissants. The dough will want to be oval-shaped, use your hands to make it rectangle-shaped as best as you can.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Make the butter layer: 

Start making the butter layer 30 minutes before you take the croissant dough out of the fridge.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of flour with 1 and a half cups softened butter. Cover the butter with plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to shape it into a 7 x 9″ rectangle. Again using a measuring tape for precision. Set the butter layer in the fridge for 30 minutes so it’s cold when you add it to the dough. 

Laminate the dough: 

1. Remove the dough from the fridge and place the layer of butter in the center. Fold the sides of the dough over the butter and crimp it to seal. Roll the dough out into a 14 x 9″ rectangle. Then fold into thirds.


Folded Croissant Dough

2. Roll the dough out again into a 14 x 9″ rectangle. Fold into thirds and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Roll the dough out again into a 14 x 9″ rectangle. Fold into thirds and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. 

Shape the dough: 

Lightly flour a cool, clean surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle that is roughly 9 x 23″. You can trim the sides to get an exact measurement if desired. Use a ruler to measure 1 and ½” in from the top left. Make a small cut with a pastry wheel to mark the spot. From there, make a small cut every 3″. On the bottom starting from the left, make a small cut every 3″. 

Shaping Croissants

Make a cut diagonally from the bottom left corner to the first 1.5″ cut. This is scraps and can be thrown away. From there, form the croissant triangles by making diagonal cuts connecting each mark.

How to Cut Croissant Dough

Make a slit at the bottom of each triangle and roll the croissants up. Place on a baking sheet with a little room in between because they will puff up and expand during baking. 

Rolling up Croissants

Allow the croissants to rest for 1 hour in the fridge before baking them. This step is important so be sure to wait the full hour!

Make the egg wash: Mix 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl. Brush each of the croissants with the egg wash before baking.

Egg Wash

It’s finally time to bake the croissants! 

Bake the croissants in a 400° oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Halfway through baking rotate the pan, which helps make sure they brown evenly. Remove the croissants from the oven and serve warm. Croissants are best fresh out of the oven, enjoy!

Homemade Croissants

 

Croissants

Homemade Croissants

Step by step guide for the best buttery, flaky croissants
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Croissants, How to make croissants
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 13 croissants
Calories: 350kcal
Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the Croissant Dough:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp. active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup butter softened and cut into 4 even pieces
  • tsp. salt
  • cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk + 3 tablespoons, as needed

For the Butter Layer

  • cups butter (3 sticks)
  • 2 tbsp. flour

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. milk

Instructions

Make the Croissant Dough:

  • In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, and 1 cup of milk. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, as needed. I used 3 tablespoons. Once all the milk is added, set the mixer to high and knead the dough for 5 minutes, until the dough starts to come off of the sides of the bowl. Keep an eye on your stand mixer while it kneads the dough. If you don't have a stand mixer you can knead the dough with your hands. When the dough comes back when pressed in slightly it is ready.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured, clean surface, roll the dough out into a 14 x 9" rectangle. Use a measuring tape for precise measurements. The dough will want to be oval but use your hands to shape it into a rectangle. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Make the Butter Layer:

  • Make the butter layer 30 minutes before you take the dough out of the fridge. In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter with 2 tablespoons of flour. Beat with a hand-held mixer until combined. Cover the butter with plastic wrap and roll it out into a 7 x 9" rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes so it is firm when you add it to the dough.

Laminate the Dough:

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and place the layer of butter in the center. Fold the sides of the dough over the butter and crimp it to seal. Roll the dough out into a 14 x 9" rectangle. Then fold into thirds.
  • Roll the dough out again into a 14 x 9" rectangle. Fold into thirds and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out again into a 14 x 9" rectangle. Fold into thirds and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Shape and Bake the Croissants:

  • Lightly flour a cool, clean surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle that is roughly 9 x 23". You can trim the sides to get an exact measurement if desired. Use a ruler to measure 1 and ½" in from the top left. Make a small cut with a pastry wheel to mark the spot. From there, make a small cut every 3". On the bottom starting from the left, make a small cut every 3". 
  • Make a cut diagonally from the bottom left corner to the first 1.5" cut. This is scraps and can be thrown away. From there, form the croissant triangles by making diagonal cuts connecting each mark.
    How to Cut Croissant Dough
  • Arrange the croissants on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Leave a little room between them because they will expand during baking. You may need a second pan if they don't all fit on one.
  • Allow the croissants to rest for 1 hour in the fridge before baking them.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Make the egg wash: Mix 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl. Brush each of the croissants with the egg wash before baking.
  • Bake the croissants in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Halfway through baking rotate the pan, which helps make sure they brown evenly. Remove the croissants from the oven and serve warm. Croissants are best fresh out of the oven, enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal

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