Croissants

I have spent many hours perfecting this recipe. With the right ingredients, proper technique, and lots of love, these delicious buttery flakey croissants are just a few steps away. While homemade croissants seem like a daunting difficult task, they really are not! They just take time, and require patience. I've provided detailed instructions and TONS of photos to show you that they are possible! And AMAZING.

Homemade Croissants Recipe. Tons of step-by-step photos for these amazing buttery pastries.

What scares most people about making homemade Croissants is the lamination. During the beginning steps there is a butter layer that gets "laminated" inside the dough, so after all the rolling, folding, and rolling, that one butter layer turns into about 27 layers of butter, all wrapped up inside the dough. The key is to keep it layered, and not mixed in. If the butter is mixed into the dough, then you have Brioche. That's never a bad thing, but when you're trying to make Croissants you want to end up with Croissants.

This is why you need patience! After each "turn" (rolling and folding) of the dough, it has to rest in the refrigerator. The more you work it, the warmer and softer that precious butter layer gets. So you work it a little, and let it cool off before working it again. Baby the butter. Love the butter.

When the Croissants are baked, the butter creates heavenly little pockets throughout and makes the croissants light and airy.

Homemade Croissants Recipe. Tons of step-by-step photos for these amazing buttery pastries.

That's really the only obstacle of making Croissants. The work isn't hard, but the waiting is what gets ya! The result is layers of dough-laminated butter. Layers on layers. Just look at them!

Making Croissants is one of those life skills (important or not) that makes you feel really good about yourself once you master. Like knowing how to drive stick shift (in heels, nonetheless), jumpstart a car, kick butt in chess, and be really good at retaining random useless trivia. Now I can add mastering Croissants to that list! :-)

I tried many recipes on this quest for the best Croissants. After much trial, error, testing, and tweaking, I've come to what I think is a perfect recipe.

I tested different ratios of butter ranging from 2-4 sticks. A word to the wise- do NOT use 4 sticks of butter with the amount of flour in this recipe. The result will be croissants fried in an inch deep layer of butter that taste like mac 'n cheese. I don't want to talk about it.

I promise that won't happen with these! As long as you laminate correctly, and let them proof correctly there won't be a ton of butter leakage like I experienced in the disaster that must not be named.

These are light, airy, flakey, buttery, and taste amazing. No boring bland "crescent roll" taste, but a real, yeasted dough, buttery taste that you just can't get with store-bought.

See my step-by-step photos below or scroll down to the bottom if you just want to print out the recipe.

Oh, and you know it was a good Croissant when you're wearing it after you eat it.

Homemade Croissants Recipe. Tons of step-by-step photos for these amazing buttery pastries.
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Croissants
Foolproof recipe for amazing buttery, flakey croissants with detailed instructions.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/2 tea. instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tea. salt
  • 9 oz. (2 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. heavy cream
Instructions
1. In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup of flour, yeast, and warm milk. Milk should be very warm, not hot. Let the bowl sit for 20 minutes for the yeast to bubble. 2. Once the mixture has bubbled, "bloomed", and you know the yeast is alive, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, and salt. Stir until combined, dough will be sticky. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic, but still soft. Form into a disc and place on a flour-dusted plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.3. Once dough has rested in the refrigerator for a few hours, prepare the slab of butter. Using cold butter, cut the pieces length-wise, about 1/2 inch thick and lay them on parchment paper in a square about 7x7 inches. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to bang the pieces into a uniform slab. Uncover and cut edges as needed, placing scraps back onto the top. Bang, cut, roll, and measure until you get an even 7x7 inch square of butter. Place it back into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes while you roll out the dough.4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and on a flour dusted surface roll dough out to a square about 10x10 inches. Place the cold butter slab in the center, rotated 45° so the butter looks like a diamond in the middle of the square of dough. Carefully pull each corner of dough over the edge of the butter and to the center of the butter, pressing down so no air is trapped. Dust the excess flour off, and pinch the edges of dough together once the butter is fully covered, sealing the butter inside the dough.5. Press down with the rolling pin a few times to seal the layer a little more, and then roll out to a rectangle about 10x24 inches, trying to elongate the dough without widening it.6. Fold 1/3 of the dough from the short end over itself, and dust the excess flour off. Fold the upper third on top of the dough, creating a letter fold. Dust excess flour off again, and place the dough onto a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the freezer for 20 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. *If the dough starts to shrink too much and fights rolling out any more, fold it into thirds and let it rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before unfolding and trying again.7. Repeat steps 5-6 two more times, so you have done a total of 3 "turns", each time rolling from the short end out, so the dough is rotated each time. 8. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and cut in half, from one long end to the other. Wrap one half up in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator while you roll and cut out the first half. Roll the other half out onto a floured surface, to a rectangle about 8x15 inches. Dough should be between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate if necessary, for about 10 minutes in this rolled out form, so dough is firm but still workable when you roll it out in the next steps9. Using a ruler on the long end of the dough, make a mark with a knife at 5 inches, and continue every 5 inches until you have 3 5-inch sections marked off.10. Turn dough so opposite long end is facing you. On this long end, make a mark 2 1/2 inches in from the edge, and then measure 5 inches from that notch, and every 5 inches after that. 11. Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut diagonal lines, starting from the top right corner, down to the left to the notch on the other end. The two end cuts of this rectangle will be scraps, so the first one cut will look very small. Continue all the way across, and then repeat going the other way, to create 4 large triangles, and two end pieces. 12. Take one triangle and flip it over. Dust the excess flour off. Gently stretch it with your hands or a rollingpin, without putting too much pressure on it, to elongate it to about 10 inches long. With the wide end facing you and the point facing away, make a notch with a knife in the middle of the wide end, about an inch deep. Start rolling from the slit out, creating two "legs". Keep rolling dough forward tightly, but gently, all the way to the end, leaving the tail end of dough under the croissant. Gently pull the edges of the dough toward you to create a crescent shape, and place the dough on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining triangles.13. Repeat steps 8-12 with the reserved half of dough, starting with rolling the dough into a rectangle. You should end up with 10-12 good sized croissants.14. Next step is to proof the croissants. You can do this 3 ways: (1) let the rolled croissants proof slowly in the refrigerator overnight, (2) let croissants proof out on the counter in a cool place for 3 hours, (3) let croissants proof in a slightly warm place for 1 hour. I prefer to let them proof slowly in the fridge overnight, because this helps develop the flavor more fully.15. If croissants proofed in the fridge, remove them and let them come to room temperature on the counter, about 2 hours. When dough is proofed, the croissants will be puffy, but not doubled in size. When the baking sheet is jiggled, the croissants will jiggle a little.16. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare eggwash by whisking 1 egg and 1 T. heavy cream. Gently apply a thin layer onto each croissant with a pastry brush. Bake sheets one at a time for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes. Croissants will turn a golden brown color and you will see the flakey layers when done.17. Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 croissants
Homemade Croissants Recipe. Tons of step-by-step photos for these amazing buttery pastries.
Homemade Croissants Recipe. Tons of step-by-step photos for these amazing buttery pastries.