Homemade French Croissants

Homemade french croissants made with french butter.

The flaky, buttery, airy and oh so delicious French Croissants fresh from the oven is a baker’s dream come true. Puff pastry is its own food group that should be enjoyed guilt free.  After the time and effort it takes to achieve a croissant, I plan on savoring my indulgence.

Croissants are made with layers of yeast leavened dough and rich butter. The dough is rolled out into a large rectangle, then a flat layer of cold butter is placed on one half. Covering the butter with dough, rolling out smooth , and then followed by a series of book turns is how the pastry becomes laminated. This rolling and folding technique, trapping the butter between the dough is what results in the characteristic flaky texture.

To achieve a satisfactory (notice I didn’t say perfect, because I like realistic outcomes when baking) croissant you need to allow for two days of dough attention. Not full days, but croissant dough likes to rest and chilling time is imperative for preventing leaky butter. So set aside some time to enjoy tackling a classic french recipe.

Just remember after all this work, you get to enjoy fluffy, flaky croissants that you made from scratch πŸ™‚ I also suggest slathering on some Fresh Lemon Curd to your warm croissants.

Tips on How To Make Croissants

  • Weigh your ingredients, a kitchen scale is cheap ,and measurements are pretty darn exact! I use my scale for everything πŸ™‚
  • Use fatty french style butter for best flavor!!
  • Dough should be slightly tacky, but overly sticky or dry.
  • Options to either make dough and allow it to rest in fridge over night, or make the entire laminated book turn dough and fridge over night. Details in instructions. I have done both with same outcome.
  • Use a ruler to measure the size of the rolled out dough and butter.
  • Use French Style butter with a higher fat content than plain unsalted butter. This has made a huge difference in the quality of my croissants.
  • Sit you butter out on the counter to reach a nice soft room temperature.
  • Place block of butter onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then cover with an additional layer of parchment paper.
  • Gently roll the butter into a rectangle with a rolling pin. Take your fingers and rub the edges of the butter staying on the outside of the parchment paper to help shape evenly.
  • Place the butter still sandwiched between parchment layers in the fridge to firm while you make your dough.
  • Get used to putting things in the fridge and setting your timer πŸ™‚
  • For a lovely rise and crust I use Unbleached Enriched All Purpose Flour for pastry. Its the perfect compliment to bread flour to prevent a chewy texture.
  • Use a flour dusted bowl when letting your dough rise. Make sure to lightly dust with All Purpose Flour before covering and setting in a warm location.
  • Don’t knead your dough after the rise. This will make it tough. Just simply shape into a flat oval with your hands.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill. Remember we want to work with cold pastry dough and butter.
  • Generously flour your working station. Pastry dough shouldn’t stick to the counter.
  • Roll the dough with long flowing motions.
  • Go a bit larger than desired since it will spring back on the first roll.
  • I even flip mine over a few times, making sure to flour lightly in between.
  • When you remove the flattened butter from the fridge it will be hard like a thin sheet of plastic. Be careful not to break it.
  • Let the butter warm slightly so it can be molded. But remember it must still be cold.
  • Place the butter on the lower half of the rolled dough, length wise.
  • Take the top half and fold over the butter. Gently press the dough ends together with palm of your hand to seal the edges around the butter.

Laminating the Dough

  • Rotate the folded dough clockwise so two ends on top of each other are now on your right and the open sides are facing at 12 0’clock and 6 o’clock.
  • Roll the dough back out into a rectangle and fold the top third down over the center. Then fold the bottom third up over the now doubled center.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the roll out, fold, and chill three more times.
  • Roll the dough out for its final roll to a rectangular close to 2o inches long by 7 inches wide. Rotate the dough so the long sides are facing you from left to right.
  • Mark the top long side of the dough with a ruler every 3.5 inches.
  • Using a ruler measure and cut out out a piece of paper in the shape of a triangle with the base measuring 3.5 in and the two sides at 7 inches. Use this cut out to lay across you dough and with a sharp knife cut out your triangles. You will have two half triangles, one from each end of the dough, just press them together to form one large triangle.
  • Now using the same sharp knife cut a 3/4 inch slit in the center of the base (short side) of each of your triangles.  It will look like you are cutting the door to enter a teepee.

Rolling the Dough

  • Start by gently opening pulling the two sides from the slit apart. Almost like your widening the base of the triangle.
  • Begin to roll from the widest part of the triangle to the tip.
  • Repeat with all triangle pieces of dough.
  • Place each rolled croissant carefully onto parchment paper line baking tray.
  • Space the croissants 2-3 inches apart.

    Proving and Baking

  • Gently brush croissants with egg wash and set in cold oven with light on, to puff for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove and preheat oven.
  • While oven is preheating, super gently add a second coat of egg wash. Make sure to use a soft bristled brush so you don’t poke and deflate your puffed croissants.
  • Bake for  18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let cool on oven rack for 5-10 minutes before devouring.
  • The inside should be soft ,with air holes and moist. It should not resemble uncooked dough.
How to make croissants from scratch.
Croissant breakfast with lemon curd and fresh blueberries.
Homemade flaky croissant recipe with fresh lemon curd.

Homemade French Croissants

Homemade French Croissants made with a mixture of bread flour and all purpose flour. How to make flaky croissants from scratch!

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine British, French
Keyword croissant, pastry
Servings 9 Croissants

Ingredients

Poolish

  • 3/4 Cup ( 100 g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Water room temperature to slightly warm
  • 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Croissant Dough

  • 2 Cups Bread Flour
  • 2.5 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 15 Grams French Style Unsalted Butter softened
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 150 Grams French Style Unsalted Butter softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Water room temperature

Instructions

Make the Poolish

  1. In the bowl of stand mixer, gently stir together yeast and water.

  2. Sift 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour over yeast mixture to create a light white blanket of flour.

  3. Let poolish sit for 10-15 minutes until flour starts to crack on top.

Make the Dough

  1. Once the poolish is ready, turn on mixer to medium low speed fitted with the dough hook attachment.

  2. Slowly spoon in Bread Flour, Sugar, the 15 grams of softened butter, remaining water, eggs, and sea salt. (Stir eggs gently with a fork prior to adding.)

  3. Turn mixer up to medium speed and work the dough for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Scrape bottom of bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

  5. Work dough again at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until a coarse but tacky dough is formed. If it is too dry add 1-2 Tbsp of water as needed.

  6. Transfer dough to a lightly floured bowl, then dust lightly with All Purpose Flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm draft free location to double in size 1-2 hrs.

  7. Once dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into in a oval, removing excess air, but without kneading the dough.

  8. Wrap in plastic wrap again and place in the refrigerate over night.

  9. ** (Option to chill for only an hour and then laminate dough, chilling the laminated dough overnight before rolling out and baking the next day)

Prepare the Butter

  1. Place block of butter onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then cover with an additional layer of parchment paper. Gently roll the butter into a 8 x 6 inch rectangle with a rolling pin.

  2. Take your fingers and rub the edges of the butter staying on the outside of the parchment paper to help shape evenly.Place the butter still sandwiched between parchment layers in the fridge to firm while you make your dough.

Laminate the Dough

  1. Remove chilled dough from fridge, place on floured surface, and roll out to a 16 X 8 inch rectangle. It will have some elasticity so make sure to use smooth motions. I sometimes flip it over after a couple rolls, making sure surface stays floured.

  2. Let the butter warm slightly so it can be molded. But remember it must still be cold.Place the butter on the lower half of the rolled dough, length wise.

  3. Take the top half and fold over the butter. Gently press the dough ends together with palm of your hand to seal the edges around the butter.

  4. Rotate the folded dough clockwise so two ends on top of each other are now on your right and the open sides are facing at 12 0'clock and 6 o'clock.

  5. Roll the dough back out into a rectangle and fold the top third down over the center. Then fold the bottom third up over the now doubled center.

  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

  7. Repeat the roll out, fold, and chill three more times.

  8. **(Option of only chilling dough for an hour, then laminating and allowing shaped book to be wrapped in plastic and chill over night.)

  9. Roll the dough out for its final roll to a rectangular close to 20 inches long by 7 inches wide. Rotate the dough so the long sides are facing you from left to right.

Cut and Roll the Croissants

  1. Mark the top long side of the dough with a ruler every 3.5 inches.

  2. Using the paper 'cut out' mentioned in tips to measure your triangles.

  3. You will have two half triangles, one from each end of the dough, just press them together to form one large triangle.

  4. Now using the same sharp knife cut a 3/4 inch slit in the center of the base (short side) of each of your triangles.Β 

  5. Start by gently opening pulling the two sides from the slit apart. Almost like your widening the base of the triangle.

  6. Begin to roll from the widest part of the triangle to the tip.

  7. Repeat with all triangle pieces of dough.

  8. Place each rolled croissant carefully onto parchment paper line baking trays. Space the croissants 2-3 inches apart.

Prove and Bake Croissants

  1. Gently brush croissants with egg wash and set in cold oven with light on, to puff for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. Remove and preheat oven to 375 F.

  3. While oven is preheating, super gently add a second coat of egg wash.

  4. Bake forΒ 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

  5. Let cool on oven rack for 5-10 minutes before devouring.

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