Homemade Croissants

Homemade Croissants

Homemade Croissants 

Homemade Croissants

Homemade croissants are a labor of love that are worth every bit of effort required to make them. Croissants are a French pastry that are 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: 

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 an 18 x 10″ rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough in half lengthwise, so you have two 5 x 18″ rectangles. Slice the dough in half the opposite way, giving you four 5 x 9″ rectangles. Then slice each in half again, so you have eight 5 x 4.5″ squares. Slice each square diagonally. How to Shape Croissants
Croissant Layers

Gently stretch each of the triangles out slightly. Be careful not to squish all of those layers! Roll the croissants, starting at the wide end, and curve the sides in slightly. 

Prepare to Bake:

Spray a baking sheet lined with foil with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the croissants on the pan and leave a little room between them because they will expand in the oven. 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. 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.

It’s finally time to bake the croissants! 

Bake the croissants in the preheated oven for 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!

Croissant Layers

Homemade Croissants
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Croissants

Step by step guide for the best buttery, flaky croissants
Prep Time10 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time10 hrs 20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Croissants, How to make croissants
Servings: 16 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 an 18 x 10" rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough in half lengthwise, so you have two 5 x 18" rectangles. Slice the dough in half the opposite way, giving you four 5 x 9" rectangles. Then slice each in half again, so you have eight 5 x 4.5" squares. Slice each square diagonally.
    How to Shape Croissants
  • Gently stretch each of the triangles out slightly. Roll the croissants, starting at the wide end, and curve the sides in slightly.
  • Spray a baking sheet lined with foil with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the croissants on the pan and leave a little room between them because they will expand in the oven. 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.
  • 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 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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